Retro Sneakers-Vulcan Worship

Whatever you call them, retro sneakers or tennis shoes, the original gym shoes are on fire. They are having a huge fashion moment that has been gaining steam for several years. Vulcan was the god of fire. Vulcanized shoes (heat-treated rubber) are the original canvas athletic shoes that have been around for more than 100 years. The technique doesn’t really matter; these comfy retro kicks are the casual shoe of choice for urban hipsters, cool kids and suburban fashionistas alike. These quaintly low-tech shoes, appeal to the most tech-obsessed crowd. They offer a certain rebellious contrast to the uber-engineered athletic shoes. Retro sneakers provide hip comfort and are cheaper too, leaving  vulcanistas with more cash for their techno toys.

Shopping in Soho last week, the Converse store midday, was almost as busy as an Apple store. It was the most active store on a long shopping trek around the neighborhood. The crowd was concentrated around their custom design bar and self-serve shoe window. Customization allows the customer the ultimate in sneaker self-expression.

Vulcanized, retro style sneakers are red-hot for Fall 2012!

Vulcanized, retro style sneakers are red-hot for Fall 2012!

Sizzling fashion sneaker brands include Converse (MA 1908), Superga (Italy 1925), Vans (CA 1966) and Uggs (CA 1978). There are many other wholesale and private label brands, too. Styles include high, low tops and boot styles for men women and children. There are sexy platforms and high heels in addition to the traditional flat eyelet and slip-ons. Unusual materials and color create newness. Uppers include solid canvas, metallics, leathers, prints, dip dyes, quilting, distressed and ornamentation such as studs. These red-hot styles are featured at major shoe emporiums like Nordstrom, Finish Line, Zappos, and just about everywhere else!

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

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Primary Reasons

Summer brings out the best in color palettes. This year beyond the neons and expected turquoises, I find myself drawn to the basic elements of all color,  the primaries. Fashion color runs in cycles and for me the most classic, Crayola basics are looking especially fresh for summer 2012. They are the big bang theory of the color family. There is nothing that steals a scene like a pop of tomato red, lily yellow or chipper skipper blue.  The primaries are color royalty, the mother of all colors. Even a black and white wearing urbanite can kick it up a notch with a bold primary accent.

A jolt of primary color looks especially fresh this summer.

A jolt of primary color looks especially fresh this summer.

Primaries have a certain sporty, joie-de vivre. They pair perfectly with nautical and military inspired looks. They work well for women’s apparel, dresses, shoes, handbags, luggage, tech cases and accessories as well as kids and modern home accents.  I especially love them in outdoor decor for towels, umbrellas, pillows and indoor-outdoor rugs. Red lips and red, yellow and blue nail colors are trending in beauty. These high-fired, salable classics will go forward in seasons to come!

Dix&Pond is the blog of Dix&Pond consulting…strategic and creative product development and brand consulting.

The Feminine Five

Colored jeans are getting all the press, as the biggest trend you can get your mannied paws around this season. There is another huge trend quietly demanding the hearts and wallets of the fashion obsessed and ordinary mortals alike.

I call it The Feminine Five, five big trends in women’s (and girls) styling that can inspire romance novels and separate the girls from the boys. These ladylike details, fabrics and techniques are infinitely flattering and straddle the boundary of classic and fashion. They fit into most women’s lifestyles, contemporary and classic and work on all ages. Consequently, they are ringing registers around the world.

The trend looks especially modern when paired with casual pieces like jeans, shorts and washed jackets. These trends take on a dressier attitude when worn with refined pieces like tailored jackets, pleated and pencil skirts.

5 top fabric and styling trends!

5 top fabric and styling trends!

Lace fabric is everywhere from netting to heavy over-embroidered cottons. Lace fabrics are found on tops, skirts, shorts, dresses, shoes and bags.

Ruffle mania has continued to dominate on tops, skirts and dresses; from bold irregular ruffles at Crewcuts to tiny reflective ruffles on Lululemon sleeves.

Eyelet fabrics are having a renaissance on breezy tops, shorts, dresses and flouncy skirts. They lean folkloric or juvenile worn head-to-toe or in color.

Crochet details are showing up on shoes, bags and trims, as well as lacy crochet sweaters.

Pleats and peplum details are found on skirts, tops and casual and tailored jackets.

The Feminine Five are found in many of the hottest wholesale and retail brands – Free People, Zara, Club Monaco, Robert Rodriguez, Milly, Alice & Olivia, Joie, Rachel Zoe, Diane Von Furstenburg, Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, Ted Baker, Christian Louboutin and many more.

I expect these highly salable styling trends to continue in seasons to come.

Dix& Pond is the blog of Dix& Pond Consulting.

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