Denim, T-shirt lines and a distinct Los Angeles aesthetic dominated Project New York. As at other trade shows, buyers were optimistic for a retail rebound this year.
“Consumers are feeling more secure, and I think most people know where they stand with their jobs now. That sense of insecurity is lifting a bit,” said Leslie Letellier, men’s buyer at Theodore, which operates nine stores in Los Angeles and Palm Desert, Calif. “Things have definitely started to pick up in our stores. People haven’t shopped for a year, and they are bored with their closets. They need a fix.”
Letellier said she was buying more aggressively in styles she was confident in, but was still buying most categories conservatively. “You can always chase product later,” she rationalized.
One of Letellier’s favorite brands at Project was Arnold Zimberg, a purveyor of brightly colored shirts in special fabrics like gauze laced with Lurex, melding contemporary flair with luxury appeal. While vendors generally were emphasizing lower prices this season, Zimberg was unapologetic about the $150 to $240 retail price tags for his shirts.
“To just chase price is stupid. There are certain stores that will say things like: ‘Don’t show me anything over $185.’ I think those are the ones that will go out of business,” he contended, noting the brand’s best-selling shirt last season was $200. “It’s all about the product.”
At denim maker Rivet De Cru, the sweet spot was $115 to $145 for jeans. “The market is going cleaner,” said Ruben Campos, founder of the brand, which operates under Los Angeles-based manufacturer Denim Artisans. “Sales have been phenomenal so far. Retailers are actually buying for September, and not just immediates, which has been the norm during this recession.”
One of the more eye-catching booths belonged to a new Seoul, South Korea-based brand called Tee Library, which featured book-inspired graphics on T-shirts, which are packaged inside fake tomes. Fans of “Animal Farm,” “Alice in Wonderland” or “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” can sport their literary tastes on their chests, while retailers can acquire a unique merchandising display scheme.
Plaid shirts remain the trend that just won’t die and they were on prominent display at Original Penguin. The Perry Ellis International-owned brand also featured tops with vintage graphics from the brand’s 55-year history, alongside skinny suits and polos fashioned from fine-gauge sweater material. For bargain hunters, the label offered a lower-priced line of basics, including simple polos and wovens which retail from $49 to $79.
@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)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)