Mainstream brands delivered plenty of colour and print at Birmingham’s NEC.
Quirky dresses and knits are the name of the game at James Lakeland, for which a neon floral-print wrap and a distressed cream knitted jumper are among the bestsellers. Another favourite is this lined stretch-viscose top with sequin detail (£34).
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Its beach-ready, relaxed aesthetic drew buyers to Adini’s busy stand. This silvery white tunic (right) in a Seychelles weave print is selling well for spring 15, wholesaling at £16.75. It is available in sizes XS to L3 (or 22) - Adini says larger sizes are becoming ever more popular, so much so that it is considering developing a plus-size range. For the time being, it is drip-feeding bigger sizes into its mainline to satisfy demand. There are 19 styles in a size L3 for spring 15, up from about 15 last year. Linen styles have also boomed for the brand.
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Despite continuing caution in putting down heavy orders, menswear buyers are looking for better products at slightly higher price points, said Donald Finlay, commercial director of Douglas. A popular direction is this enzyme-washed, peach-finish cotton jacket (£55) in a bright shade and the shirt in multicoloured check with indigo trim on the collar (£21.95).
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Over the past year, Pomodoro has expanded into casualwear - and sell-through has been very good as buyers seek more versatile clothing. However, dresses are still its core business. For spring 15, wholesale customers have also been honing in on colour and prints, with the strong tropical print on Pomodoro’s shift dress (£30) and meadow-print dress (£26, with a pink cropped jacket at £20) proving popular. About 20% of its range is made in
the UK, including these early bestsellers, and Pomodoro is keen to increase that figure in the future.
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Colour is strong at Barker this season, with suede and leather mix brogues in blue, and navy and red colourways a favourite with buyers (£88) at Moda. Coloured stitching and soles, punch-hole details and laser-cut patterns were also popular. The brand also debuted its new ‘gum technology’ for men’s and women’s, featuring a brightly coloured sole made from recycled chewing gum (£95).
This £55 viscose, acrylic and cotton two-piece set caught the eye of many a buyer at Moda with its complementary colours, sequined panels and metallic yarn adding up to “a strong point of difference”, said Michael Black, co-owner of Latte. It was styled with a chunky glass necklace, which like the collection is made in Italy, and wholesales at £22, and white trousers (£30), all of which attracted buyers who were hunting for garments with a good style-price-value ratio.
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Sales of waistcoats have increased by 100% for Skopes over the past 12 months and are firmly in demand from its in-stock programme. Director Nick McGlynn points to the increased popularity of three-piece suits for weddings, prom dressing and other occasions requiring a statement outfit. Options for spring 15 include vests with or without revers and jackets with one or two buttons. The one-button option is a slimmer fashion cut, the two-button is a fuller, more mainstream block. Wholesale prices start at £65 for three-piece suits in poly-viscose and rise to £100 for a three-piece in pure new wool.
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Complementing its traditional tie stand at Moda Gent, North Yorkshire-based Knightsbridge had a second stand in the directional Select area, showing its quirkier dandy-and mod-inspired ranges. Director Darren Farrell likes to take a fabric, such as tweed, velvet or printed silk, and produce a scarf, tie, bow tie and pocket square from it. Ties vary from 5.5cm to 8cm wide. Cravats are increasingly popular, and silk-cotton neckerchiefs (£8.50) are a new addition to the range.
Maddox Street London
For its sixth season, the most directional brand in the Gabicci stable showed a riot of mixed colours and patterns for spring 15 and declared itself very satisfied with the reaction from Moda Gent buyers. Jackets (£75) in 88/12 cotton-acrylic cloth, either in coloured birdseye designs or punchy checks, sat next to a showstopper of a cotton jacket (£75) in a puppytooth check overprinted with a floral design on a navy ground (above). Liberty fabric shirts (£36) and pocket squares (£4.50) completed the dandy look.
The Masai Clothing Company
Masai has introduced slimmer silhouettes to its otherwise typically relaxed-fit range, including this printed three-quarter length sleeved tunic, which wholesales at £24.90. It is paired here with a style of striped stretch cotton cropped trousers called the Padana and Awide crinkle-finish scarf, at £36.90 and £15.90 respectively. To keep its collection fresh, Masai has introduced jeans for the new season, at about the £30 mark. The long waistcoat (£32.90) is another popular new style.
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Nautical footwear brand Chatham has introduced an updated version of its popular women’s boat shoes in soft leather and pastel colours (£37.10). Its deck shoe range has also been expanded, with a distressed kudu leather version of the shoe (£39.60) proving popular with buyers. Chatham also unveiled its new performance footwear shoe, Aqua Tech, which has an inbuilt drainage system and a fast-drying mesh which allows customers to wear it in the water (£37).