Retail Detail. What Are Women Really Buying Right Now?

April 27, 2009 • Fashion


We all know the retail industry is pretty much in the gutter, but women are still buying some things. It's spring and the empress needs new clothes! What is she buying?

WWD took an in-depth look at current Lipstick Effect. This term coined during the
Great Depression means, when the economy tanks, lipstick sales soar. All these years later it's still a great economic indicator. When times are tough we all start looking for a feel-good item that offers a quick and affordable retail fix.

According to some retailers and designers, here are some Lipstick Effect items:

Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director, Neiman Marcus: “The
new lipstick is shoes. Customers have really been responding to
statement shoes including Tory Burch,Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Dior and Lipstick_Effect_2 Yves Saint Laurent. Lipstick is selling. Actually, one of the most popular ones is
the new Guerlain Rouge G, the red lipstick.”

Margaret Brinckerhoff, vice president, general merchandise manager of retail, Donna Karan International:
“We’re doing very well with boyfriend jackets in both lines, DK and
DKNY. The DKNY Cozy has been like our
Lipstick Effect all year round. They range from $160 to $195. It can be
worn a minimum of 12 different ways. It has such versatility.”

Linda Fargo, senior vice president, fashion office and store presentation, Bergdorf Goodman:
“Our clients are definitely reaching for items to either make them
smile, make them feel fierce and sexy or make them feel calm and
comforted. There’s a love affair with shoes, especially if they’re
extraordinary and over-the-top, such as Balmain, Jimmy Choo and Alaïa.
Fringed anything from Phillip Lim. The
secret-agent-worthy Rouge G lipstick from Guerlain.”

Julie Gilhart, senior vice president and fashion director, Barneys New York: “We
have been selling a lot of scarves, bags and shoes. The
interesting thing is they are not classic ‘basics.’ Scarves are ones
with unusual prints and colors. Handbags are like Proenza Schouler’s
PS1 bag
, stylish, functional, not seen everywhere and available in
great colors. Shoes are in special colors like Manolo Blahnik’s
pointed-toe suede pumps in teal. The important idea is to buy quality
and style that will last a long time.”

Liz Rodbell, executive vice president and general merchandise manager, Lord &Lipstick_Effect_3 Taylor:

“The costume jewelry business is really strong. It can add a lot to
someone’s wardrobe, and it’s not a high-entry price point. The other thing that has come out strong is footwear, like
last year’s gladiator but embellished with studs, chains, sequins and

Scott Schramm, senior vice president and general merchandise manager, fashion, Henri Bendel:
“Accessories typically have been recession-proof. We’ve been seeing
amazing results within our Henri Bendel accessory collection. Cocktail
rings — the workmanship is amazing, and you get bang for the buck with
100 pavé crystals on a ring for $78. We can’t keep them in the stores;
they fall in the category of things that make you smile. The best thing happening in apparel right now is in the
T-shirt category, mostly jeweled T-shirts by Young, Fabulous &
Broke. It started during the holiday period, and it just continues to

Jenna Lyons, creative director, J. Crew:

“We’ve seen a huge surge in people buying multiples of jewelry, whether
it be a pickup little cocktail ring or a bunch of pearls to layer
together or a bigger statement piece. Especially with our price points,
it’s an easy buy. We also have one
little T-shirt called the Cupcake T. It’s basically a soft little tank
with all these little funny asymmetrical ruffles all down the front,
and it’s been phenomenal.”

Read "For Retailers, What Is the New Lipstick?"

Source & Photos: WWD

See the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to Retail Detail. What Are Women Really Buying Right Now?

  1. Moody says:

    very interesting

  2. Gretta says:

    I’m still shopping. But only “on sale” items. I just found an incredible pair of Golden Goose boots, 70% off, at Yoox. Vive les boots!

  3. awesome article. I linked you. I like this a lot. Me? I’m rebuilding my closet right now so I think my shopping habits are skewed. But I’m certainly not avoiding spending money. This month alone I’ve done more than my fair share to “stimulate the economy” as I call it 😉

Leave a Reply