LOS ANGELES — When it comes to the blue waters, brown seems to be the new black.
Swim retailers and manufacturers at ASR Trade Expo believe that chocolate and its sister shades will bring in plenty of green next spring, but are puzzled by its popularity.
From solids with natural novelty trims to prints accented with pink or blue, chocolate dominated much of the business at the 85 swim vendor booths. While Becca and Esprit showed new ways to wear brown with batik prints and crochet items, Billabong and L Space showed more sophisticated graphics.
"Chocolate brown is nice to see for a change, as are camel and orange," said Cindy Scott, owner of Sundance Sports in Stockton, Calif., who visited Becca, Raisins and Roxy on day one. "We cut back last year. But winter was big and we’ve had a good summer, so we’ve increased our open-to-buy. I think everyone’s back and ready to go."
At Girl Star, Amanda Moore of Rincon Designs, a Carpenteria, Calif., store, said she was "looking for suits that are flattering yet simple and don’t draw attention to the hips or butt with too much fabric." She said Girl Star’s slider tops and bottoms with pearlized beads fit the bill.
Over at Billabong’s booth, buyers filed in to grab seats for the fashion show.
"I’m starting to see interest for solids with beads," said Cheryl Weg, owner of Sportsworld in Lynden, Wash., nodding toward a tan suede and turquoise number heading down the runway. "Brown also seems big, but I think it’s just starting up."
Raisins marketing manager Kelly Ellingson was surprised that buyers reacted so strongly to solids because prints typically drive the business.
"They’ve been loving pastels, and of course, brown," she said.
Ditto at Manhattan Beachwear, where sales manager Lisa Keen said, "hippie brown and anything natural is trending in the Hot Kiss line."
Other key trends included more embellishment and novelty, now in the form of isolated embroidery on one triangle cup or the back of a bikini bottom; beaded string bottoms and side-ties; wooden rings and beads, and Swarovski crystal clusters dangling off side-ties or halter closures.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)