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Basics Take Backseat As Mod Styles Ignite Early Selling for Fall

It’s shaping up to be a Mod, Mod fall. As stores report fall business is off to a strong start, there are rumblings of an economic upturn.

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“As a whole, things that are very designed and look like the runway are really doing well. Things that are basic are not selling,” said Robert Burke, vice president, senior fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman.

Top sellers include Yves Saint Laurent’s ruffled leather jackets, Narciso Rodriguez’s short black dresses, Alexander McQueen’s zippered jackets, Gucci’s black dresses, and Etro’s paisley coats. Another top performer has been Dolce & Gabbana’s brocade pieces. The store sold out of a pink brocade bouclé dress for $2,150 that was featured on the cover of the fall preview Bergdorf catalog. The store is also experiencing brisk sales with Theory, Tahari, Tracy Reese, Diane Von Furstenberg, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Kulson.

“Right now, the biggest thing is Mod,” said Ruttenstein. He pointed to Marc Jacobs’ black-and-white double-faced cashmere jumper and black-and-white cashmere hooded coat as stars. Celine’s Mod black jumper and matching coat has performed well, and its OpArt fabric coat sold out at at $1,350. Zac Posen’s Mod dress has also sold out.

Another hot trend has been bouclé tweed jackets by Chanel, Donna Karan and Giorgio Armani. In Bloomingdale’s Y.E.S. department, tweed bouclé jackets and miniskirts have done well from such vendors as Rebecca Taylor, Tracey Reese, Jill Stuart, Development, D&G, Miss Sixty, Joie, Ruth, White and Aqua. Denim with hardware, D-rings, buckles and zippers have seen a lot of retail action, including Blue Cult, Miss Sixty, Joe’s Jeans, Citizens for Humanity, Seven and Paper, Denim & Cloth. In accessories, Marc Jacobs handbags, Marc by Marc Jacobs shoes, “anything Burberry” and Chanel sunglasses have sold well, according to Ruttenstein.

Ed Burstell, vice president and general merchandise manager at Henri Bendel, said Mod is happening in several areas and price points. For example, a metallic halter minidress from Missoni at $1,058 has sold well, as have Anna Sui and Mary Quant minis from $198 to $398. With minis being such a strong category, legwear has had excellent results, he noted, especially Fogard’s colored opaques at $29. In addition, Bendel’s sold out of Rick Owens’ distressed leather jacket at $1,698.
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