The directional brands that have flocked to ENK Vegas, now in its second season here, espoused pragmatic thinking in a challenging economy, but value took on a different form for design-oriented exhibitors.
“It’s not about being inexpensive but about having the right product,” said Todd Bernstein, vice president of sales for Theory. “For us, it’s about product that warrants the price.”
Bernstein, like many of the 84 vendors exhibiting in the Wynn Hotel’s Lafite Ballroom, cited clean, wearable pieces, innovative textiles and price adjustment as important currents in the market. Some prices in Theory’s fall collection, which offered fetching cropped outerwear, optically textured knits and updated men’s wear patterns, were slashed by 15 percent. But he still expected items, like the shawl collar sweater and waist-nipping toggle coat, to drive business.
In denim, Sean Hornbeak showed off clean, vintage-inspired jeans for J Brand Denim Co., which launched last year with the goal of bringing accessible denim to the men’s premium market.
“It’s about iconic and classic looks this year,” Hornbeak said. Not to mention cheaper: J Brand introduced men’s models retailing for $185. “Our retailers have been looking for denim under $200,” he added.
As skinny jeans have become a staple of women’s wardrobes, denim purveyors made sure to include new versions. For instance, Hudson Jeans shortened the inseam of a $154 skinny style to 30 inches so that women could cuff them more easily.
Other jeans makers upped the ante by offering women’s jeans that fit like leggings. Genetic Denim squeezed gams in black stretch jacquard, fake snakeprint and other novel fabrics for a new grouping retailing from $210 to $341. Post’age Denim, which added women’s jeans and tops to its season-old men’s line for fall, offered $150 legging jeans that pop in purple.
Boyfriend jeans and boot cuts received equal attention. There were Stronghold’s $265 cropped tomboy jeans in sky blue along with Mr. Winter’s $195 boyfriend trousers in washed linen. Lucky Brand Jeans drew attention to the derriere by planting studs and an embroidered peace sign on the back yokes of $179 boot-cut jeans.
Cleanliness was the guiding light at 7 Diamonds, a moderate-price maker of men’s embroidered wovens. This season, the collection erred on the side of modesty, opting for subtle details in pocketing and hardware as opposed to baroque stitching.
Retailers also sought tried-and-true classics from known brands. “We’re not testing new lines,” said Adam Beltzman, proprietor of Haberdash in Chicago, a stockist for Rag & Bone, Trovata and Nicholas K. “We need to be focused.”
If retailers stuck to their guns, they may have overlooked some notable launches, like Kai-aakmann, a line of cheap and chic sportswear from South Korea’s Avista Inc. The range of sophisticated sportswear in a muted palette received early interest from Steven Alan and Oak, the brand’s representatives said. Among the key pieces: hooded trenches, striped cardigans, double-breasted blazers and long parkas — all at recession-friendly prices, ranging from $30 for knits to $160 for women’s tuxedo blazers to $300 for rabbit fur-trimmed parkas.
In women’s sportswear, motor sports provided inspiration for many designers. Several updated the motorcycle jacket in unlikely fabrics, including languid black velvet at Corpus and faded gray-brown leather at Iro. Alpinestars by Denise Focil offered an alternative to pricy leather with a $175 nylon version accentuated with vibrant stripes.
Designers were also fond of plaid. Fred Perry enhanced a $450 black cashmere-wool coat with a quirky blend of red plaid and patent leather.
Plaid appealed to Jackie Brander, co-owner of the boutique Fred Segal Fun in Santa Monica, Calif., who snapped up the $110 oversize plaid button-up shirts from Post’age.
Easy dressing resonated with other retailers as well. Black Halo cropped the legs of a strapless gabardine jumper that was a hit in its holiday collection for a $325 summer update grazing the thigh. At Eight Sixty, casual-chic was epitomized by minidresses comprising a jersey tank attached to a full skirt fashioned from an African-influenced silk print, lime green brocade and other sophisticated fabrics.
With retail prices ranging from $66 to $88, Monika Crossin, owner of the boutique Nika in Park Ridge, Ill., predicted that Eight Sixty’s dresses would be easy to sell. “People are looking for pieces that can pull them from season to season,” she said.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty