No, global consumption has not completely dried up.
Sometimes it seems that way, given the spate of recent bankruptcies, store closings, dire quarterly sales reports and diminishing mall traffic. Women’s retailers have been struggling, with few exceptions, and now they’re hoping for some pickup with pre-fall which just arrived and fall fashion goods which generally start to filter onto the selling floors next month.
To bring a bit of cheer to an otherwise downer of a fashion season, WWD contacted stores around the world and asked, “If you had to pick one very best-selling item, what would it be?” The response was fast, and some retailers fervidly provided more than one bestseller for the spring and summer season. Here, a list of hot items at retail — just one per store to be fair — and to show that it’s not all bad out there.
1. I.T, Hong Kong fashion retailer
Izzue drawstring sweater, priced at 659 Hong Kong dollars, described by Izzue chief designer Christy Fong as having “a comfy quality but with a somewhat fitted silhouette, [making it] easy to wear in different occasions.”
2. On Pedder, Asian footwear and accessories retailer
Balenciaga speed sock sneakers, priced at 4,200 Hong Kong dollars, described by Alberto Oliveros, general merchandise manager, as balancing :a slim avant-garde aesthetic with an extremely breathable and lightweight fit.”
3. Kapok, an independent retailer in Hong Kong and Singapore
Beton Ciré Miki hat, priced at 690 Hong Kong dollars, described by Arnault Castel, Kapok owner, as “an updated version of a traditional sailor hat frequently worn by French fishermen and commandos, halfway between a bonnet and a cap, halfway between a very traditional hat and a streetwear cap.
4. Guess Inc., the contemporary brand
Off-the-shoulder Rhett top, priced $59, considered representative of the core Guess DNA by being a sexy staple and at the same time trend-right.
5. Forever 21, the fast-fashion chain
A compact facial highlighter featuring a multicolored rainbow palette, priced $5.90, described by Linda Chang, vice president of merchandising, as all about individual style.
6. Oak + Fort, the Canada-based North American specialty chain
The wide-leg cotton jumpsuit 1216, with spaghetti strap, front pockets and drop-arm holes, priced $68, and described as “a chic alternative to the conventional dress and a good layering piece with T-shirts, cardigans and sneakers.
7. Revolve, the California-based fashion retailer
“Lovers + friends world traveler” dress, priced $188, described by Lauren Yerkes, vice president of buying as a whimsical, off-the-shoulder look that makes for a great summer dress.
8. Lands’ End, the Dodgeville, Wisc.-based retailer
The beach living underwire square-neck tankini, price starts at $59, available in non-control or tummy control, with square neckline for “flattering coverage,” support underwire bra, removable soft cups, sun protection.
9. Nordstrom, the Seattle-based department store
“The Transport’ Leather Tote by Madewell, priced $168, with two ways to carry — top handles or detachable shoulder strap, an exterior pocket and interior zip pocket, made in semi vegetable-tanned leather with worn waxed finish that deepens into a distinctive patina.
10. Bergdorf Goodman, the Manhattan luxury emporium
From Patricia Field, a black cape, priced $1,250, hand-printed repeatedly with the phrase “She’s the Boss,” and sold at the Linda’s at Bergdorf Goodman shop.
11. Selfridges, the U.K. department store
Chloé Nile bag, priced 965 pounds, described by Josie Gardener, designer accessories buying manager, as “our fastest-selling mini bag for spring” with a signature brass gold circular metal handle that can be worn as a bracelet, a curved shape and discrete strip of studded leather as an equestrian nod.
12. Harvey Nichols, the U.K.-based department store
Monse sequined dress, priced 5,990 pounds, and described by Anita Barr, group fashion buying director, as the most sought after item in a brand that has become extremely popular with our customers.
13. Liberty London, the London emporium
Alice McCall tiered lace dress, priced 390 pounds, described by Alexandra Gordon, women’s wear buyer, as the ultimate day dress that reflects the brand’s “playful sensibility and charming craftsmanship.”
14. The Outnet, Net-a-porter’s online fashion outlet
The Gutsul belted embroidered linen minidress, priced $446, by New York-based March 11 by Ukrainian stylist Robert Mishchenko, had a huge sell-through with several styles selling out globally.
15. Gap, the San Francisco-based global specialty chain
Gap brand’s women’s “sculpt true skinny jean,” priced $99, gives contour and support and is cut skinny through the hip and thigh. “Our customers have told us they love the stretch, comfort and how sculpt jeans keep their shape all day long,” said a Gap representative.
16. Kirna Zabête, the upscale fashion specialty chain
La Double J printed shiftdress, priced $575, is “superhot” with its Sixties Farfalle pattern, according to Beth Buccini, Kirna Zabête owner.