The ENK Vegas checklist included value pricing, immediate deliveries and fashion differentiation.
Those concerns made 7 Diamonds a key stop with buyers, as it offered 400 styles of fashion-heavy shirts at wholesale prices of $42 to $45 — with everything in the booth available for immediate delivery.
“We are all about immediates,” said David Dagnino, an account executive with the Tustin, Calif.-based firm, which sells to Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Metropark, among other retailers. “We have the inventory now and the trends now.”
Short sleeves were a key category, as they were strong sellers for the brand over the summer, Dagnino said. The tops-oriented company also added leather jackets ($145 at wholesale) and puffer jackets ($54) to its collections.
Mike Zack, owner of Circa 2000 in Plano, Tex., was among the fans of 7 Diamonds, and he also liked the T-shirts from Wet Cement and leather jackets from Lot 89. However, Zack was frustrated by a lack of direction in bottoms. “Everybody has so much denim, but then what?” he said.
Wally Naymon, owner of upscale boutique Kilgore Trout in Cleveland, was shopping the vintage cardigans and silk-cotton V-necks at Crossley, with Fred Perry also on his list.
Although business continues to be tough, Naymon said, “People’s moods are improving. They know the world is not going to end and there’s finally been some good news. That attitude means they’re ready to be challenged by great product.”
Since Pierre-Henri Mattout took the creative helm of Victorinox, the brand has become more technical and more fashionable. Both directions were on display at ENK, where retailers had their choice of 138 brands at the Lafite Ballroom in the Wynn Hotel, up from 84 last season. Buyers approved of Victorinox’s ripstop quilted jackets, stretch plaid shorts, neoprene waist swim trunks and soft Cocona polo shirts. U.S. sales director Paul Delaware said the brand’s prices dropped on average 25 percent for this season, noting that a waterproof jacket with laser-cut details, once $500, now retails for $285.
Denim made a strong showing, with brands such as Hudson and J. Brand taking prominent booths. At Hudson, black resin finishes and white denim were key trends for spring. “A majority of our business is clean finishes, but some extreme washes are doing well,” said Mark Tourgeman, national sales manager at the Los Angeles-based brand.
Almost 70 percent of men’s denim sales at Hudson are in 2 percent stretch denim, signifying that guys have embraced the comfort factor of the material. Tourgeman added that lightweight 9.5-oz. denim was popular with men’s buyers.
At Agave, founder and designer Jeff Shafer showcased two new subcollections: Agave Silver and Agave Gold. The former is Shafer’s foray into a younger, more contemporary product, with slimmer legs and lower rises. The Silver-label jeans feature cleaner stitching and denim blended with rayon for an ultrasoft hand feel. The line is priced about 15 percent higher than the core Agave line, with jeans retailing for about $225.
The Gold range sells for about the same price, even though it uses more expensive Japanese selvedge denim.
“We actually sell it at an artificially low price — it just about covers our expenses,” Shafer said. “I wanted to be able to offer the very best denim product to our customers, which I think will help make them brand-loyal.”
Mario Bisio, owner of the upscale Mario’s stores in Seattle and Portland, Ore., said he postponed buying denim and denim-friendly sportswear until he could attend ENK Vegas.
“The customer is still coming in the door, but they want new and fresh merchandise,” he said. “But as retailers, we have to be relatively conservative — with lower open-to-buys, everything counts.”
New York-based Number:Lab offered a sophisticated take on activewear, with Dri-Fit panels on T-shirts and nylon shorts. Founded in 2004 by a former architect, Luis Fernandez, the collection encompassed both loungewear and sportswear in soft pima cotton in pop colors and lots of breathable paneling.
American Colors by Alex Lehr featured gauzy wovens, often double-faced and plaid, which were popular throughout the shows in Vegas. Graphic T-shirts were also a key item, with vendors presenting modern takes that were lightweight and translucent, in either solids or allover prints.
Jason Laurits, founder and designer of graphic T-shirt line Paste, described his line as a recession garment. “They are affordable, we can deliver in weeks and there is nothing corporate about them,” he said in reference to the line’s allover floral print.
Many vendors championed their own brand of democratic style, including newcomer Company of We, whose product included pleated shorts retailing for $118; cropped sweatpants, $114, and a double-breasted sport coat with knit cuffs, $259.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye