‘Enough is enough’ seemed to be the battle cry at Designers at the Jumeirah Essex House, where 24 vendors, more than any other outing, turned up.
Show resources and attendees forged ahead, despite the wave of fickle shoppers and the unlikeliest of occurrences — a murder in the hotel the day before the show opened, on Sept. 20. (A hotel employee has been arrested and is being held without bail for the crime.)
Linda Cunningham, whose suite was on the same floor as the crime, said buyers kept their appointments as planned. “At this moment in time, people are tired of talking about the economy and are moving on to buying, selling and figuring out what’s best for their businesses,” she said.
A sleeveless shift dress with a coordinating jacket, an off-the-shoulder silk and wool dress and a chiffon halter dress with a ruffle drew interest from stores, Cunningham said.
Carlo Goetschel, president of Algo, said, “The mood is upbeat. People have had enough with the crisis, and they have a lot of hope.”
Buyers’ show orders seemed to reflect that newfound optimism, considering a cherry-printed jacket at $600, bright red pants at $600, a cornflower blue jacket with white polkadots at $680 and other “happy-colored suits” were among the bestsellers, according to Goetschel. White cotton blouses, which wholesale from $120 to $180 were also popular. Focusing on specialty stores, offering two-day turnarounds for customized items and holding trunk shows have helped to boost sales. “We hear a lot about vendors who are sitting around with a long face saying the economy doesn’t look good. We never want to be like that,” Goetschel said.
William Christiansen, owner of Rakish, a Tustin, Calif., specialty store, said shoppers are searching for more casual options. Sales have halved compared with last year, but he was trying to boost business by ordering bright, colorful clothes, especially sleeveless dresses and cardigans. The fact that many organizations and charities have scaled back on black-tie events is only enhancing the move to more relaxed looks. “All those dressy events are not going on right now. Even in the restaurants and new hotels that have opened near Laguna, people are a little more casual,” Christiansen said.
Francesca Miranda, a new show resource, picked up seven new accounts due partially to retailers’ eagerness to freshen up their inventory after a few months of slow sales, said Francisco Jassir, president of Phi Apparel Co., the parent firm.“At the end of the day, stores need to have new merchandise on the floor. They can’t stop buying,” he said. “My feeling is we’ve already hit rock bottom. Things can only go up.”
A metallic chiffon gown with lace bustier at $1,200, a silk gown with a lace lining at $1,200 and a metallic mesh gown with a printed lace inset at $1,350 were standouts at the show. With 25 percent of its business in the U.S., 25 percent in Europe, 35 percent in the Middle East and 15 percent in Latin America, the Colombian-made label is weathering the global financial storm relatively well, Jassir said. “My projection for this year is that sales will be flat, and in this climate flat is up,” he said.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)