Continuing from Elise Diamantini’s retail recap from a couple weeks ago, we asked three more specialty store buyers about what they liked in New York and what they’ll look for in Las Vegas.
Steve Shuck, Stag
What did you see that you liked at the New York shows?
We saw a lot that we liked this round of shows. As Austin weather stays warm (or to be completely honest, hot as hell) for so many months, spring and summer are really important to our business. We saw a lot of great shorts and swim, with more variety than usual in both color and pattern. Swim in particular was a highlight from many brands including Jack Spade, Saturdays, and Burkman Brothers. There was a late 60’s, early 70’s West Coast surf vibe—bright sun-washed colors, florals, stripes—that ran through a lot of the collections that really appealed to us. A new line that we picked up, Faherty Brand, really embodies this point of view.
Also, on the opposite end of the spectrum, we continue to be interested in the movement toward more tailored clothing and suiting. Trim suits with wearable details coupled with a great assortment of furnishings with a more youthful twist make it all feel really fresh. Our guy has really been responding to this direction, and it’s one of our fastest growing categories.
Pick up any other new lines or items?
Aside from Faherty Brand, we’ll also be heading into our first spring season with the brand Alex Mill. Alex Drexler, the designer, makes clothes that are classic, well made, and that guys will own for a really long time. He has a keen focus on the right fit and perfect fabrics and washes. Aside from those, we likely won’t be picking up any new brands for spring 2014. This isn’t because we didn’t see some exciting things happening, but is more a product of our existing partners really coming to the table with amazing, wearable, interesting collections.
What trend are you tired of?
I gotta say that we thought camo was dead and done, but we saw some really cool iterations of it this go ’round. One of our favorite new lines, Grayers developed a cargo pant in yellow, seafoam and orange that turns the whole notion of camo on its head. It looks great. Jack Spade also is doing some interesting things with camo, a fabric that we thought would go into dormancy this season.
Erick DeLeon, Martinpatrick3
What stood out at the New York shows?
I always like the athleticism energy of spring, and of course there’s always more color than in fall. I liked the flower trend continuing in ties and shirts plus some “fun” shorts. Technical pieces always surprise me. Rag & Bone had some that stood out—outerwear with taped seams and a military pant that was very cool.
Are there any trends you can’t get behind?
I saw some pleated pants/shorts try to make their way out—I’m not ready for that…
What are you hoping to find at the next show?
I still want to see freshness from the brands we carry. I’m in Minnesota, and winter defeats us, so my clients need some cheering up!
Kevin Hansen, Badowers
Des Moines, Iowa
What did you see that you liked during market week in New York?
I definitely saw a lot more accessories but I didn’t see a whole lot new—I’m still buying from my usual vendors. I don’t want to blame it on the hot weather but nothing was that exciting.
I want to support and develop the lines we’ve done well with over the last few years, because they’ve supported me. We still do really well with Luigi Bianchi Mantova, and Eton of course—that just keeps growing. Every year I order more and get scared, and then I sell through it. I usually order half up front and half from their stock book in-season.
Are there any trends you’re tired of?
Not that I’m tired of the workwear trend exactly, but I’m investing in lines that will still be here in ten years, like Filson. We’ve expanded our buy with them, and they’re really focused on growing specialty store business.
Do you see any gaps in the market that you want a vendor to fill?
No, I see a lot of too many things! There are too many woven shirt lines. On the other hand, there’s too much consolidation—that worries me too. As mad as people get about their food, with organic, free trade and non-GMO, people don’t think that way about their clothes. If people knew how some of this stuff was made, and that so much is made by so few companies, they might buy differently.