For you & me, March may still be the beginning of the year. Not so for the fashion industry. They’re way ahead of us. In fact, these leaders of fashion have been busy since early 2008 creating & fine-tuning 2009’s trends. It reminds me a bit of the car industry, how the next year’s models are somehow available before the next year even happens.
At Cuddledown, our merchandisers & designers are in the thick of everything, attending markets & trade shows to make sure that we’ve got our fingers squarely on the fashion pulse. And I know you’re dying to know, so I sat down with Vice President of Merchandising, Norma, to get the skinny on what we’ll be seeing from Cuddledown for the rest of 2009 & into 2010.
TBS: So first, tell me, what are the major trade shows that you go to every year? Is there a specific one you feel most influences how Cuddledown will interpret upcoming trends?
N: Heimtex is one of the biggest & allows us to see all of our major suppliers in one venue. Other shows are the NY Gift Show, Curves (which is for apparel), Accessories the Show, Highpoint (predominantly furniture & other home decor items), & Intertextile Shanghai.
TBS: Which one provides the most important trend information?
N: Heimtex, because it’s so huge & draws an enormous crowd of vendors. Curves & the NY Gift Show are close seconds.
TBS: How do trends work anyway? Who decides what will be the next hot design/color/texture?
N: It used to be that trends hit ready-to-wear first, but now we are seeing them trend together. We review the predicted ready-to-wear trends (at least one year in advance) and adapt forecasted designs and colors to our products. Need example to highlight
TBS: What’s the big picture for the rest of 2009-2010? What should we all be lining up to purchase?
N: The trend theme for 2009, according to the Heimtext Trend Forum is “Expect the Unexpected.” The trend contributors who developed this umbrella theme identified 6 different trend flavors as described in the Heimtex Trend Book:
- Illusionsist – “‘sculptured volume, floating feather weight fabrics, and folded dimensional fabrics combine into soft furnishings that are never quite what they seem.’ Color story – the barest hint of color depicted by white, ivory, champagne, gray, peach, sky blue, and mist.”
- Time Traveler – “‘ornamental opulence, deco graphics, and laced luxuries set the stage for our reclaimed cultural heritage and ultimate luxury.’ Color story – all the colors in a peacock feather centered around metallic gold.”
- Fortune Teller – “‘multi-mismatch and acid folk are combined in a free spirited collage of pattern as an update to the bohemian and ethnic trends of the past.’ Color story – an eclectic mix of red, turquoise, purple, navy, chartreuse, fuchsia, orange, and mauve.”
- Alchemist – “‘adapted from sculptural aspects and architectural trends, the alchemist is built around textiles featuring rigorous geometry, armored chic and sensual structures.’ Color story – the shimmer of metals and stone depicted by black, gray, gunmetal, silver. Lurex abounded.”
- Witchcraft – “‘a modern rustic and artisan approach to new and/or recycled products. Aspects of nature are recreated in 3D textures, vintage looking skins, and handcrafted fabrics produced from floating yarns and threads.’ Color story – dark mysterious colors of nature such as evergreen, bark, and terracotta with dusty accents of teal, turquoise, mustard, and antique blue.”
- Enchanted – “‘a fantasy world of plastic and bright pops of color where all rules are cast aside and bad taste no longer exist. Color story – Primary colors interplayed with white.”
Additionally, recycled, organic, & technical fabrications were still a large part of the new product development & textured fabrics, lurex, & prints were more prevalent than ever.
TBS: How have these trends influenced the way that you & the other Cuddledown merchandisers selected product?
N: We borrowed from many of the themes:
- Witchcraft – Birds incorporated into designs were very prevalent. We will be doing an embroidered sheet set for Holiday 2009 along with bird designs in sleepwear for Fall and Holiday 2009. Also for holiday, a mixed media of animal prints for bedding, finished with a faux fur throw for an updated bohemian look. Reversible faux fur vest reversing to black chevron quilting.
- Combining Enchanted with the Illusionist – Perle de Jardin Voile coming up in Summer 2009.
- Time traveler – Tea Time Toile, an Oriental multi colored toile with delicate outlines in metallic gold availabe in Fall 2009. Art Nouveau-influenced paisley in deep claret for Holiday 2009.
- Alchemist – Architectural Toile, available now, is a taupe architectural design printed on a shimmering background of silver sage.
- Color adaptations from the Enchanted – Cloisonne – bright shades of purple, turquoise, green and fuchsia, accented with gold that is currently avaialble. Florentine Scroll – also currently available – showcases an interplay of bright orange, gold, yellow, and white in a traditional but overscaled paisley design.
Our apparel designer, Heather, chimed in to give us a quick overview of what we’ll be seeing in Cuddledown’s sleepwear selection:
H: You’ll be seeing lots of florals in our sleepwear. Our Amadora line will get an update in Fall 2009, featuring a new small (so-called “ditsy”) floral print, while our offerings from Lily Pulitzer, in Holiday 2009, will showcase big, bold, bright florals. As Norma mentions above, birds are also very big right now & we’ll be offering printed bird sleepwear in both our Fall & Holiday 2009 catalogs.
TBS: Norma, do you have any tricks of the trade regarding trends for our readers?
N: It’s lots of fun to decorate & update the look of your room by playing with color and fashion trends. A suggested tip for those who like to update their décor often is to start with classic pieces in designs and textures that you love. Select a neutral palette for your basic bedding wardrobe such as white 1020 thread count sateen, neutral 600 thread count sateen, or pale pastel 500 thread count percale. With this basic palette, layer on a new print or textured solid as a duvet cover and matching sham. Add a pop of color with contrasting decorative pillows and a coverlet, quilt, or throw. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colors and textures to create your own personalized nest of comfort. I love mixing the unexpected together to create a sleeping environment all my own.
I find the whole thing fascinating – how trends are developed & forecasted before we even see them! This year’s trends (or at the very least, the names given to the themes) seem to have an appealing air of mystique about them. I think Fortune Teller & Enchanted sound the most fun. What do you think?