YOUNG CONTEMPORARY: SOFTER TOUCH
Byline: Anne D’Innocenzio
NEW YORK — It should be an ultrafeminine spring and summer for young contemporary firms.
With a range of styles from mesh to ruffles and lace to ethnic prints, makers are relying on new treatments in yarns, new textures, stretch and a rich palette to keep business flowing.
Hemlines vary, from minis to ankle-grazers.
Tripp Inc., will showcase fishnet tops, slip-type dresses and stretch brocade dresses. It will also serve lots of abstract graphic prints, according to Ray M. Goodman, president.
Soda Blu, a knitwear and rayon sportswear firm, will market printed knit dresses and skirts, as well as short skirts in georgettes and printed rayons.
“The newness is in the yarns,” said Laurence Kaplan, president. “We are showing viscose yarns and nylon yarns. The big thing is washability.”
Soda Blu’s knit fashions include leggings as well as cropped and oversized tops.
Stretch continues to be an important basic, he said.
The palette mixes browns with blues, which includes indigo, ink blue and aqua.
XOXO, Los Angeles, is chasing the feminine trend, showing lingerie styles and lots of ruffles. The line also includes floral sheer dresses, as well as sheer tops over sheer dresses, said Della Olsher, marketing director.
“The feminine movement was already happening before ‘Evita’ came out, but I don’t think the movie really helped push the trend at all,” she said.
Taking a different strategy is Urban Outfitters, a wholesaler and retailer, which will be showing merchandise from its Free People, 8 Track, Bulldog, Ecote, Co-Operative and Free People’s men’s line. It is focusing on ethnic looks, including tank tops, shirts and dresses in batik.
It is also offering a “gypsy hippie look” with peasant blouses, which are designed to complement jeans.
Ben & Elle, which is showing fall at WWDMagic, is hoping to spark buyers’ interest with varied fabrics, including fake suede, which is in polyester and spandex, and triacetate polyester, according to Ben Rey, president. Boot-leg pants continue to be strong. And hemlines range from 17 inches, which hit a few inches above the knee, to 24 inches.
As for jackets, Ben & Elle is showing long, belted versions, as well as zip-front styles.
The palette includes dark chocolate, deep orange and eggplant.
Zap, which is bringing summer and early fall merchandise to the show, is counting on iridescent denim shorts and bottoms to generate excitement.
“I think that look will be on fire,” said Larry Zarsky, co-president.
Green, purple and copper are the key colors here.
Zap is also coming out with tie-dyed jeans, pleather tops, jackets and vests, all with fake fur and animal skin.
Onyx America Inc., which will be showing summer and early fall, will continue to offer boot-leg pants in dark washes. It is also counting on knitwear, from cropped sweaters to oversized silhouettes.
“We feel knitwear will continue to be strong through fall,” said Ivana Nonnis Mion, sales and marketing director.
Important colors are royal, sky blue, green, hunter and plum. Some looks will be activewear-inspired.
Onyx caters to the junior and young contemporary customer, but is now expanding its customer base to include the 25-to-35-year-old set, with more constructed looks, like jackets and suited separates.
“There is definitely enough room to go after an older, sophisticated customer,” said Mion. She added that the early fall collection alone includes about 700 pieces.