We asked womenswear agents to reveal the brands and trends buyers have been snapping up for spring 14.
Rainbowwave Showrooms - Maria Lemos, founder
This season we saw an even bigger shift towards pre-collections. Early deliveries are key to sales. Buyers are looking at safe bets such as J Brand, where new technology and great fit are driving the brand. The more trend-led J Brand ready-to-wear collection was also a winner - the on-trend neoprene, hot pink colour theme and transparencies were the most popular. Ostwald Helgason was also a strong collection in our higher-priced advanced contemporary offer - sweatshirts, fun prints and a youthful element combined with a good price point.
Brand National - Kam Harris, partner
Pre-collections and high-summer ranges are growing in significance for early sales and injecting newness. The simplicity of Twist & Tango’s collection combined with the attractive margin and entry price point have driven its success in premium indies. Superdry continues to perform exceptionally within department stores and the young independent sector. Continuing its 100-year success, the printed bomber jackets and leathers from Schott NYC had a great reaction.
Claret Showroom - Claire Spencer-Churchill, director
Taking into consideration the recent erratic weather, the brands that excelled during spring 14 buying appointments were the ones with a major point of difference. It seems impossible to predict what we are going to need so buyers want to offer what the customer will be blown away by, whether this was a standalone print from Camilla or Mara Hoffman, or a beautiful lightweight yarn from Madeleine Thompson, who had her best spring to date.
Chiltern Street Studio - Denise Tavernier, commercial director
Two brands new to the showroom have proved popular for spring 14. Mes Demoiselles has a nostalgic style and charm, delicate printed fabrics and embroideries inspired by India, teamed with heavy cotton knits. Laurence Doligé mixes menswear, glamour and femininity. Python prints in strong blues and reds matched with delicate lace and men’s soft shirtings did well. Old favourite Odd Molly brought African prints to life with beautiful scarf dresses and tunics.
TCA Showroom - Isabella Sferrazza, brand manager
Danish labels such as Culture and Coster Copenhagen have been popular with buyers, especially for independent boutiques that want unique pieces characterised by the Aztec and abstract prints. Newly launched IKKS, for the yummy mummies, and Silvian Heach were the winners of the season. Buyers were also looking for casual chic looks and neutral colours, so Stefanel was the number one seller, with its cashmere knits and linen dresses and shirts. The colours that buyers were looking for have been blue, coral and yellow.
AT Showroom - Rochelle Norman, sales and PR manager
Brands such as Christophe Sauvat were popular this season. Long maxi dresses sold extremely well. We also have a jumpsuit that has sold well - it’s a key piece in the collection. Buyers generally chose more commercial safer pieces, with some opting for one or two showpieces such as the hand-beaded waistcoats.
Fourmarketing - Emma Jones, womenswear sales director
For spring 14, clients were generally looking for competitively priced brands that also offered a unique point of difference. As with most spring and summer collections, clients were drawn to strong vibrant colours and graphic prints, which dominated the catwalks. Dresses were still the winning category and took up a large part of the buy. Nevertheless, the more advanced stores are adding a sportswear element, which is translated into many womenswear collections by way of styling and fabrication, such as hooded jackets seen at Woolrich.
Zone Two - Stacey Wood, head of womenswear
Following a strong spring 13 performance from Maison Scotch, the spring 14 collection had a fantastic season as buyers visited the showroom with high expectations and the collection didn’t disappoint. It offered a strong variety of prints including botanical and animal with soft colouring. Our other womenswear brand, Samsøe & Samsøe, launched into the UK for autumn 13 with a great start and the spring 14 collection focused on classic Scandinavian shapes.