NEW YORK -- Sportswear manufacturers -- from designer to junior -- say they're facing the official opening of the summer market this week in an energized mood.
Spring bookings at a number of firms have shown at least moderate increases, and vendors who have already moved into summer report orders are up. An increased focus on wear-now merchandising is helping to give the short summer-delivery period more impact.
While white and neutrals are still the big story in designer, silver has added some flash. In the contemporary and junior markets, color and ethnic prints will give the retailer more options. As for hemlines, short is the top trend.
Reflecting the wear-now strategy, the Donna Karan Collection comprises pieces that are "summer necessities," said the company. Cotton poplin, matte jersey and silk taffeta are Karan's fabric choices for summer, which begins booking this week.
Calvin Klein Collection's summer bookings open in about a week, said Susan Sokol, president of Collection. She expects orders to be up about 10 percent over last year.
"The summer season is growing for us, in terms of sales. It's definitely wear-now, wear-to-the-office summer clothes," she said.
Klein ships summer from mid-April through May. After that, Sokol maintains, the designer customer is thinking about her fall wardrobe. Denise Seegal, president of DKNY, said that summer bookings, which are complete, were up about 10 percent over last year, driven by white, navy and silver sportswear looks and activewear pieces for warm-weather wear. Particularly strong sellers were the overall dresses with metal hardware, said Seegal, and the stretch active items, including the long lightweight nylon anoraks.
Andrew Rosen, president of Anne Klein & Co., said that since spring business for Collection was up strongly over last year, he's looking forward to summer "having the same momentum."
He noted that of the firm's two bridge divisions, Anne Klein II's summer business is up just slightly A Line Anne Klein, the more casual division that focuses on items, could see bookings double over last year, he said, because of the importance of items in summer selling.
Tahari's late spring bookings are up substantially over last year, said Tom Murry, president. Its true summer group is shipped in April, said Murry, but a May delivery was added this year, because he felt the company was otherwise missing out on wear-now summer purchases.Following the success of an exclusive resort program for Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, Todd Oldham is doing an exclusive summer-transition collection for the two retailers. Tony Longoria, Oldham's partner, said the group will be in fabrics similar to those used for spring, but in colors that will carry into fall.
Longoria said summer bookings were expected to be up significantly over last year for Times 7, the secondary line, because it is currently retailing well.
Bookings have been healthy through spring for better, contemporary and junior sportswear resources, and these firms are expecting to be busy when the summer market opens this week.
Robert Abajian, senior vice president and sportswear designer at Liz Claiborne, noted that vests and ethnic influences, in prints or embellishments, were strong in spring and will carry through to summer.
"People want to buy something they can mix in with other pieces they already have," he said, "which is good because, if they buy like that, they buy more consistently."
Monica Belag Forman, president of Kenar Studio, a division of Kenar Enterprises, said she's expecting summer to be "a huge shipping period."
"I think the customer wants to buy when the weather is changing," she said.
With new patchwork and paisley prints and a bigger push for short-shorts in the works, a spokeswoman for Guess said the company is expecting bigger orders over last year.
Likewise for junior firm Necessary Objects, said president Ady Gluck-Frankel.
"We're really working with stores and generating volume with outfits, giving [stores] six to eight key pieces," she said.
@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)