There are many ways to predict what could be a smash hit each season, but for all the runway shows, lookbooks, street style images, and viral Instagram trends that present themselves, one thing is always certain: The people paid to decide upfront what will sit on a shop-floor or e-commerce site know best.
These are the talented buyers so attuned to understanding what you want before you even know you want it, and for that reason, we think it’s imperative to check in with our It item–hunting friends making those major decisions behind the scenes. What they fell in love with (or made sensible, analytics-based choices on) way back in February when designers offered up their fall 2018 collections are now coming into play. So which trends and key items did they put their business behind? What has already captured the interest of keen shoppers?
@lisa.aiken; PICTURED: Lisa Aiken wearing The Row sandals
We found out by tapping the top brains in the business at Net-a-Porter, BrownsFashion.com, Gang of Earlybirds, Couverture & The Garbstore, and Harvey Nichols to bring you the inside track. iPhone notes at the ready because we’re about to get so far ahead of fall that you’ll feel like harvest festival has been and gone.
Both Brownsfashion.com and Gang of Earlybirds agree: Staud’s Shirley tote is going nowhere fast. This has been a popular buy for many retailers and now comes in a selection of new colorways.
“It’s all about vintage shapes, and this dress by Les Reveries ticks all the right boxes. It’s so versatile; you can wear it in either a pretty way with sandals or with a hoodie and chunky ankle boots to make it feel grungy. It launched just two weeks ago, and it’s already sold out in most sizes,” says Net-a-Porter Fashion Director Lisa Aiken.
“Our customers are losing their minds over the Prada Flame sandals; both colors are nearly sold out via waiting lists. Not only is the style hot, neon was also a huge trend for F/W 18,” says Hollie Harding, BrownsFashion.com’s footwear buyer. These beauties will be landing at the end of this week, so stay tuned.
“For me, this is the biggest bag since Chloé released the Nile,” says Aiken. "It’s got that slightly ’70s feel, which is signature to the brand, but it also feels polished. I have no doubt we’ll be seeing it all over Instagram come September. It only just launched on our site last week, and the stock is already selling fast. Keep an eye out for the other versions and colorways launching soon.”
Celenie Seidel, market editor at Farfetch, has a strong feeling about this knit being a runaway success. “The Calvin Klein 205W39NYC x Warner Bros. collaboration saw beloved Looney Toons characters reimagined in knitted form: These sweaters feel like future collector’s items and are joyfully nostalgic,” she says.
“One of our fastest sellers of last winter, the Hide Jacket will still be a successful item this year. The puffy jacket trend is still on trend, and the vegan leather developed by the brand is the best alternative to leather I have ever seen,” explains Gang of Earlybirds founder Fanny Airault.
“We are all about the socks, and these metallic-coated silk socks from Maria La Rosa have been flying off the shelves,” says Couverture & The Garbstore buyer Akiko Takamura.
“The leopard-print pieces from Rixo London proved hugely popular with our customers, and the whole collection sold out within a couple of weeks. The next delivery, in black, is due to land in-store in the next few weeks,” says Harvey Nichols head of womenswear buying Hazel Catterall. You can shop more of Harvey Nichols’s Rixo buy here.
“This item has all the features of a big hit: It’s an accessory, it’s fun, the pricing is excellent, it’s distinctive, it’s an influencer’s favorite and everywhere on Instagram. We are one of the first retailers in Europe to carry it and the first in France, and we’re expecting a restock in mid-October,” says Airault.
“The trend for the latest designer sneaker continues, and as with any highly anticipated launch, Chloé’s Sonnie sneaker is in hot demand. We’re already running a waiting list for the next delivery,” says Harvey Nichols’s Tina Lamb.
“It’s pretty hard not to obsess over something that’s Gucci and Bambi and baby pink, no? Perhaps predictably, our customers were obsessed with these sweatshirts, which sold out the day they were delivered,” says Octavia Bradford, BrownsFashion.com’s womenswear buyer.
“I predict we’re going to see a lot of this sandal during fashion month. We’ve already had such a great reaction to them, they’ve sold out in nearly all colorways and sizes, and we’ve reordered more for the new season. Add them to your Wish List now to avoid disappointment, as they’re currently one of our best-selling styles in our shoe category,” says Aiken.
“Another one to watch, Trademark is one of our new hero contemporary bag brands, and I’m really into their wristlet style. They’re minimal, elegant, and timeless. Priced at $385, they’re the perfect combination of compelling price point meets interesting design,” says Aiken. These will be coming to Net-a-Porter very soon—sign up on the brand’s main page for updates.
“Huge customer demand for this new arrival, for those seeking a bit of end of summer sparkle for their wardrobes,” says Takamura. “Looks beautiful paired with a silky camisole or teamed with a chunky knit for a winter take on sequins.”
“In line with the equestrian trend, we’ve seen high demand for the Loewe Gate Saddle Bag,” says Lamb. “The black and maple colorways have proven such a hit that we’ve been running a waiting list to keep up with demand.”
BrownsFashion.com’s team report to us that this Off-White industrial belt sold out yet again when it recently restocked—the unusual accessory continues to be popular, and so does the brand, with many retailers divulging that they’re still seeing a huge demand for anything Virgil Abloh’s Off-White creates.
“We all loved the vintage references seen at the F/W 18 shows, and one of my favorite pieces from this trend has to be the faux-fur coat. I love the options from Stand and Common Leisure. We launched Stand last week, and we sold out of half the stock in just three days,” says Aiken. Stand’s faux-fur coats are already selling out, so don’t wait around…
“Spalwart is the best indie sneakers brand on the market. The design and materials are excellent, and our customers are always happy to discover them in our store,” says Airault. “The vintage feeling make them fashionable enough for the city without the risk of seeing them on every girl’s feet in Paris, which is refreshing after the overwhelming trend of Stan Smiths.”
Danse Lente’s Phoebe bag continues to be a big seller for BrownsFashion.com and is now arriving in more autumnal shades like the above.
“We have sold over a 1000 units of the Tohum Puka Shell necklace, and our reorder has just been delivered, and that is selling fast too,” says the team at BrownsFashion.com.