Buyers Laud New York Fashion Shows
From WWD ISSUE 09/21/2009
NEW YORK ??“ A tricky path between safe and surprising.
That was the fine line designers had to walk during New York Fashion Week ??” and buyers generally gave them a thumbs-up for hitting the mark in a commercial way, even though some criticized the lack of creativity. ???They were trying to push forward without being too challenging,??? said Tiziana Cardini of Italy??™s La Rinascente. ???They have taken risks, but in a very smart way. It was prices. Some store executives said creativity suffered as a result of the strong emphasis on the bottom line. ???Instead of having free rein to design whatever you want, you??™re [constrained,]??? said Kelly Golden of Neapolitan in Chicago. ???It showed in the clothes. Fabrics weren??™t as elaborate or embellished. The season was very commercial.???
Louis Boston??™s Debi Greenberg, agreed, saying, ???I find lowering price points to be a very dangerous territory. Designers were price conscious with some pieces. The fabrics were not as good as they were before due to the pricing. You??™re changing the product.???
Other retailers took a different view. Stephanie Solomon at Bloomingdale??™s said, ???I saw commercial, which to me is not safe, it??™s smart. I saw experimentation and I saw lots of creativity, more than in other years. All designers are focusing on price, but they didn??™t skimp on the beauty of the fabrication and focus of their craft.???
Collections most often mentioned by buyers as standouts included Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Rodarte, Oscar de la Renta, Narciso Rodriguez, Phillip Lim, Tory Burch and Alexander Wang, while several pointed to relative newcomers Prabal Gurung and Joseph Altuzarra.
Retailers found newness in cut-outs and transparencies, shorts, harem pants, color, crisp shirts, ruffled, ruched or tucked dresses, leather and oversize boyfriend shirts. Realizing that a little shoulder pad goes a long way, designers moved away from the aggressive Eighties silhouette to a softer Forties feel.
Here is what the buyers had to say:
Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director at Neiman Marcus: ???I??™m loving all the denim and chambray with denim jackets, skirts and dresses and denim motorcycle jackets, and the amount of color on the runways. Our customers crave color, from shades of blues mixed to greens and a sunset color palette of marigold and terra-cotta mixed with neutrals. It was nice to see the aggressive Eighties girl morph into a softer Forties attitude. I liked the newness of very artistic painterly prints, peep-toe boots under dresses and gymnasium chic with a bit of a nod to Norma Kamali. I??™m also loving anoraks, which will replace the women??™s trench, the shirtwaist dress and crisp men??™s-style shirting. I feel very strongly about shorts, casual and relaxed or worn with a jacket.
???I loved Narciso Rodriguez??™s ability to keep his collection very architectural and still have softness and movement and the sleeveless jackets and beautiful dresses in prints. Also, Donna Karan??™s take on the suit, Proenza Schouler??™s amazing sportif morphed into tribal, Rodarte??™s spectacular pieces, Phillip Lim??™s beautiful dresses, Richard Chai??™s washed leathers in neutrals or faded colors and Marc Jacobs??™ effusive ruffles, great safari jackets and coats.
???The customer is buying things she doesn??™t already have in her wardrobe. She??™s very item driven. Newness is paramount and a price tag that brings a smile to her face is nice. The newness we??™ve seen on the runways in New York will help add to the success we??™re looking for in this challenging economy.???
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Long Wait at H&M… Crazy for Kane…
From WWD ISSUE 09/22/2009
LONG WAIT FOR FAST FASHION: Brooklyn shoppers will have to wait two years for the mega H&M store, which is coming to the Fulton Street Mall in Brooklyn. The 30,000-square-foot, bilevel store is being built from the ground up by developer Albert Laboz of United American Land and was originally slated to open in 2010, but construction delays due to its proximity to a busy subway station is pushing the opening back to fall 2011, said Laboz at a preview for the new Esquire Signature Space in the Soho Mews residential building, another Laboz project. Once it opens in the new glass-sheathed building, H&M will provide a second major anchor, after Macy??™s, to the outdoor pedestrian mall, which draws 100,000 people a day to its 225 stores. H&M will be attached to an historic Beaux Arts building at 505 Fulton Street that Laboz is now marketing to other trendy retailers, with the anticipated exit of the dowdy Conway discount store from the space. ???Taken by itself, Brooklyn is the fourth-largest city in the U.S. and it is very underserved by retailers, and fashion companies are realizing that,??? said Laboz.
CROCODILE ROCK: Christopher Kane fans crowded outside Topshop??™s Oxford Circus flagship in the early hours of Friday to get their hands on the designer??™s latest collection, Christopher Kane for Topshop. The 39-piece clothing and accessories collection is Topshop??™s largest designer collaboration to date, and features sleeveless dresses printed with a giant photo of an open-mouthed crocodile, and embellished knitwear. ???I want a crocodile dress,??? said Janis McNie, 20, who works at Browns in London. ???I prefer the cut of the armholes of the Topshop dress to his mainline version.??? Prices range from 30 pounds, or $49, for a black scarf embellished with crystals, to 150 pounds, or $245, for a black eyelet baby-doll dress. A spokesman for Topshop did not provide first-day sales figures, but said 75 percent of Topshop??™s online sales on Friday came from the new Kane collection.