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Retailers also expect that once girls see what their friends are wearing at school, they’ll want to have it, too. This should drive more sales later this month and perhaps into October.
That “I have to have it” anthem is alive and strong at specialty retail stores in L.A., where b-t-s buying has become a near frenzy for key fall items such as denim, blazers, boots and accessories. Armed with frothy frozen drinks and iced lattes, Southern California shoppers flocked to the malls and specialty stores to shop for b-t-s clothes, despite scorching Labor Day weekend temperatures that crept into the high 90s and triple digits.
“The heat wave didn’t matter a bit,” said Fred Levine, ceo and co-owner of the M. Frederic stores, which operates 19 locations in California. “We’re selling a ton of cashmere.”
Levine, who estimated that M. Frederic is already up 20 percent from this time last year, said he’s had the best July and August in 24 years and September was off to a great start as well. Tweed jackets from True Meaning, embroidered shirts from Johnny Was and anything from Smith’s, whose T-shirts have become the new must-sell logo T-shirt, were snapped up.
Levine attributed the success during these transitional months to all the great offerings. “The embellishment, embroidery and tweeds are so interesting and fun that I think it’s sparked a [desire for] a whole wardrobe change,” he said.
There were 20-minute lines just to get into Kitson, the trendy specialty boutique on Robertson Boulevard, where business for key fall items has been brisk. In fact, August was a record-breaking month with a 30 percent increase from its last record-breaking month in December.
Kitson already has a waiting list 700 strong and counting for the Mukluk boot, a suede-and-fur boot that looks more appropriate for riding a woolly mammoth in the tundra than walking around in balmy Southern California. But neither the weather nor the $400 price tag have kept shoppers from clamoring for the boots owned by Lohan, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Gwyneth Paltrow.