What does Barbara think? Spring Summer 2011 Edition

Proenza Schouler Spring Summer 2011
Proenza Schouler Spring Summer 2011

I love it when the WWD asks the buyers their opinions of the collections. I’m always interested in what the buyers/retailers think of the collections. For the last few seasons I’ve been posting about Barbara Atkin’s feelings on the show. Spring Summer 2011 is no exception.

New York

“The consumer is still celebrity-obsessed. The designer is becoming that celebrity as well. We’ve got to move away from turning [fashion week] into a circus.” – Barbara Atkin, vice president and fashion director, Holt Renfrew

Trendspotting: “The big story was American sportswear and the whole idea of the timeless classics, easy toppers, trenches and beautiful, easy pants. In a way, another trend is New York producing a whole new wave of young designers with more democratic price points, such as Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim and Theyskens’ Theory.”

Sound off: “Everyone’s taking pictures of everyone else. Everybody has a blog and some site they wanted to drive you to. We’re being swallowed up by social media. People are adapting a look and seeing how to wear it immediately as the runway show is happening. Social media will affect how we buy and it will affect our deliveries. Consumers have no patience. They want instant replies.”(source)

Prada Spring Summer 2011 Womens
Prada Spring Summer 2011 Womens

Milan

“The 21st century luxury customer now lives a life less focused on formalwear and more focused on a relaxed, active lifestyle,” – Barb Atkin

“Milan has proven to be a powerfully optimistic season of bold color and print, remarkable craftsmanship, new longer hemlines and simple shapes that we are confident will drive customers into the stores. Bold color, tribal influences, bohemian Seventies, fringe, longer lengths and floral prints are some of the key trends that will impact the clothes for spring. The designer business is on an upward trend with many collections experiencing double-digit growth. Our budgets reflect this growth, while at the same time we are keeping our inventories in line for spring, having successfully right-sized our business last season. Our shopping list includes easy toppers, flared pants, the longer-length skirt and dress, soft blouses and tunics and simple, easy jackets. The longer week has provided the opportunity to visit the many new stores in Milan in search of new concepts and spend more time with new designers. Our eyes are on MSGM, Vincenzo De Cotiis, Drome and Isabella Tonchi.”

Standout collections: Gucci, Prada, Jil Sander, Dolce & Gabbana and Brunello Cucinelli.(source)

Calla Spring Summer 2011
Calla Spring Summer 2011 Photo by Tommy Ton

Paris

Trendspotting: “Short hemlines coexisted with floor-grazing lengths. We saw the fragile and the structured, the masculine and the feminine. The Paris collections have translated into options for the customer: Pleating, longer lengths, androgyny, punk, sheer layers, cutout details, stripes, leather, tailored denim and Seventies influences are some of the trends we are seeing.”

Sound off: “With the popularity of live-streaming, we will have to better understand how the retailer can service a customer who now has access to a season that has not yet been delivered to the stores. Current retail inventories may no longer support the trends that the customer sees online.”(source)

By Anita Clarke

Anita Clarke is an Engineering Storyteller and the founder of the fashion blog “I want – I got.” She was one of the first and most prominent online fashion writers in Toronto and Canada.