Our panel reveals the key styles that will get the festive tills ringing, and why a white Christmas is the stuff of nightmares
Andrew Moore Managing director, George at Asda
The good thing about Christmas is that it will always happen - you can’t say the same about the summer. I think Christmas will be about practical gifting. From a clothing perspective, knitwear will be key for both men and women, with socks and underwear popular for men, too.
The sense of richness in colour will continue from autumn 11 into Christmas and, because minimalism has been around for a
few seasons now, I think people will be looking for something more decorative than in previous years. Having said that, they’ll also be looking for versatility and value - something you can dress up or down. We’ve had two horrible winters when it’s been so cold that maybe women haven’t wanted to buy that little dress, so [hopefully] this winter they’ll want to invest in something beautiful. Dresses will continue to be important when it comes to the party season; I think you have to be very ‘fashion forward’ to pull off a tuxedo or jumpsuit.
Maurice Bennett Chairman, Kookaï UK, Long Tall Sally and Austique
Christmas is becoming less and less relevant and [the impact of the party season on Christmas sales] is very substantially reduced because times are tough and businesses are cutting down on Christmas parties. Plus, people have [spread out their special events] throughout the year - at one time the party season, with glittery clothing and company balls, was a big time for retailers but not now. Every year, Christmas gets shorter, with retailers getting product out earlier.
Donna Ida Owner, Donna Ida
Leather is going to be huge for Christmas and is a worthwhile investment - all the big denim companies are getting into the trend. We always notice strong, steady spending right up until Christmas. We’re seeing more and more tourists too, which always helps.
Managing the spring 12 deliveries, which start landing in early December, is a challenge as the suppliers want to deliver early but customers just don’t have their head into the season until after Christmas. I’m always optimistic about Christmas,
but I have to say I wouldn’t like to see early snow again this year. No snow until after Christmas please…
Janine Dewey Owner, O’Keefe in Esher, Surrey
We’ve bought heavily into sheepskin and faux-fur jackets from Oakwood, LTB and Stella Forest as well as chunky knitwear from Day Birger, Part Two, Twenty8Twelve and Something Else among others. The frock/chunky cardigan/boots combination should be big. We’re stocking Barbour from autumn 11 - this will be a popular addition.
Jonny Hewlett Managing director, Diesel
We’ll work on tailoring and cleaning up the look and design of our collections, focusing on key garments, like shirting and jackets, to showcase interesting fabric combinations and adornments. We’ll keep a sharp aesthetic.