Trend analysts, fashion editors and brands can forecast trends all day long but without relevant numbers and data to back up their predictions, it’s somewhat of a guessing game for storeowners and buyers. That’s why Loree Lash-Valencia, vice president of WGSN InStock, a business intelligence platform that delivers real-time analytics, urges retailers to explore what technology can do for their day-to-day decision-making.
Speaking at a Magic seminar on Feb. 17 titled “Real-Time Trends From the Retail Floor,” she used e-commerce data gathered from the beginning of Q4 to the end of January to present key denim items in womenswear from the Fall/Winter 2014 selling season, as well as the details that will take them firmly into Fall/Winter 2015.
Skinny silhouettes continued to dominate during the analyzed period, a consistent winner capturing 49 percent of the category. However, as Lash-Valencia pointed out, this was 5 percent less than the same period last year. “The skinny will still remain important in Fall ’15, but I urge [retailers] to diversify the silhouettes they carry,” she said, noting that “mom jeans” (or slim, high-waist, five-pocket styles) experienced 6 percent year-over-year growth, a trajectory that’s set to continue.
With that being said, she thinks that skinny jeans with higher waists and shorter legs will be important, while sew-on patches, patchwork and reworked areas in tonal colors will look fresh, as well as shredded, destroyed or embellished knees. “Surface details that create a non-solid solid provide textural interest and are a way to liven up the dark colors of fall,” she added.
And with fashion month well under way, Lash-Valencia’s predictions are ringing true on the womenswear runways. J.Crew’s Fall ’15 collection offered a hip take on mom jeans, with mid-rise, straight-leg styles featuring frayed hems and distressed knees paired with pointed-toe pumps. Similar styles made an appearance at Banana Republic’s ready-to-wear debut, too.
Jeans ran the gamut from skinny and cropped to boyfriend-loose and ripped to high-waist wide-legs at Frame. Made-in-U.S.A. brand Simon Miller, meanwhile, eschewed skinnies altogether in favor of slim, tapered legs with patchwork motifs as well as wide-leg jeans chopped above the ankle and shredded at the knee.