Trendy Threads

Of the more than 1,600 labels exhibiting at eight women’s fashion shows at the Javits Center last week—the largest being Coterie, focusing on contemporary apparel, accessories, and footwear—roughly 10% are involved in licensing as a licensor, licensee, or both, as estimated by RaugustReports.

Labels with a presence across the co-located events included well-established examples such as Nicole Miller, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Tommy Bahama, French Connection, Ted Baker London, Diane Von Furstenberg, Issey Miyake, Badgley Mischka, Alice + Olivia, Zac Posen, Halston, Elie Tahari, and Jason Wu. Also featured were a wide range of niche, luxury, entrepreneurial, and emerging brands.

Some of the licensing-related trends noted throughout the aisles included:

  • The continuing importance of celebrity in fashion, illustrated by the number of celebrity-driven labels on display. Among them were Current/Elliott, Rachel Zoe, Celine Dion, Elizabeth + James, Emily Schuman’s Cupcakes & Cashmere, Kimora Lee Simmons, Kristin Cavallari, Ivanka Trump, Heidi Klum, Jessica Simpson, and Kendall + Kylie. Some of these started as celebrity brands but have evolved into fashion labels in their own right, almost independent of their founders’ fame.
  • The important role licensing plays in eyewear, even outside of the Luxotticas and Safilos of the world. Boutique eyewear companies showing off their licensed lines and collaborations included Eponym (Jason Wu and Alice + Olivia), Linda Farrow (Phillip Lim and others), and Dita Eyewear (Thom Browne).
  • High-end music-logoed t-shirts as a key trend in inbound licensing. Trunk Ltd. offered examples such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lauren Moshi’s pop culture t’s included designs featuring The Police, Retro Brand highlighted The Who and Tom Petty among its apparel mix, and Ah!Dorned by Tracey Lane Novick spotlighted Rolling Stones-logoed leather handbags.
  • A lack of character licensing, somewhat unexpected given the prevalence of character-plus-fashion collaborations in the business these days. Among the rare examples were a Star Wars boot collaboration from Po Zu, Peanuts t-shirts from Princess Goes Hollywood, and, probably the most high-profile, a range of Muppets footwear and handbags from Irregular Choice. A few corporate brands and sports properties also popped up, such as Junk Food’s Budweiser t-shirts and Mitchie’s Matchings’ NFL knitted-and-fur hats.

Among the general design trends noted across the show floor: themes of love and feminism in graphic t’s and other items; handmade goods; localism (Made in America, Made in Italy); camo and military styles in higher-end pieces; eco-friendly materials (eco-fur, bamboo, vegan leather); vibrant colors in handbags, footwear, blouses, puffy jackets, and wool and fur coats; blingy sneakers and boots (upholstery-like fabrications, affixed beads and jewelry, sequins, velvet); cashmere; and knitted caps with fur pom poms.

Aside from Coterie, the other events at the venue were Edit (curated luxury and contemporary ready-to-wear and accessories), Stitch (better womenswear), Sole Commerce (fashion footwear for women and juniors), Moda (accessible ready-to-wear and year-round resort collections), The Accessories Show (fashion and lifestyle accessories); TMRW (advanced contemporary lines and emerging designers with global perspective), and Footwear@Coterie (luxury footwear). All were managed by UBM Fashion.

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