JUNIORS: Cell phone, iPod, Blackberry, oh, and schoolbooks….today’s teens are toting a hefty load. Hence, the exploding market for bags. BB Dakota’s fall collection includes 18 pieces, all under $150, such as a giant tote in red patent leather, and a plaid number. “They look like a lot of stuff that is going on in the better brands,” says BB Dakota CEO Gloria Brandes. Other labels to know include Zinc and Hot Kiss.
DENIM: R.I.P. low-rise jeans…it’s all about the high-waist. “The high-waist level flares have been a really big deal,” reports James Hammonds, denim buyer for American Rag Cie in LA. Orders for jeans with rises in excess of nine inches are also flying out the door at Cali’s Serfontaine, Hudson, Jainesse and Seven for All Mankind.
CONTEMPORARY: Couples that dress together stay together? A hot spinoff of the layering trend is unisex dressing, and labels like Corpus and Grandma’s Glock offer simplified sizing – XS to L – in baggy linen shorts with ’80s-style paperbag waists, and striped tees and hoodies that can double as oversized cardigans and dresses. Colors are toned down grays and burgundies, in sex-blind fabrics like cotton jersey and cashmere.
ACTION SPORTS: Active type sports like skate, surf and snowboard naturally gravitate toward an environmental bent. Volcom’s v.co-logical organic tees, bags & hats donate sales proceeds to 1% For The Planet – a charity devoted to environmental causes that Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia helped co-found – while Vans kicks feature eco-chic materials such as hemp, bamboo charcoal lining, and natural crepe rubber. Organic cotton and earth-friendly dyes are featured in the new line of tees and bags from Quiksilver’s $647 million junior brand Roxy.
SWIM: Multi-tasking has carried over to the swimwear market, where a cover-up from Haverhill Leach (formerly an accessories designer at Mayle & Kate Spade) fares equally well at the beach as over jeans, or a bikini top can double as a bra. “The biggest trend in the industry right now,” explains Melanie Michaud, marketing director of Diane’s, a swimwear retailer, “is being able to mix up sportswear and swimwear.”
DESIGNER: Punk touches like shift dresses with cross-body zippers that can show as much (or little) as you want have helped turn Riser Goodwyn into an Eva Mendes and Kirsten Dunst fave (of course it helps to be Rosetta Getty, wife of oil heir-turned-actor Balthazar Getty). Sold at chi chi outlets like Kirna Zabête (New York), Ron Herman (Los Angeles) and Mario’s (Portland, Oregon), new fall styles will include skinny leather pants and cocktail frocks with inserts made from metallic leather.
ACCESSORIES: Girls like Uma Thurman, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson and Kirsten Dunst have all been sporting nerd-chic glasses from non-nerd labels like Miu Miu and Oliver Peoples, whose specs have also shown up on Nicole Kidman, Mandy Moore, Courtney Cox Arquette and Jennifer Aniston. For a recent Los Angeles party in L.A. for Viktor & Rolf, Chloë Sevigny showed up in a pair of horn-rimmed showstoppers from New York’s Fabulous Fanny’s.