Fresh Greens

Fresh-picked greens are sprouting up everywhere for spring 2012.

 

Sprouting amongst the last of the holiday sale merchandise are sweet tendrils of  green…chartreuse, citrine, neon, and washed limes and emeralds. These fresh-picked greens are easy pickin’s to get a shot of modern, pre-spring pop!  These op-art shades are making their spring début on everything from active yoga, apparel, athletic shoes, handbags, Uggs, boots, skirts, tops, jackets, scarves and jewelry. Luscious greens are found on tabletop and home furnishings, too.

These eclectic shades of green look especially de rigueur played against neutrals such as greys, white, navy and black. They also hit-it-out -of-the-park in colorblocked combinations…two or more greens at the same time.

 I never been a green person, but I find myself compelled to buy something chartruese this season. Green stands for optimism and renewal. Two things we could use a little more of in 2012. Are you going green this season?

 
 
 
 
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Gucci Gorgeous

The "life changing" Gucci "Noah" pumps.

I have a special affinity for fashion items that are over-the-moon, show stopping,  but were also born a classic beauty. This is a hole-in-one, in a too often, risk averse market. The truth of the matter is that emotion sells clothing and accessories. When the wearer is taken on a fantasy ride, she’s got to have it!    

This heart-pounding, covetable pair of stilettos from Gucci meets the bar of greatness in the best seductress, in a fantasy picture category!  The swanky-panky, sky-high, Gucci “Noah” pump for spring 2012 will take your breath away. Take the helm you will rule the room in this pair of power pumps. The $695 price tag may be worth the virtual tornado you will create wearing them. Don’t worry, expect knock-offs at all price points  in the footwear market.

Tiffany’s Breakfast

11/30/12  Tiffany’s shares slid 6.25% yesterday as their 3rd quarter results missed Wall Street expectations. The lack of demand is blamed on high diamond and precious metal prices. I am not buying this, as it been the case for several years. Mark Aaron, Tiffany’s investor relations chief told the Wall Street Journal that weak consumer demand was “part of the reason”, especially sales of silver jewelry.

I believe, as I did last January, that they haven’t introduced any exciting collections lately in the aspirational luxury (silver) area. Whimsical fashion and inspirational jewelry like charm bracelets, have been on fire in recent years. They have abdicated this to the likes of Pandora and others. Mark Aaron admitted to the WSJ, that “merchandise priced above $500 dollars saw in most cases, growth in sales and units”.

The aspirational luxury customer loves Tiffany’s, when there is a compelling assortment.

1/16/2012

Tiffany’s cut their earnings outlook for 2011, citing a weakness in North America for 4th quarter…a dismal 4% gain in North American sales. Analysts are trying to make sense of it suggesting that perhaps the fine jewelry customer is buying technology instead. This doesn’t square with the fact that other luxury retailers had a decent holiday and iPhones and iPads aren’t that expensive.

My take on the situation is lack of exciting new items for the aspirational customer in Tiffany’s this fall like their “well-knocked off”  key collection in the past. Other stores are eating Tiffany’s breakfast. I saw sign-in sheets and long

Tiffany’s collection of bags by designers Lambertson & Truex are exceptionally beautiful!

lines outside the Pandora jewelry stores,  just for chance to get a few expensive baubles for their already “over-indulged” teens, wives and girl friends.

On a positive note, their bags by designers Lambertson and Truex take my breath away!

Dix&Pond is the blog of www.dixandpond.com Creative and strategic consulting for retail and wholesale apparel, shoe and consumer product companies.

Urban Exit

Love this feminine lace jacket from Free People!

Glen Senk has resigned as CEO at Urban Outfitter’s and is headed to another job TBD. The retailer is well-respected for taking creative risks with their merchandising at their core formats: Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People. As a retail junkie, I have enjoyed seeing a brand like Anthropologie dare to stand for something unique in their stores and online. I am always blown away by their creative OMG visual merchandising, that is second to none! They had decent same store sales in 2008 and 2009.

They are struggling a bit lately and this is no surprise as their Anthropologie stores have become more of a drab fashion graveyard, than exciting fashion leader. It is like wandering in a museum gift shop or Middle Eastern bazaar.

I find myself hard pressed to fall in love with anything in their stores besides soap and towels. It is hard to shop if you are seriously looking for clothes and the styling is challenging for unsophisticated shoppers. I think their frumpy, hipster rags are contra to the macro trends toward clean, modern, sexy fashion. After checking out the over-the-top windows, I get out into the light as fast as possible.

A bright spot (pardon the pun) for me is Free People. Their stores are smaller and brighter. They were chock-full of ageless, feminine items and newsy, comfy sweaters this fall!

 

Swan Song

Lululemon tutu

There is nothing quite as demure and feminine as a ballerina’s tutu. It conjures up fantasies of classic elegance…visions of swan-necked beauties such as Audrey Hepburn. This emotionally driven, tulle skirt is a sell out at Lululemon, the Canadian leader-of-the-pack in fashion athletic wear. They reinvented the formerly dull-as-dust active category and continue to lead with breathtaking items such as this little black wonder.

Lululemon is on top of the explosive  trend in “barre” exercise, a combination of ballet exercises, Pilates and core strengthening. Their risk taking tutu is one of those “I don’t know why, but I must have it!”  items that create demand by appealing to our inner romantic.

It is no wonder why Lululemon gets premium prices for their products. They take chances and offer items we didn’t know we couldn’t live without!

White Out

We haven’t had any snow in the Northeast, but we are caught up in a fashion blizzard! Bold and pure white is a huge trend for the fashion obsessed and wannabes alike. I am especially loving “city sporting” white down jackets by Helly Hansen, Northface and Moncler and boots by UGGS. The white watch continues in White Outwhite-hot ceramics, silicone, leather and metals…see Michael Kors, Michele, Toywatch, LaCoste, G-Shock and Coach.

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