NEW YORK — The Sixties, from Wilma Flintstone hair to silver go-go boots and micro miniskirts, are set for a rerun next fall — and that’s keeping legwear vendors on their toes. After all, who really wants to brave the cold with bare...
NEW YORK — The Sixties, from Wilma Flintstone hair to silver go-go boots and micro miniskirts, are set for a rerun next fall — and that’s keeping legwear vendors on their toes. After all, who really wants to brave the cold with bare legs and sandals when miniskirts and boots are de rigueur?
To that end, many firms are stepping up their assortment of knee-highs, novelty fashion socks and textured tights for this week’s fall legwear market.
Jordan Lipson, president and chief executive officer of American Essentials, which manufactures the licensed Lulu Guinness, Lucky Brand and CK Calvin Klein lines, said he’s looking forward to fall, "since it is very much a legwear season."
Fall accounts for about 70 percent of the overall legwear sector sales of $3 billion.
"Women are wearing socks not just as a fashion statement, but also as a day-in, day-out part of their wardrobe," Lipson said. "Fashion legwear is definitely happening."
Among the key legwear trends being shown for fall are:
Knee-highs in novelty prints and yarns.
Fine and rugby stripes.
Tapestry and floral motifs over men’s wear prints.
Nordic holiday prints like snowflakes.
Chunkier textures and sweater details.
Luxury fibers like angora and cashmere.
"Stripes are very important for fall," said Tony Taylor, creative director at Look From London. "The whole Sixties influence will carry over in darker colors and stripes are part of the whole Mod scene."
Donna Waxman, U.S. agent for Fogal of Switzerland, said she expects a return to heavier textures.
"Furs are coming back on the runway with so much strength," she noted. "So for fall, we are looking to do a lot of heavier looks as far as crochet styles."
Royce Hosiery Mills, which manufactures the licensed Nine West and Dockers legwear lines, is homing in on over-the-knee socks for fall, which will be available at Nine West at three for $15.
"A major fashion statement can be made in that category, with new heavyweight textures as well as patterns," said Pat McNellis, president of women’s brands.In addition, the company will offer luxury socks in angora and chenille, and luxury wool anklets and knee socks for $8 a pair.
"It is extremely important to focus the price points within each classification so that a stronger story can be told at retail," said McNellis. "It makes it easier for the customer to shop."
The Hot Sox Co. which manufactures the Hot Sox and Ralph Lauren lines, will be launching a new pricing strategy by splitting its Hot Sox offering into black and silver labels.
The silver label will be available at retail at three for $12 for basics, and three for $15 for novelty socks, from anklets and knee-highs to tubes and footliners. The black label will offer single pairs at $7.50 to $25, and feature handknitted socks and boot toppers, with embroidery and appliqué, as well as luxury fibers such as mohair, angora and cashmere.
"We hadn’t really addressed the ‘three-for’ pricing strategy, which is so prevalent in the marketplace today," said Gary Wolkowitz, president.
As for trends, Wolkowitz pointed to vintage looks with geometric prints and florals in colors like brown, sky blue and peach. In addition, Hot Sox will present a group of socks that appear dissembled and stitched back together.
"It’s all about these unexpected combinations that would not work together but blend beautifully," said Wolkowitz.
ETC, meanwhile, will be presenting colorblocks, dots and dashes and fleur-de-lis patterns for fall.
"There’s some open-to-buy, but it’s mostly for immediates," said Robert Sussman, president. "Stores are going to look at fall, but they’re still buying spring and looking for quick deliveries."
At Soxland, key trends include knee socks, bright colors and slipper socks that are "warm and cozy," said Susan Reese, vice president of sales.
"This is the big fall push for us, and we are also showing Christmas and Halloween," she said. "Halloween has become a more important season. It’s a growing part of the business for us. Many people love Halloween socks."
Reese predicts fall bookings will be strong, since legwear has been a solid performer in recent months."Winter is still fresh in everyone’s mind," she said. "Wet feet and all the snow has been good for business. People layer socks over tights. Also, boots will be popular again."
Ozone Design, meanwhile, is focusing on over-the-knee silhouettes in such luxury fibers as angora with stripes, florals and Peruvian-inspired folkloric designs.
"The novelty for me is knee-highs and over-the-knees," said Laurie Mallet, president and chief executive officer of Ozone Design. "The whole idea is people are going to work in boots and short skirts, and the socks have to go with this look."
"It’s a lot about comfort and feeling good," said Lipson at American Essentials. "It’s about that special hand, which can be achieved with beautiful microfibers…and, of course, anything in the category of luxe, such as cashmere-angora blends."
For its licensed Lulu Guinness collection, patterns range from the quirky designer’s signature crests to little dog embroideries and Tyrolean sweater influences. For Lucky Brand, the company is offering toe socks with each toe in a different color, topped off by a smiley face for the big toe, alongside angora socks with snowflake motifs and signs for peace, love and happiness.
"With everything going on in the world, we’re making a fashion and a political statement," Lipson said. "If you can do that, why not?
"There has to be a reason for the consumer to buy it. Space is tight today and our feeling is that with the novelty aspect of the business, the focus is to achieve as high a sell-through rate as possible."
The CK Calvin Klein line is venturing into trouser socks for the first time to complement the existing CK sock business. There will be a total of 10 styles, including basic nylon socks and Tactel looks. CK trouser socks will wholesale for $3.60 a unit.
For fall, American Essentials increased its fashion assortment by 50 percent over last year, to now account for about 40 percent of total sales. The company is also stepping up its assortment of over-the-knees and knee-highs, which will represent 25 percent of the business this market."Our feeling is the timing is right," said Lipson. "The consumer is looking for fashion, for a new accessory."
This market, Etienne Aigner is presenting its foray into legwear with a collection of socks and select pantyhose. The line was manufactured in a licensing deal with Hickory, N.C.-based Paul Lavitt Mills Inc.
"Socks are a natural thing, since one of our strongest businesses still is footwear," said Wendy Hessen, vice president of licensing and marketing at the Aigner Group. "It’s been long overdue, and while we are certainly realistic about the challenges in the legwear market, I think we have something fun to offer and a name that consumers are familiar with."
Aigner’s hosiery collection features various textures, including woven looks, graphic floral patterns, chunky argyles and some sweater-inspired styles with a roll top. Wholesale prices range from $2.25 to $3 for socks, and roughly $2.50 to $4 for hosiery.
The Etienne Aigner legwear collection targets a distribution similar to its handbags and shoes, which are sold at department stores such as Macy’s and Lord & Taylor. First-year wholesale sales are projected at about $750,000.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty