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Independent insight: 2018 trends and bestsellers

Indie bestsellers 2018 index

As the year comes to a close, Drapers speaks to independent retailers to reflect on this year’s trends and see what’s in store for 2019.

Kenzo tiger £215



Matt Horstead Owner, Dartagnan Menswear, Chichester

What have been your best-selling products this year? 

Sweatshirts have sold the best by miles this year. DSquared2 and Stone Island have been phenomenal, as has CP Company (all £130-£180).

What were your biggest trends for 2018?

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Stone Island

There’s still a big streetwear influence, and most of the brands we carry that are doing a decent streetwear offer have all performed well. Our more-mature customer base has decreased and we see more of a young customer coming in so we are adapting and buying to that age range. It seems to be a common pattern from those I’m talking to across the industry: older clients seem to have too many overheads and are being affected by the current [economic] uncertainty.

What trends do you anticipate for 2019?

Although there seems to be industry talk of streetwear fading out, from what I’ve seen and bought for autumn 19 it’s very much here to stay. The dressed down, Off-White look is very popular with our younger customers up to around the age of 30. We’re very excited to have Kent & Curwen coming in for spring 19, with its relaxed influence.

For autumn 19 we’re looking to elevate our brand profile, bringing in McQueen and Kenzo. Taking on more premium brands is always a focus for us, and it’s purely down to demand. I get asked on a daily basis for Moncler, or brands like Givenchy and Kenzo. They’re all very casual labels and very street and it shows that the demand is still there.



Hari Martin Owner, Basil & Bea, Hale, Greater Manchester

Beaumont organic 9r6a6609

Beaumont Organic

What have been your bestselling products this year? 

The Danse Lente Mini Phoebe (£295) leather shoulder bag has been a consistent bestseller in store and online; with its modern aesthetics and versatile design my customers are able to style it from day to night. Also, the seasonal Rib Crop Track Pants from Être Cécile (£100-£145) have been a great seller for us throughout 2018. They’re great for mums to look chic while running their errands.

What were your biggest trends for 2018?

Casual luxe wear has definitely been a consistent trend this year, especially from Être Cécile. For Basil & Bea, this trend covers a broad age range: from kids off to university to mums wanting to be comfortable and stylish day to day. New to the store in 2018 was Beaumont Organic, a sustainable and ethical British brand, which has been a great addition to Basil & Bea.

The movement for consumers to be much more conscious of the origins of the products and fabrics they are buying has been amazing to see. We believe it is important for people to be aware of the environmental, manufacturing and human hindrances that are part of the fashion industry.

Mini phoebe forest01 highest res

Danse Lente

What trends do you anticipate for 2019?

For spring 2019 we have continued to focus on the quality of fabrics, with some silk trackpants from Être Cécile (£225) and merino knitwear from King & Tuckfield (£160). However, we are most looking forward to having the newest style of the Phoebe handbag from Danse Lente, the Phoebe Bis (£355), which we anticipate to be a sell-out.




Converse fa18 chuck70 parchment  162052c 001


Stuart Hopkins Owner, Zigzag, Chichester

What have been your bestselling products this year? 

Boots have been our best performers as the cold weather sets in. Fly London is our top seller, specifically the ladies mid-length boots (£135), while Dr Martens sells well right across the range (£110-£140). Dubarry’s technical outdoor boots (£279-£379) are also popular.

What were your biggest trends for 2018?

For this season we’ve found the 1990s inspired trend has been really popular with younger customers. Trainers have been going well all year with New Balance, Converse and Vans. It’s not just teenagers though, it’s going right up to pensioners. Although we don’t stock a lot of heels, our block-heeled boots from Vagabond (£90-£100) have been popular for customers looking for something dressier. We bought in on the leopard-print trend and that has been okay, although it’s not been as massive as we expected.

Vagabond 4217 040 38


What trends do you anticipate for 2019?

We’re continuing with the trainer trend for January, because it’s here to stay. I’m bringing in Fila for our younger customers and Veja, which is a bit more grown-up, like the classic Reebok style. They’re also ethically made.

We bought heavily into Birkenstock and the summer offerings of Dr Martens because we found the chunky sandal did well last year. Birkenstocks are amazing and always sell right across the age range. We also buy loads of Greek- and Roman-style sandals and see them selling well year after year. 




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