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.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion