Men’s sportswear designers are going big for fall, with bold textures and jacquards, added detail and embroidery and luxe accents such as suede and leather.
Coming out of lackluster fall and holiday seasons, sportswear designers expect retailers to be cautious about their purchases for fall 2009. Many recognize that their core customers will continue to buy their products if they are well made and look different from what’s already in their closet. However, consumers want to spend the same or less for updated looks, so designers are concentrating on offering more bang for the buck.
“The market right now is so price-driven that many vendors are designing their lines around the price,” said Reunion’s Michael Black. “But the problem is that every store in every mall is carrying the same thing. Stores have to excite the customer in order to make the sale.”
Reunion’s take on sportswear for fall includes details “with an artisan’s touch,” Black said, noting that this season’s striped button-front shirts with overdyed prints and slub yarn wovens — which wholesale for $15 to $17.50 — include handcrafted details and additional artwork.
The line also is emphasizing better-quality fabrics and finishing. “The products have a handcrafted look that runs through the entire collection,” Black said.
Other brands, such as the Michael Brandon Collection, a contemporary sportswear line in its third season, also are focusing on the details. The line, which distinguishes itself from the more established Michael Brandon brand by its gray label, is featuring button-front shirts in fabrics that combine jacquard and ombré stripes, dobby pin dots on jacquards and embellishments like embroidery for fall. The line also is paying close attention to jackets ($75 to $125), launching an innovative collar shape, the Carnaby, as well as shorter-length jackets.
“We have to offer something that will make a customer say, ‘That’s what I need’ or ‘That’s what I want to buy,’” said Dat Tran, Michael Brandon’s design director.
For fall, the line also will be updating wardrobe staples such as sweaters. This season Michael Brandon is putting a spotlight on the cardigan, with several different styles on tap, including a mock-neck full button-front and zip-up versions, which wholesale for $32.50 to $48.50.
The brand also is featuring woven vests and sweater vests for fall, in pullover and button-front versions. They wholesale for $24.50.
Sweaters also play an important role in the fall collections of various brands owned by Lord Daniel Sportswear, which include Cotton Traders and Woodland Trail. “We had a pretty decent sweater year and I attribute that to a lot of variety in our sweater line,” said company president Ron Loschiavo. “Now it’s a part of the line that is growing, in the number of styles and silhouettes.”
The Lord Daniel brands’ fall sweaters will have an eye toward European styling, with wool-blend crewnecks, V-necks and full-front cardigans.
Sticking with a strategy that has worked for it in recent seasons, Alex Cannon is featuring a number of new and novelty items in its fall collection, according to Eric Anderson, the brand’s vice president of marketing.
“Both at the specialty and department store level the consumer is looking for newness and novelty items,” Anderson said. “We always put great emphasis on this every season so we don’t lose the customer’s interest.”
Some highlights of the fall collection, which wholesales for $38 to $53, include Donegal button-neck wool sweaters, novelty intarsia argyle sweaters, quarter-zip cotton cable sweaters with suede accents, dobby weave wovens, layering vests and suede-accented wool pants.
Similarly, Burma Bibas will feature novelty in the form of brocade and panel detailing in its woven shirts, wholesaling for $32.50 to $35, and cashmere-silk sweaters in updated silhouettes, $39.50 to $42.50.
“We have made our fall 2009 collection more focused and concise, taking the design components that have proven to retail well for our accounts,” said George Camacho, vice president of sales at Burma Bibas Inc. “Being cognizant of our present economic environment, we feel the need to offer our best products at the best possible price. We can’t control the wave, all we can do is ride it.”
Tori Richard is broadening its collection of embellished shirts for fall, adding embroidered detailing and expanding the use of cotton lawn, its proprietary fabric. The result is a “name brand and fabric that shoppers know and trust,” in different styles and textures for fall, explained the company’s president, Josh Feldman.
“In this environment, you have to make sure that you maintain the items that do sell, while offering newness and new reasons for the consumer to buy the product,” he said.
Tori Richard also has overhauled its stock bottoms program for fall, revamping the styling of its pants and introducing a slimmer silhouette, while staying true to the brand’s mature core customer. Bottoms wholesale for $41 to $50, and shirts are $34 to $56.
Undeterred by the economy, Ryan Michael, a brand based around the Western snap shirt, is unveiling a denim line for fall, as well as sophisticated dress shirts and new styles of the brand’s classic shirt, made of cotton, silk and linen blends, which wholesale for $55 to $75.
“We believe our customer values the uniqueness of Ryan Michael and our attention to detail,” said Tucker Neighbors, chief of operations.
But although this month’s MAGIC show is a chance for designers to introduce their fall lines to buyers, some brands, such as Siegfried & Co., are planning to show their spring 2009 collections as well. The line, known for its short-sleeved striped piqué shirts, has always sold brightly colored piqués, which wholesale for $10 to $16, year round.
“We are selling short-sleeved shirts 12 months a year, all across the country,” said Sam Mahan, Siegfried’s sales manager. “Our European and South American customers will be coming to MAGIC to book fall 2009,
but all our domestic customers are coming for deliveries for March through the end of July.”
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)