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Glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel

Jessica Brown

Holding on to Christmas optimism is the best way to approach next season

The autumn 10 buying season has opened with a real sense of optimism, largely thanks to the better-than-expected Christmas trading period. Both the menswear contingent who managed to beat the snow to get to Pitti Uomo in Florence last week and the streetwear crowd who were headed to Bread & Butter Berlin for an autumn 10 product fix as Drapers went to press, were in a rather different frame of mind to the one of six months ago, when doom and gloom were the watchwords for the season.

That’s not to say buyers are going crazy with budgets. There remains a steely grip on spending, which in this uncertain market is the only sensible path to take, but there is some genuine belief in the trade that autumn 10 could be the season where the light at the end of the recessionary tunnel begins to glimmer. If so, sensible indies will certainly be ready to pounce on short-order collections.

Of course, the outcome of the forthcoming general election - and the winning party’s inevitable tax rises - plus inflationary pressures on interest rates, could have a catastrophic effect on consumer confidence and disposable income later in the year. But holding on to Christmas optimism is by far the best way to approach next season.

While menswear and streetwear trends haven’t shifted dramatically, there are sufficient move-ons and evolutionary looks to renew consumer interest. This week we publish the first of our seasonal specials, exploring autumn 10’s commercial winners for the menswear market. Chunky knits, new plaids and sophisticated navy suits are some of the highlights to look out for.

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