A festive cape draped from the shoulders combined with a dress and flashy heels while sipping Glühwein. It’s a scene like before the reality of Zoom Night in the living room, which Macy’s envisioned for a holiday party in 2020.
Natadville, Macy’s Chief Merchandising Officer, said: “We were thinking that outerwear was as bold as a cape.”
Macy’s-owned Bloomingdale’s predicted a “mix of practicality and romanticism” that included puff sleeves, eyelets and maxi dresses, said Dennis Majid, executive vice president of ready-made garments. I am.
The major department stores have a fashion office full of private employees who track new styles, surf social media and stay in touch with designers. Large retailers also typically subscribe to online services that aggregate signals from Google Trends and social media. They work with fashion forecasting agencies such as styluses and WGSN to predict a wider range of consumer habits, along with more detailed details such as seasonal color palettes, textiles and silhouettes. They are all relentlessly tracking their competition.
Much of that work used to be done directly. For example, WGSN provided a city guide to American retail buyers on overseas trips. “If a department store buyer wants to go to Paris, there’s a guide explaining where to go to eat and which stores to look for for different purposes,” said Franceska Muston, vice president of fashion content. Stated. At WGSN. The runway show was also important. At Bloomingdale’s, before the pandemic, “the runway was a big factor in what we expected, because what we saw on the runway would flow into other collections,” Majid said.
Last year everything was virtualized, so Runway showWith the new importance of social media, retailers have rushed into something that smells like a trend, sometimes leveraging Los Angeles-based manufacturers to help with faster timelines.
“Instagram and TikTok have filled that gap. The short lifespan of things will change the dynamics of speed and responsiveness again,” says Magid. She recalled that demand for denim joggers surged overnight in the fourth quarter after a “famous influencer” (who doesn’t say who the retailer is) wore a pair of Rag & Bone on Instagram Story. It was.
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