LOS ANGELES — After seasons of playing it safe, buyers at the recent Los Angeles market reported they were devoting more of their budget to new lines and unique merchandise to put consumers in a shopping mood.
At the four-day market, retailers — ranging from Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom, Belk and Dillard’s to Kitson, Diane Merrick and Boulmiche — visited the showrooms housed in the California Market Center, New Mart and Cooper Design Space to shop summer and pre-fall collections. The market also featured the trade shows Designers & Agents and Focus, as well as a new entry called Select, which took over the California Market Center venue vacated last year by New York-based Brighte Companies. Store owners and buyers largely described business as decent or good during the holiday season and early 2011, but sales improvement didn’t translate into an ordering surge.
“We are planning for pretty flat, although this year we had [sales] increases,” said Rosalie Rosenberg, owner of and buyer for Bodhi Bazaar, a contemporary women’s store in Santa Fe, N.M., of her ordering strategy. “We don’t approach it in an anxious way.”
While manufacturers have been discussing cost pressures that could lead to wholesale price increases, most retailers didn’t think prices in stores would shift much. “I didn’t really notice,” said Tia Kurtz, owner of women’s clothing boutique Cottons in La Conner, Wash., when asked about an elevation of wholesale prices. “It doesn’t seem like things have changed dramatically.”
Cindy Garret said she was searching for moderately priced merchandise for a yet-to-be named women’s sportswear store she is opening in Walnut Creek, Calif., that would “offset the only choice being department stores.” Rosenberg was disheartened by a dearth of newness. “There seems to be a paralysis of creativity,” she said.
Among the trends that emerged at the market, retailers gravitated toward easy-to-throw-on tunics and dresses, handcrafted details such as embroidery and a vibrant orange hue.
Retail prices of easy silk separates and dresses were capped at $238 by 71 Stanton, a new Los Angeles line launching for pre-fall. A silk chiffon halter dresses printed with gold foil dots was a popular style among the 25 pieces featuring mixed media.
Los Angeles’ Ai For Ai attracted buyers with its $270 silk bat-wing blouse trimmed with pleats in the back. Magaschoni interpreted the maxiskirt trend in a $234 version made of lightweight wool printed with abstract graphics in black and cream.
Lucky Brand, based in Vernon, Calif., offered a tan linen tunic with an orange and cream embroidered neck for $99 at retail. KAS New York printed orange feathers on a $118 cotton voile tunic. Los Angeles’ G-One did well with $128 rip-stop shorts in orange. Geren Ford, also based in Los Angeles, epitomized pre-fall whimsy with a $299 pumpkin-colored silk dress adorned with an abstract print on the shoulders.
Letarte by Lisa Cabrinha displayed handmade pieces such as $238 white embroidered eyelet dresses tied at the neck with rawhide leather.
“If they understand it’s handmade, they’ll pay for it,” said Letarte sales representative Darcy Stegner. “It’s like each piece is one of a kind.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty