Retail Detail. Buyers Weigh In on Fashion Week Stats.

September 22, 2009 • Shopping

Proenza-schouler30-1Proenza Schouler Spring 2010

The labels that showcased at this season's Fashion Week had the tricky job of toeing the line between offering up fresh and edgy styles, but with an overall smarter price point. Signs of the recession were already apparent in the organization of the Fashion Week schedule, with many high-end labels opting out of the tents for more affordable options to display their collections. Now that the runways have been rolled up, the next question will be how will the collections fare with retailers and other buying agencies.

So far, many buyers from luxury retailers have given a collective cheer to the balance designers found in portraying seasonal style without too much sacrifice. “I saw commercial, which to me is not safe, it’s smart," said Stephanie Solomon at Bloomingdale’s. "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.” Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director at Neiman Marcus reveled in the runway's new look, stating, “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.”

Despite a majority led by satisfied buyers, there were some who thought  creativity suffered as a result. “Instead of having free rein to design whatever you want, you’re [constrained,]” said Kelly Golden of Chicago's Neopolitan. “It showed in the clothes. Fabrics weren’t as elaborate or embellished. The season was very commercial.” Debi Greenberg of Louis Boston agreed with Golden's sentiment, 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.”

But like it or lump it, all retailers present found something to rave about from the eight day lineup of New York shows. Styles that were mostly agreed upon as noteworthy included the modern elements of cut-outs and transparencies, shorts, harem pants, color, crisp shirts, ruffled, ruched or tucked dresses, leather and oversize boyfriend shirts. Designers most mentioned on both sides of the field included staples Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Rodarte, Oscar de la Renta, Narciso Rodriguez, Phillip Lim, Tory Burch and Alexander Wang, and newcomers Prabal Gurung and Joseph Altuzarra.

Article and Photo Source: WWD
-Alia Rajput

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One Response to Retail Detail. Buyers Weigh In on Fashion Week Stats.

  1. Susan McNeill says:

    The styles I’ve seen are so very wearable — designers are really showing good sense AND great design.

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