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.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye