By  on February 3, 2009

With references varying from Western fringe to folklore, and textures that flip from short and sheared to rich and lustrous, outerwear vendors are offering plenty of variety to keep economically challenged retailers interested. Producers of coats, capes, jackets, scarves and outerwear accessories at every end of the spectrum are sticking to basic colors of black, beige and navy, but punching up their palettes with of-the-moment colors such as burgundy, plum and berry. Fabrics like suede and pigskin continue to be important for more casual looks, while there appears to still be a market for the high-end chinchillas and minks, rendered in smoky shades of gold and whisky.

“We’re introducing a new jacket with a smooth lambskin yoke and bone beads on top of that,” said Julie Schroeder, sales and marketing manager of 3B West, a maker of outerwear based in Denver. The brand, which is known for its Western-inspired coats and jackets, is offering a more mainstream version, essentially contemporary skin coats with just a hint of cowgirl.

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