At our best, fashion editors are like psychics. We can clearly foresee which trends are bubbling up, which are here to stay, and which are fading into the abyss. And while our fingers are quite on the pulse, so too are those belonging to buyers, merchandising officers, and editorial directors of online retailers. This is a group that can see, in real-time, which trends are flying off the shelves.
The impact of COVID-19 on fashion and retail has been enormous, but people are shopping again, and the overarching theme seems to be getting dressed up for occasions. “Our customer is inspired to dress up and be social again,” Fwrd’s vice president April Koza tells Vogue. Nordstrom’s SVP of designer and new concepts, Sam Lobban, agrees with this sentiment: “Across the board, fall feels like the return of fashion. Events are on, and there’s a general sense of excitement to be safely celebrating again. We’re seeing this in the product that our customers are gravitating toward—color, embellishment, sexy and party clothes, handbags, shoes, and accessories.” On the other hand, retailers are also finding that their shoppers are equally focused on classic wardrobe staples like denim, suiting separates, and outerwear. From glitzy occasionwear to cozy shearling, there is much to love this season. Below, shop the trends that consumers are stepping in line for right now.
An Emphasis on Wardrobe Essentials at Nordstrom
There’s really a lot of fun going on from a product perspective, be that from our most iconic brand partners—such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Bottega Veneta, and Christian Louboutin—or from newer businesses like Amina Muaddi, Mach & Mach, and LaQuan Smith. We’re also seeing a strong return of a luxury aesthetic, with elevated fabrication and construction and a timeless sense of style—cashmere and shearling everything essentially, but also those key lifetime wardrobe pieces that you cherish forever. Brands like Brunello Cucinelli and Akris but also Alaïa, Jil Sander, and Khaite. At the same time, we’re seeing incredible business in updated versions from the categories that have become the most iconic parts of a designer wardrobe: military boots and sneakers from brands like Prada, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, and Golden Goose and reimagined handbags in new fabrications and colorways from Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Burberry. —Sam Lobban, SVP designer and new concepts at Nordstrom
It’s All About Shearling at Moda Operandi
We are seeing a major uptick in shearling selling across categories in recent weeks. I see this trend as equal parts fashion and function. It’s clear that even with ambiguity about what will happen with the pandemic this fall, our shopper is certainly going to be spending time outside. From shearling slides to shearling-lined boots and all-over bags to tufted and paneled statement coats, it’s checking across categories. Nili Lotan, Jacquemus, Prada, and Bottega are a few of the go-to brands registering this cozy trend best. —April Hennig, chief merchandising officer at Moda Operandi
Neutrals on Everything at Shopbop
Our customer loves color and print, mainly in a trendy silhouette. But we have also seen a love for fall neutrals, boots, and faux-leather pieces in all categories, from tops and bottoms to dresses as well. There’s also been a huge emphasis on sexier pieces—people are loving cutouts across categories, including knits, tops, and dresses. —Stephanie Roberson, chief merchandising officer at Shopbop
Getting Dressed to the Nines at Revolve
Our customers are buying into occasion dresses as they are planning their social calendars going into fall and the holidays—especially with Retrofête and Dundas x Revolve, our newly launched designer collaboration with Peter Dundas. We are also seeing our customers continuing to buy into the cutout trend with brands like Cult Gaia and Jonathan Simkhai. Cutouts have been able to transition into colder months with winter dresses and sweaters, keeping things sexy all year round. And tapping into the Y2k trend, mesh turtlenecks in marble and graphic prints from brands like Farai London and low-rise denim from Grlfrnd are super important for the season.” —Lauren Yerkes, chief merchandising officer at Revolve
Nothing But Knits at MyTheresa
The knit dress is a new wardrobe essential. Understated luxury is the keyword for many collections, and the vocabulary is high-quality knits and cashmere. They are so comfortable, and you can wear them from day to night, at home or out. The cutout trend is also still going strong. Influenced from the ’90s, it’s modern and minimalist sexy without being overly revealing. Ensembles are having a big comeback this autumn. Whether it’s knits, tweed, or jersey, we see a lot of sophisticated suits and elevated tracksuit combinations, such as from Valentino and Magda Butrym. After living in sweatpants for over a year, everyone is dying to go out and wear something fun. —Tiffany Hsu, fashion buying director at MyTheresa
Brands With a Point of View at Fwrd
Established Fwrd brands such as Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, and Balenciaga are moving extremely quickly, particularly dresses, bags, and shoes. Our customer is inspired to dress up and be social again. We are also seeing upticks with some of the newer brands on Fwrd, such as The Row, Tom Ford, and Alaïa. Special statement pieces will have a place in the wardrobes of our customers for years to come, and we feel people are increasingly investing in luxury items—the new guard of luxury for a new generation of customers. —April Koza, vice president at Fwrd