VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS? TRY RHINESTONES INSTEAD. TEENS ARE WISHING FOR SOPHISTICATION UNDER THE TREE.
Byline: Melanie Kletter
Junior firms are preparing to usher in the season with style, and that includes glitz and glamour.
The hottest items for Christmas 2000 will feature metallic tones. Gold has made a strong comeback and is popping up in all manner of apparel and accessories, from denim to hoop earrings. And embellishments such as beads and sequins will add pizzazz to junior sportswear.
At b, the junior division of Bisou Bisou, the holidays are all about glam looks, according to Sean Knight, vice president and merchandiser. The b division launched about a 1 1/2 years ago and is sold in both department stores and specialty stores.
“Holiday is going to be a big season,” said Knight. “We are doing a lot of gold, including gold and silver on denim, and we will have plenty of details and embellishments such as rhinestone and sequins.”
B. Lucid, a new junior sportswear firm, will light up the holidays with its new Pager Lite jacket featuring a patented technology that allows a pager to be seen and not heard. The jacket, made of a high-tech PVC material, has a small area near the wrist where a pager fits in, and when a page is received, the vibration triggers a light strip that flashes along the arm.
“Teens don’t want cell phones anymore,” observed B. Lucid president Steven Zellman. “They prefer pagers because then their parents can’t call them.”
The jacket, which will be sold in the junior area, will first hit stores in September to retail for about $79.
B. Lucid is also offering a wide variety of leather and suede looks, which have so far seen strong bookings. Leather and suede have become a larger trend in the junior arena, and also can be found this fall from DKNY Jeans Juniors, Dollhouse and Rampage. B. Lucid’s leather offerings for fall feature foil treatments as well as various textures.
In addition, for holiday, B. Lucid has a new better junior sportswear line that will make its debut under the label Ophelia and Lulu. The line features fabrics such as basic cotton knits, microfibers and high tech fibers as well as embroidery and details.
Rampage is focusing on “everything glamorous,” said Della Olsher, vice president of marketing and brand management. The junior sportswear company is carrying more sophisticated looks for holiday such as stretch suedes, and suitings are gaining ground, she noted. Pleather is also a key fabric for the firm.
Along with its updated merchandise, Rampage is introducing new visuals to spruce up its point-of-sale presentation.
Star City is expecting a strong season, driven by new glam styles, according to president Robert Klein. Sales for the year are up about 20 percent, so far, at the junior sportswear firm.
“Overall, I am optimistic about the season,” Klein said. “Satin is doing fabulous, and and other items such as stretch suede and studded looks also look to be key.”
“We are doing a ballroom glam look, which includes ballroom skirts with crystal knit tops,” noted Drita Juncaj, Star City designer. “Metallic pleathers, gold python, metallic knits and velvet are some other key items.”
Junior accessory firm Cool Stuff is offering gold jewelry in a variety of categories, including hoops, necklaces and bracelets. Earring styles are trending more toward larger styles such as chandeliers, big hoops and dusters, which fall to the shoulder.
“Juniors want new all the time,” commented Shirley Veldenzer, sales manager at Walter Heimler, which owns the Cool Stuff brand. “We call it five-minute fashion.”
Beaded looks are also key for the holiday season. Beaded bracelets and necklaces, which have been big trends for the last year, are still making waves among the teen set, she noted.
Nameplate necklaces and gift items such as small cosmetic mirrors are other items the firm is banking on for holiday.