New York market week presented the savvy retailer with an abundance of merchandising options. A return to basics? Maybe. But through a careful edit of color and style, there’s no reason today’s menswear retailer can’t make a unique statement. As I started putting this blog together and pulling some of my favorite shots from the market, I didn’t realize how much I’d been drawn to a dark red palette, often shown against navy and then played against yellow as an accent color.
You’ll see a quick preview of Tommy Bahama’s new Paradise Tech collection in the Notebook section of our forthcoming February issue, but what was great about the pieces was how easily they’d lend a sportcoat an air of athletic ease. Here’s their take on a classic navy blazer (which, I’m told, is CEO Terry Pillow’s go-to jacket, at $395 retail). Not so different from that of a classic tailored clothing resource, but perhaps a way to quietly move your sportier customer into a more sophisticated look. It was these combinations and then this great story at Borgo Ognissanti 28 that got me started on this tangent.
Cullen’s C/89 collection featured groups in cashmere (suggested retail $225 to $345), wool/cashmere blends ($165 to $295), merino ($110 to $135), cotton/merino blends ($85 to $110) and lamb’s wool/nylon blends ($120 to $155)…all designed to fend off rising prices, but always with the collection’s signature updated classic styling. Whether you want to put together a vintage story, a color block story, a stripe story or even an updated solids story, C89 has the goods. One of my favorite pieces was this sportcoat ($198) with a zipper closure that had motorcycle jacket attitude and peacoat styling.
I’ve said before that I think Western shirts have moved into classic status, right next to oxford button-downs and polos. Every guy should have a few in his wardrobe. Ryan Michael offers this colorful array ($155 retail) that could easily be shown as a group, but try mixing those orange and yellow pieces into an olive and brown military-influenced story. Bring in this Ross Graison jacket ($575) or one of these Bugatchi bags ($185 to $285) for a look that’s military…but won’t make your customer look like he’s planning a coup in his carpool. Layer the blue and purple with understated plaid sportcoats for a casual work story.
At Farah, the fit is contemporary, and the vintage, Fair Isle styling is right on trend, but look at this great, colorful, solid merino program! Again, opportunities to incorporate the collection for powerful color and lifestyle displays are abundant.
Create a turquoise story, as demonstrated with this Wisecracker bag. Window dressing? Sure…but why not? Get their attention, and David Dow will work with you on creating a custom program to fit your needs. Then introduce the more timid customer into this trending color with this George Zaharoff cuff link. Another classic, retro color story I’ve been seeing is garnet, oxblood or cordovan, paired with gold or gray. See these Robin Rotenier cuff links ($495 to $695) for your dressier, French cuff-wearing clothing customer, and then send him out for the weekend with this Raffi sweater ($175) and these 34 Heritage corduroys ($155).