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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“We’re still selling a lot of denim,” added Burstell. For example, Daryl K’s multizippered jeans at $198, and those from Rock & Republic and Paper Denim & Cloth have “a bit more interest. They’re multizip or have a different wash. They have a slightly higher rise than in the past.”

In particular, outerwear got off to a good start and the store has placed reorders on novelty fitted coats from D&G and Bluemarine. Bendel’s has also done well with Adidas and Diane Von Furstenberg tracksuits. Burstell said the retailer is up from last year in business.

Robert Jezowski, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of women’s ready-to-wear at Macy’s East, said, “Career is doing very well. The suit business is terrific. Tahari is outstanding. We’ve sold a lot of skirt suits and updated career.”

Judy Collinson, executive vice president of Barneys New York, said the designer business is off to a strong start, citing such resources as Alexander McQueen, Narciso Rodriguez, Azzedine Alaïa, Rochas and Lanvin.

In the Co-op area, she added: “Denim is maintaining itself brilliantly,” citing strong resources such as Chip & Pepper, Satellite, Citizens for Humanity and Rogan. In accessories, long, colored chandelier earrings and handbags by Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga are doing well. She said the women’s business, despite the blackout, is “above last year.”

Jaqui Lividini, senior vice president of fashion merchandising at Saks Fifth Avenue, said the Celine pre-fall merchandise, which references Mod, is hot, with lots of pink, blue and short skirts. In addition, Junya Wantanabe’s line, highlighting bows, is performing extremely well, with 75 percent sell-throughs. Donna Karan’s black flounce skirt has had a 77 percent sell-through. “A lot of femininity is selling,” she said. Additionally, gloves have been a real standout, and “fur accessories — even in 100-degree weather — are doing really well,” said Lividini. Marc Jacobs’ “Stella” bag continues to be a big seller, as are the new Jimmy Choo handbags.

Sue Patneaude, executive vice president of designer at Nordstrom, which will open its 91st unit on Thursday in Richmond, Va., said in the Savvy contemporary department, short skirts and miniskirts are selling, including denim and pleated versions from Harvey’s. “Denim is hot with stretch looks from Von Dutch, Miss Sixty, A.G. and Juicy Couture. In addition, bomber jackets are performing well in leather, denim and satin, along with flirty skirts and short jackets from Nanette Lepore and Trina Turk. In the designer department, Tracey Reese and Catherine Malandrino are top sellers.
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