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The Shape Of Things To Come

Fresh and sexy silhouettes are driving the spring resort market.<br><br><br><br>What trends will consumers really wear? Swim, resort and sport vendors are doing their best to find out.<br><br>The consensus in these markets is that women want classic...

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Fresh and sexy silhouettes are driving the spring resort market.

What trends will consumers really wear? Swim, resort and sport vendors are doing their best to find out.

The consensus in these markets is that women want classic fashion items that aren’t boring, a sexy, semicontoured silhouette with a forgiving fit and colorful prints that are trendy without being too splashy.

Nicowa, a resort-driven sportswear collection owned by The Triangulum Fashion Group Ltd. in Toronto, said its market research shows the resort shopper is still captivated by artisan-like detailing on romantic folkloric styles, ethnic references such as paisleys, hippie-esque beading and fringe and active detailing such as zippers, fasteners and ties.

In business for three years, Nicowa wholesales from $45 for a top to $250 for a pants or skirt ensemble.

Resort’s low-key but luxe approach will include sophisticated fabrics such as sheer linen, silk and lace and a tonal white color palette shot through with hints of pink, turquoise, blue and orange, said Gino Tomaro, a principal at Triangulum.

Women love rich detailing, he added, and said spring’s fashion extras will include macramé work on skirts, pants and tops and paillettes and glass beads on after-five styles.

Weekend Traffic, a contemporary resort and sport apparel firm based in Tustin, Calif., will highlight subtle embellishment, conversational prints and silhouettes such as the sheath are destined to lead the marketplace for spring, said Diane Knight, West Coast sales manager.

“Women like embellishment because it’s fun and conversational and takes a style beyond being basic. And conversational prints are always important for spring,’’ said Knight. “New silhouettes such as the sheath and body-conscious tops with cut-out necklines will provide a new reason to buy. ’’

Weekend Traffic has been in business 20 years and produces resort and activewear under four other labels, as well: Line Two, a misses’ brand, Line Up, a golf apparel line and Weekend Clothes Line, a moderate brand.

Wholesale prices are $27 for capri pants to $34 for dresses.

Linen sportswear, vintage wash denim, tropical bright colors and a medley of prints, from animal to Americana, are destined to be top spring trends, said Sandra Taylor, owner and designer at By Taylor, a classic-driven sportswear company based in Los Angeles.

This story first appeared in the August 12, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“Linen has such a luxury connotation. It’s not something you’re going to find at Target,’’ said Taylor. “Even though there can be issues with wrinkles, women feel dressed up and chic in linen. I think it’s a fresh approach to resort and I think it’s going to be making a big comeback.’’

Taylor said vintage-wash denim is destined to stay strong because of its retro appeal. “As for bright colors, they make women feel good.’’

By Taylor, in business 10 years, wholesales for $15 for simple jersey tops to $40 for a jacket.

Naturally dyed cotton sportswear and dresses continue to gain momentum in the resort and sport markets as women become more environmentally aware, said Martha Hunter, national sales manager at Earth Creations in Bessemer, Ala.

The company, in business five years, is capitalizing on the trend and uses natural substances such as clay, moss, mud and other organic substances to dye its garments, which are nearly all cotton, linen or hemp.

“Wearing earth-friendly apparel helps women to feel more environmentally conscious. Women are more aware than ever of what types of fabrics and dye processes are used,’’ said Hunter.

At EarthCreations and its new sibling contemporary resort label, called Keyna V, wholesale prices are $10 for a tank top to $39 for a dress.

Soussan International, a fashion jewelry, belt and handbag firm based in Pelham, N.Y., has seen a lot of trends come and go during its 24 years in business.

“But putting an unusual spin on classic shapes has always been strong, and I believe it will be next spring, too,’’ said Aviv Soussan, owner.

“Our target consumers continue to love silver or gold metal mixed with beautiful leather, semiprecious stones such as turquoise, unusual beads and trims such as ancient coins and wood. This multicultural approach to accessories will certainly be prevalent for spring.

“Shapes will include Sixties skinny belts, Seventies-style wider belts with fringe, simple pendants strung on a leather rope and geometric-style handbags that take references from other cultures, such as our fez-shaped handbag,’’ he said.

Wholesale prices at Soussan International are $14 for a simple pair of earrings to $32 for a belt or handbag.

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