Fall 2013 Casual Shoe Fashion Trends

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Motor Trend

Every season has a defining fashion item or two, for fall 2013,  it’s the moto jacket. Moto is slang for the omnipresent motorcycle influenced jackets, taking to the streets on every level of the contemporary market. Be it buttery or faux leather or some sort of coated twill, they are cleanly urbane or encrusted with industrial zippers and studs. There are biker, bomber, baseball, denim, quilted and draped jacket styles.

Leather and leather-looks have been gaining speed since last year, for women and men. Items include jackets, vests, jeans, dresses, tops, skirts and leggings. Leather details, trim, fronts or sleeves are found on sweaters, tee shirts, jackets, jeans and leggings. A touch of leather adds bad-ass sass. The moto-jacket is the must-have piece!

Get your moto on with fall 2013's must-have leather jackets!

Get your moto on with fall 2013’s must-have leather jackets!

These easy riders are found in almost every fashion collection including Burberry, Vince, Theory, Helmut Lang, Elie Tahari and most other contemporary and designer lines. They also are also found at democratic prices in places like Forever 21 and Zara.

Leather up and take control, these power pieces have a way of taking the air out of the room. Moto jackets are worth the investment as they have classic attitude and the life span of a denim jacket. Pair with jeans for play or cashmere for the boardroom. Show who’s boss at work or throw over a sequin dress to edge up the night. They rock with camo jeans for tough-as-nails chic or soften the blow, by pairing with a feminine pastel skirt or top. Get your moto on and hit the road!

Dix&Pond is the blog of Dix & Pond Consulting Creative and strategic consulting for retail, wholesale apparel,  footwear, consumer products and branding agencies. Follow me to get the latest posts

French Dressing – Summer 2013

We live in a global market of micro fashion trends. Apparel brands create their own reality to serve their fans. There are few really big trends that are so salable, so wearable, that they bubble up all over the market simultaneously. A tad nautical, combined with a pinch of early sixties ingénue, French Dressing is summer 2013’s most enchanting big fashion trend.

French Dressing is reminiscent of the endlessly chic style of French women, who are masters of remixing classics in fresh combinations. The contrast of gender-neutral graphic stripes and dots with full-blown feminine styling, delivers an irresistible knock out punch. The combination of sport and sweet is modern and ageless.

French Dressing is summer 2013's most chic and wearable trend.

French Dressing is summer 2013’s most chic and wearable trend.

The colors are summer’s most versatile neutrals, deep navy and pure white, sprinkled with a touch of bloody Mary and periwinkle blue.

Dresses are especially important including fit and flares, halters and shifts. There are both 60’s structured woven dresses and simple knit sheaths. Bottoms include white denim, boyfriend jeans and shorts, printed and lace shorts, pencil, short-flared and 5-pocket skirts. Tops include boat, cowl and crew necklines. Retro looking swimwear includes flattering under-wire bikinis and 50’s style one-pieces. Fabrications are very casual, such as twill/spandex, seersucker, cotton and linen knits.

The footwear is casual, with platform, tie and flat espadrilles, smoking slippers, pointy-toe flats and vulcanized sneakers. Slouchy straw totes, retro and aviator sunglasses complete the look.

Parlez-vous Français?

Dix&Pond is the blog of www.dixandpond.com Creative and strategic consulting for retail, wholesale apparel,  footwear, consumer products and branding agencies. Follow me to get the latest posts

Coral – Must-Have Color Summer 2013

Coral - Spring-Summer 2013's Must-Have Color

Coral – Spring-Summer 2013’s Must-Have Color

Spring/summer 2013’s must-have color is pink’s fraternal twin coral. Coral conjures thoughts of beaches, bikinis and chilled Bellini’s. Fashion is on a feminine trajectory and these pinky-orange hues are found in every level of the apparel (and home) markets for tops, jeans, active wear, swimwear, lingerie, dresses, handbags, footwear, jewelry, etc.

Pale lady slipper, peach, melon to rich begonia, this blushing beauty flatters all skin tones. It is precious and precocious, tender and tantalizing. Whatever the shade, it packs a lady-like punch and says girly girl from a thousand feet.

Pair coral tonally, with pure white or soft neutrals. Expect these trending hues to bloom bigger for spring/summer 2014.

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

I started my career as a knitwear designer, so I will always have a passionate love affair with sweaters. The stores are filled with some of the most irresistibly cozy, sporty and whimsical knits seen in many seasons. Knits have their fashion ups and downs, but we are currently spinning in one of the biggest sweater cycles in years.

Sweaters are the dominant apparel category for holiday 2012. Fresh shapes, colorblocks, fairisles, metallics, embellished and quirky intarsias are everywhere. When intarsias come back in style, you know you are in full-blown knitwear revival.  I suspect sweaters will be standout sellers for 4th quarter 2012 and will be back with a vengeance for 2013.

Shape is the biggest story with a flair for the dramatic. These scene-stealers are easy and oversized.  There are voluminous cardigans, off-the shoulder scoop necks, batwings, kimonos, crops and capes. Details include uneven hems, ties, wraps, outside seaming, sporty details and back interest. The silhouettes are full- fashioned or sewn into radically new shapes. Outside seaming is used to tailor and create interest.  Oversized shapes tend to have some close to the body element, like tight sleeves on a boxy wide crop. Dramatic necklines include oversized cowls, deep v’s, shawls, wide scoops and mega ruffles.

Color is either wearable sumptuous neutrals, especially greys and navy or mouth-watering bright and bold.

Gauges are either very chunky or drapey, soft fine gauge.

Fibers are soft and inviting, not itchy or harsh. Cashmere and merino wool dominate in fine gauge. For chunky machine knits there are complex blends of soft, lightweight wools, acrylics and slub yarns.

Techniques include machine and hefty hand knit Jacquards, fine gauge intarsias, pieced and patched materials and stitches, color blocking, cables, sporty details, embellished  jeweled collars and  bibs and ribs of all weights.

Here is a roundup of the looks:

Dix&Pond is the blog of www.dixandpond.com Creative and strategic consulting for retail and wholesale apparel, shoe and consumer product companies. Contact us for custom trend analysis, creative direction, strategic marketing, brand profiles, merchandising, etc.

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.

Fall 2012 Jaded Outlook

To the casual observer color evolution is so slow, it is to be missed. Color trends advance steadily but significant palette changes don’t appear obvious until seen in retrospect. It is easy to identify in decades, like the good-time pastels of the 50’s and the anti-establishment avocados and golds of the 70’s. Colors in fashion, accessories, beauty and home sprout, grow, peak and die. Palettes and ranges crossover during this process. It is always a reflection of the social mood.

We are in an explosive color phase now. Spring/Summer 2012 showcased some of the brightest colors we have seen in decades. Neons, Tangerine Tango (the Pantone color of the year) and uber brights. Color-blocking, colored accessories and colorful nail colors competed for our attention and dollars in a less than stellar economic environment, (i.e. Coach’s new Legacy collection for fall). When times are tough, color takes us out of our collective funk.

Green-tinged blues are emerging, as the must-have color for fall 2012!

Green-tinged blues are emerging, as the must-have color for fall 2012!

Color watchers look for emerging shades that haven’t made the scene in a while. Their dormancy gives them freshness, like the new kid on the block. For fall 2012 we have a jaded outlook, and teal is the current must-have. Green-tinged blues are the new-found friend. These deep-water shades are calming, rich and pair well with blues and pops of gold. A jaded outlook is sprouting in apparel, accessories, beauty and home decor and  expect it will continue into next year.

My personal obsession this fall is with Furla’s rubber “Candy Satchel”  in Pavone!

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

Well Shod- Fall 2012 Shoe Trends

Shoes and bags have been on a retail tear lately. The excitement in footwear and handbag design is palpable. As designers have taken style risks in colors, shapes and materials, consumers have rewarded them with ever-increasing sales. The Saks 5th Avenue flagship which has one of the most extensive and exciting designer shoe floors on the planet is expanding once again. Macy’s Herald Square is creating the largest shoe floor in the world at 39,000 square feet. There is a highly innovative period happening in athletic, casual, dress shoes and boots. In the shoe biz, the ante is up and it’s no time to bluff.

Fall 2012 Shoe Trends

Fall 2012 Shoe Trends

Shoes and handbags like the beauty area, are inclusionary of all sizes and ages, so all customers can play in the game. Plus-sized customers have under-sized apparel options so they turn to the democratic shoe floor for a fashion update. With shoes (with a few extreme exceptions), the forgotten male or female boomer can send a major fashion smoke signal, without looking like a desperate fool.

Women covet shoes and will reach beyond their means for status brands like Prada, Miu Miu, Valentino, Tory Burch, Brian Atwood and Christian Louboutin. They are also stuffing their closets with Uggs, Sperry, Kate Spade, Coach, Michael Kors, Nike, Converse, Hunter, BCBG, Stuart Weitzman, Cole Haan, Ivanka Trump, Tom’s and Isaac Mizrahi to name a few.

Here’s a run down on the best Fall 2012 trends:

Color and Patterns – Colors and patterns such as animal prints, are major drivers of newness in all categories of shoes

Lighter Than Air – Ultralight and colorful running and athletic shoes from Nike, Asics, New Balance Minimus, etc.

Retro Vulcanized – Retro sneakers are hot in new materials and colors from Superga, Uggs, Converse and other designers.

Glam Casuals – Casual has gone glamorous in boat shoes, slippers, boots, loafers and sneakers with glam styling such as metallic, sequins and glitter

Tough Love – Biker details such as buckles, straps and multi-studs on boots, sandals and smoking slippers

Oxford Grad – Classic and inventive oxfords continue in contrast colors and materials (Valentino even has lace tipped patent leather oxfords!)

Tipping Point – Ultra high ice pick heels and pointy toed pumps

Feminine Flats – The world is flat.. especially hot are smoking slippers in a wide variety of materials

Dix&Pond is the blog of Dix&Pond…creative and strategic consulting for retail and wholesale apparel, shoe and consumer products.

Nifty Shades of Gray

There is a graying of America going on and I’m not talking about an aging population or a bestselling novel. Gray is the trending neutral color that has taken the apparel and home markets by storm, fog, stone, graphite, and black pearl. Grays are a modern choice for clothing, shoes, handbags, accessories, beauty, nail color, home decor, textiles, wallpaper and paint.

Shades of gray are the modern neutral for apparel, accessories, beauty and home decor.

Shades of gray are the modern neutral for apparel, accessories, beauty and home decor.

No other color is at once elegant, sporty, sexy and sophisticated for sportswear, dresses and lingerie. Gray is the perfect transitional color. In apparel, gray is the modern foil to pair with the omnipresent bright and neons shades instead of comic strip black. It transports pastels from saccharine to cosmopolitan. Head-to-toe tonal grays are the essence of impeccable taste and 50’s chic. Even the most dedicated black and white urbanites can update their uniform and soften their edge with nifty shades of gray.

Gray has become a basic in towels, sheets, rugs and pillows. In home decor, gray is the perfect backdrop for strong colors like chartreuse, red or inky blues. It creates a calming retreat when paired with ivory, pinky purples, creamy aqua or whipped butter. Gray is black’s kinder, gentler, cousin. For maximum impact, when combining grays, contrast textures like shiny and matte, fluffy and smooth, to up the style quotient.

Fashion is a reflection of the social mood. I guess we are in the mood for a calmer, gentler time.

Dix&Pond is the blog of Dix&Pond…creative and strategic consulting for retail, wholesale, analysts and investors.

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.

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