PARIS — Men’s wear designers here delivered savvy fall collections, prompting some buyers to raise orders by up to 15 percent, though the majority remained cautious about second-half prospects.
“There were clearly salable elements shown in almost every collection — wearable and understated,” said Eric Jennings, vice president and men’s fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue. “Some are saying ‘safe,’ but I say ‘smart.’”
Lanvin was widely praised for a collection that combined practicality and innovation. Other standout shows included Raf Simons, Junya Watanabe, Comme des Garçons and Rick Owens, buyers said.
Key trends included tailoring and variationson workwear, with heavy lace-up boots a recurring theme. Echoing Milan, designers here gave outerwear a sophisticated twist with great topcoats and technical jackets with futuristic straps and snaps.
Buyers praised brands for responding to a tough consumer environment by offering a wider selection of price points. Here is what they said about the Paris collections and their outlook for the second half.
Nickelson Wooster, men’s fashion director, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus: “We particularly like the balance of tailored looks and refined sportswear. Standout shows are Lanvin, Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten, Balenciaga, Junya Watanabe. Lanvin, in particular, was exceptional as it achieved the perfect balance of tradition and fashion. Balmain, after only a couple of seasons, is becoming someone to take very seriously in men’s; we expect it will be as influential as it is in women’s. We see leather, fur and velvet paired with classic tweed and flannel as a great way for a guy to update something in his closet.”
Hirofumi Kurino, senior adviser and creative adviser, United Arrows Ltd., Japan: “There is a very positive feeling, so we are considering increasing our budgets for certain brands already in our portfolio. The very best show was Lanvin. They showed a new silhouette, new details in clothing and new fabrics. It was invention at its best and showed the progress of design, but still very commercially viable. Louis Vuitton also had a very nice show and showed a new direction for the house.”
Tancrède de Lalun, general merchandise manager of women’s and men’s apparel, Printemps: “It wasn’t a revolutionary season. Brands are sticking to what they are good at. After several seasons of reducing our orders, we plan to order roughly the same as last season. Spending will be split roughly equally between Paris and Milan. Confident is not the right word to describe our mood going into 2010, but we remain optimistic. More than ever, customers are looking for value. We are careful to offer products at every price point, and we are increasingly satisfied with our product mix. Brands have clearly reacted by offering capsule collections and lower entry price points.”
Alberta Ferretti's "Rainbow Week" sweaters are back. The designer closed her #MFW show with a few day-of-the-week sweaters, which first debuted on the catwalk last January as part of the pre-fall 2017 collection. #wwdfashion (📷: @delphineachard)