Contemporary’s Spring Winners

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.

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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?”

Bergdorf Goodman

Where: New York and bergdorfgoodman.com. Spring bestseller: Alice + Olivia’s striped sequined T-shirt.

Retail price:

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.”

Henri Bendel

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.

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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?”

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