Last minute market recap

Just before Las Vegas and a bit after the New York shows, here are some of the trends and ideas that caught my eye in the market lately, in no particular order.

Magnetic collar stay entrepreneur and Würkin Stiffs founder Jonathan Boos is officially launching his Polo Stays product to do for polo shirt collars what he did for dress shirts. Boos says he got the idea when he was watching golf. The Polo Stays are a shield-shaped piece of metal that stays on the back of the polo collar through a long-lasting adhesive that’s activated by the heat of an iron. It will last more than 30 wash and dry cycles, he says. He’ll be at MRket LV in booth 496.

At S. Cohen, I liked the chintz finish wool. It’s a process that gives the wool a slick, metallic finish (unlike sharkskin, which is a weave). In stock as a trim fit suit in a range of fabrics for $225 to $275 wholesale. Patrick Chan noted that these shiny treatments are gaining popularity in Europe right now.

Ross Graison confirmed that trend, and offers his own version. His metallic silver (synthetic) one-button jacket with peak lapels and silver-stripe lining retails for around $495.

In a big departure from his usual designs, Graison is showing five-button polo shirts with collar and cuff detailing in primary colors. Retail: $85-$95.

Vintage cufflink specialist Antique Jewel Box is pushing vintage snap links this season. Caroline Finberg says she’s offering stores original ads for “Kum-A-Part” snap links as display pieces. Mother-of-pearl snap links, for example, retail for $225.

I also liked Antique Jewel Box’s vintage fly fishing lures as lapel or hat pins.

When I first saw the bamboo laptop cases from Oregon-based Silva Limited, I thought they were cutting boards. MacBook Pros fit snug in the lined wooden cases ($179), and the two parts are held together by leather straps. A smaller version for the iPad (est. retail $120) is coming soon.

Tomorrow I’ll be talking about what I’m looking for in Las Vegas.

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  1. I like the idea that your shopping the market looking for unique and different ideas to spark the customers. I too just finish two trade shows the Chicago Collective and the IFA (International Formal wear Association) show in Las Vegas. The excitement was that retailers across the country are getting calls for Tie Bars. Even my tuxedo stores are buying them. These are not just regular tie bars. They are 2″ length to fit the narrow ties and are in finishes and styles catering to a younger customer. These young customers don’t know what a tie bar is and what it’s for so the salesman on the floor needs to show and tell or they won’t sell. Other unusual items like skull & crossbones in cufflinks, formal sets, & tie bars add to the excitement & conversation in the store.
    In today’s environment the retailers need for a greater markup is important. You can get that with my line and still be popular priced. $225 for a set of cufflinks is not popular priced in my eyes and I don’t think a 25 year old is going to pop for that too quickly. Take a look on line and see how a retailer can market to a customer who enjoys new and different and needs to look good for night out on the town.

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