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A sense of adventure returns for spring 10

Now the autumn 09 selling season is behind us, it seems there is finally light at the end of the tunnel as the spring 10 collections arrive.

Although buyers are still being relatively cautious and sticking to whatever staple or niche products they have carved out for themselves, for example boyfriend jeans at Republic and skinny-fit styles at Jane Norman, they are beginning to experiment cautiously again by testing out new washes, fabrics and trim. In womenswear, bleach washes and pastel colours will be prevalent for spring 10, incorporating intricate studding and rivet details, while menswear orders show a clear move towards more vintage, distressed washes and light washes with a flash of colour.

As for indies, although times are still relatively tough, most have a much more positive attitude towards the next spring season. The fact most are now buying closer to the season rather than tying up their budgets too early is resulting in them being able to take advantage of more cost-effective deals and test different products, which is the secret of success for smaller stores. It’s variety,
not quantity.

Obviously, the tough retail conditions are not yet completely over, so as a large supplier we at Duty Free Clothing are committed to doing our best to help ease the pressure on customers by providing extra PR for our own brands, such as Damaged Jeans, which help to drive sales for indies, and by ensuring that we use our manufacturing experience to help our larger customers book the styles that are relevant to their customers rather than just following trends.

Those businesses that focus on product and customer service will survive to make it through to 2011, which is set to be a much brighter year.

  • Babar Ahmed is chief executive of denim supplier Duty Free Clothing

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