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When it comes to spring shopping, contemporary customers so far have gone big for such looks as metallic details on feminine dresses and tops, minidresses, wide-leg jeans and belted tunics. Here, a look at some of the top sellers at specialty stores nationwide and on the Web.
Saks Fifth Avenue
Where: 54 stores nationwide and saks.com. Spring bestsellers: Milly’s retro print shift dress and Theory’s button-front dress.
Retail prices: Milly dress, $295 and Theory, $265 Who’s buying: “Milly is our fast, got-to-have-the-trend now customer,” said Michael Fink, vice president, women’s fashion director for Saks. “She’s not worn minis before. Theory is a fashion customer who is looking for a seasonal trend that is also versatile to her many-faceted lifestyle.”
Why they’ve done well: “The retro print in the shift dress is in the length of the season — mini,” Fink said. “[The Theory dress] can go to work or weekend casual. Style and versatility — what more could you want?”
Where: New York and bergdorfgoodman.com. Spring bestseller: Alice + Olivia’s striped sequined T-shirt.
Retail price: $298
Who’s buying: “Customers of all ages,” said Shira Lauter, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for Bergdorf’s 5F floor. “This T is great on its own with jeans, layered under a jacket or dress or, of course, how we featured it in the Bergdorf Goodman March magazine, with shorts.”
Why it’s done well: “Every girl wants a little shine this season,” Lauter said. “This top can be dressed up or worn casual and is a great addition to everyone’s spring wardrobe.”
Where: New York
Spring bestseller: AKA New York’s metallic Empire dress.
Retail price: $270
Who’s buying: “She is in her 20s and is certainly trend savvy as the dress encompasses three of the most important trends this season: metallic, the Empire silhouette and the dress,” said Ann Watson, vice president, fashion director for Henri Bendel.
This story first appeared in the May 3, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Why it’s done well: “An Empire waist-style dress is flattering and incredibly easy to wear,” Watson explained. “The metallic skirt not only highlights one of the season’s biggest trends, but also makes this dress a standout in a dress-saturated season. Most important, the dress speaks to our Bendel’s girl who looks for pieces that have individuality, a sense of style and are feminine.”
Where: The Web
Spring bestseller: Seven For All Mankind’s Ginger jeans.
Retail price: $187
Why it’s done well: “It’s a great wide-leg jean, which is a huge trend across the board,” said Erin Crandall, head buyer for Shopbop. “I think when people first get into a new trend in denim, they like to go to a reliable denim source for a fit they know they can trust.”
Where: New York, Miami and Livingston, N.J.
Spring bestsellers: Nicholas K’s waxed cotton/nylon “Dakota” anorak, Citizens of Humanity’s Ava jeans in light blue and Corpus’ skinny jeans in New York. Young Fabulous And Broke’s cotton and silk baby-doll cami dress and Taverniti’s Gloria zip capri in Miami.
Retail prices: Nicholas K anorak, $419; Citizens of Humanity jeans, $185; Corpus jeans, $149; Young Fabulous and Broke dress, $125, and Taverniti capri, $209.
Who’s buying: “Our customer that is buying [the anorak] ranges from the fashion-forward girl to a sophisticated woman looking for something understated, yet [that] style-wise, makes a statement,” said Christine Lee, Atrium women’s buyer for the New York and Miami stores. “[In Miami] we are selling [the dress] to a wide variety of clients ranging from our international clients staying at the Setai hotel to our local customers who are layering it over jeans as a great everyday top/tunic.”
Why they’ve done well: “Although denim silhouettes are getting voluminous, there is still a need and a want in the marketplace for skinny jeans,” Lee said. “For spring, we have had remarkable success with Eighties-inspired clothing.”
Where: New York
Spring bestseller: Robin’s Jeans’ embellished military pants.
Retail price: $305
Who’s buying: “Women looking to spice up a classic look,” said Tina Setia, women’s buyer. “Women who love the classic, relaxed feel of their boyfriends’ cargo pants, but want a feminine, glammed-up version. Women looking for a convertible day-or-night item — dress them down with a tank and flip-flops, then throw on heels and a sexy top for nighttime. Women who seek to be both casual and sexy at the same time.”
Why it’s done well: “For spring, our customer loves to mix the feminine with the masculine, the classic cut with an edge and ultimate comfort with high-end couture,” Setia said. “Robin’s Jeans’ military pant is a representation of all of these ideas.”
Where: The Web
Spring bestsellers: Knit dresses.
Retail price: Range from $60 to $199.
Who’s buying: “The great thing is that everyone seems to be buying them,” said a spokeswoman for Bluefly. “It’s a very democratic style in that it’s easy to wear, the fabric is very forgiving and it goes easily from day to night.”
Why they’ve done well: “The dresses are affordable enough that customers have been buying multiples — black for evening and brights for day,” she said.
Where: New York (eight locations) and searlenyc.com.
Spring bestseller: Searle’s pleated-neck, A-line dress.
Retail price: $348
Who’s buying: 18- to 55-year-old women.
Why it’s done well: “It’s semi-conservative and cool at the same time,” said Rick Weinstein, director of sales and marketing at Searle. “It has the semi-mod look, yet it’s timeless. You’ll be able to pull it out in a few years in solid colors and still wear it.”
Olive & Bette’s
Where: New York (four locations) and oliveandbettes.com
Spring bestseller: James Perse’s belted tunic.
Retail price: $175
Who’s buying: “[The tunic is] one of these ‘every age’ winners — from teenage girls to their moms,” said Stacey Pecor, owner of Olive & Bette’s.
Why it’s done well: “It’s all about the contrast panel, which makes it a great fit for everybody,” Pecor said. Also, it’s a great way to wear a tunic that isn’t a baby-doll silhouette. The elongated shirt is a more sophisticated take on the tunic trend. It’s also super lightweight and machine washable, and who doesn’t love that?”