So what’s the sizzling swatch of the spring-summer 2010 season? Buyers are shopping for texture, luxurious hues and linen, keeping Italy’s finest flax-man, Vittorio Solbiati, in business. The color of the moment, blue, is a sign that the current economic mantra of keeping classic is true to form, even when it comes to fine fabric.
BOGOSSE Patrick Tardieu, president and chief executive officer Fabrice Tardieu, creative director
SHOWS: “We attend Première Vision because it is well-organized and has most of our vendors under one roof. We also go to Texworld to see a few good print companies from Turkey,” said Fabrice Tardieu.
SOURCING: Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Brazil TRAVEL: The duo is not cutting back on anything that will sacrifice the quality of their shirts, including travel. SPECS: “We are looking for new jacquards, rich poplins in all different colors and prints, along with rich, new fabrics that feel like second skin,” said Fabrice. ECONOMY: Patrick and Fabrice are loading shirts with elegant details to give consumers more bang for their buck, hoping that instead of buying several shirts, consumers will purchase two or three special ones. “At the end of the day we say to ourselves, ‘The economy is bad, but guys are looking for new jobs. Guess what is the first thing they buy for interviews? It’s a shirt,’” said Fabrice.
CHARLES TYRWHITT Nicholas Reed, head of buying
SHOWS: The Charles Tyrwhitt team divides and conquers, with half attending Milano Unica, and the balance shopping Première Vision.
SOURCING: Italy, India, China and Peru. TRAVEL: “We are smarter on booking travel earlier. We would also love suppliers to visit us at the moment. We’re making fewer trips across all areas, yet I somehow feel we are adding to the recession in this way.” SPECS: “I’m keen on knowing how fabric and garments are made from fiber to button. We want to tell a story through our clothes,” said Reed. Focused on casual luxury, the team is fixated on finding soft, lighter weights in semi plain, textures, double-warped effects and prints. Fabrics fitting for extremes in weather are also important. ECONOMY: “Innovation will see us through on this recession. Give the customer a reason to buy.”
MICHAEL BASTIAN Michael Bastian, creative director SHOWS: “Milano Unica, it’s the only one I go to.” SOURCING: Ninety percent of Bastian’s fabrics are from Italy, with the remainder sourced from England, Japan, Greece and Portugal
TRAVEL: “I really maximize my time at one show, and it is the only one I do. You can’t cut back much more than that.” SPECS: “I am specifically looking for interesting blends of cotton-linen and cotton-silk that make classic patterns and stripes feel fresh again,” said Bastian. “I am also looking for fabrics that feel handwoven and a little more textural, with slubs and variations. I particularly like it when these are contrasted with a more technical fabric, like a compact nylon.” ECONOMY: Bastian has stepped up research to find better prices on pure basics including blue/white stripes and oxfords.
ORLANDO CARRERAS Orlando Carreras, president and creative director
SHOWS: Carreras attends every show in New York, with the most time logged at Première Vision Preview and Kingpins. “I may be projecting this, but I am feeling that mills are anticipating fewer American buyers traveling,” said Carreras. “Because of that, I am hoping they will have more new selections shown in New York.” SOURCING: Portugal, Spain, Italy, China and Korea TRAVEL: All non-essential travel has been cut, with the exception of a possible trip to Première Vision. “If I can get someone to come to me, I do that,” he said. SPECS: “Fabrics are always an important part of my collections and as such, need to be innovative. If we are to collectively get the consumer to open his or her wallet with enthusiasm, it will be for something that is truly special, now more than ever.” ECONOMY: “This is a time keep expenses as tight as possible without sacrificing design integrity. I completely appreciate the value of face-to-face conversation, but it is a somewhat invisible cost to the consumer,” said Carreras. “This is not a good time to be passing that on when everyone from top to bottom is cost conscious. Right now it seems as though the only thing we can control is our…account expenses.”
PHILLIPS-VAN HEUSEN Ellen Constantinides, president and chief operating officer, dress shirt group SHOWS: “Première Vision and Milano Unica are the most informative and trend-forward shows.”
SOURCING: PVH sources globally.
TRAVEL: “We are cutting back on the number of people traveling, but not on our historical itinerary,” Constantinides said. SPECS: “In dress shirts, fabric is 75 percent of the marketing agenda,” she said. “The colors, styles and construction become the individual signature of the brand.”
ECONOMY: “We need to be responsive to the realities of today’s economy,” Constantinides said. Her team goes to shows with an open agenda, seeking what is new and exciting.
RAG & BONE Marcus Wainwright, head designer Jennie McCormick, product development manager Lauren Bucquet, men’s wear associate designer
SHOWS: The team will only attend Première Vision Preview this season because the Paris installation of PV and label’s fall 2009 show coincide. SOURCING: Rag & Bone supports buying globally, with many fabrics coming from Japan, Italy and Korea. TRAVEL: The buying team prefers to stay local, rather than traveling to see fabrics. SPECS: There will be the usual mix of traditional tailoring and workwear, with hints of modern and technical elements. Interesting takes on classic shirtings are also a focus with heavier weights that have body and are durable, yet still wearable and relaxed. ECONOMY: Purchasing decisions are being scrutinized when it comes to fabrics and trim.
UNITED BAMBOO Thuy Pham, designer
SHOWS: Première Vision SOURCING: Italy, Japan and Europe.
TRAVEL: “This year Première Vision is scheduled right before New York Fashion Week, so unfortunately we will not attend,” said Pham. “Although it costs more to travel to a show like Première Vision, I still go because it saves time to choose all your fabrics at once rather than to make separate showroom appointments.”
SPECS: “For men’s shirtings, we usually stick to the classics including white, stripes and plaids. Sometimes we throw in an odd color if it works with the rest of the collection. For spring/summer we may use some brights or pastels.”
ECONOMY: Pham will likely cut back on luxury and novelty textiles, concentrating more on classic, versatile fabrics.
ZACHARY PRELL Zachary Prell, founder and designer SHOWS: “I have been to Première Vision. It was a very overwhelming experience,” said Prell, who prefers instead to visit mill sales agents in New York City. “It’s less hectic and you are seeing the same collection, just in a different venue.”
SOURCING: “Italy has beautiful fabrics. I’m a big fan of Japan. China is competitive in some fabrics they produce,” he said. As far as specific mills, he’s sweet on Cotonificio Albini, Shikibo and Luthai.
TRAVEL: International travel for the label is being scaled back. “I’m an entrepreneur and trying to be cost conscious.” SPECS: “Consumers are looking for a better-made button down shirt,” said Prell. So for spring, he’s focusing on slim, athletic cuts in rich and luxurious hues. “I know we’ll have blue. Stripes have always been core for us,” said the Wall Street veteran-turned-designer. “We’re increasing texture and including jacquard, satin stripes and unique patterns that can be worn to the office or for after-hours.”
ECONOMY: To conserve cash, Prell is cutting back on the number of samples he orders. “We’re trying to be smart with the dollars,” he said.
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
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye