Long before something hits the racks, the first people to ever buy into a trend are fashion buyers. Buyers hold the keys to the e-commerce kingdom because every piece you want to shop at Nordstrom or Shopbop was chosen at one point in time by the buying team. There's something to be said for the expertise it takes to sift through collections and determine which pieces will sell and transcend the realm of trendy into the realm of timeless staples. And while there are so many great fashion buyers out there making the shopping experience all the better, I'd be remiss not to admit that one of my favorite places to shop right now is Saks Fifth Avenue.
I can't tell you how many times I've searched through market and have found the best pieces hiding at Saks—its buying department has been on point. So it was only natural that I'd want to reach out to the team to see what trends they're backing for spring. Luckily for me, the chief merchandising officer at Saks, Tracy Margolies, obliged. Ahead, you'll hear about her experience as a buyer, which spring trends double as staples in her eyes, and which fashion brands the Saks team is predicting will be big this year. Consider this your ultimate guide to making worthwhile investments for your closet.
For those who aren't familiar with your work, what do you do? And how did you break into the fashion industry?
I've been in the fashion industry for over 25 years and have spent over half of my career at Saks. I started as an intern at Bergdorf Goodman after college, where I grew my career before joining Saks. As chief merchandising officer, I oversee all of the buying of the merchandise that is sold online and in our stores. I feel grateful to work in an industry that I truly love and have a deep passion for.
Are there any staples you believe are essential for any woman's wardrobe that our readers should be shopping for right now?
Neutral tones like camel, nude, and beige were big on the runways and consistently sell well for spring.
These colorways lend themselves to many of the top seasonal trends, such as knitwear, cutouts, and tailoring.
I also recommend shopping for statement footwear to freshen up your wardrobe.
Also, summer suiting and dress styles in nude tones can be layered to be worn year-round.
For our readers committed to shopping more thoughtfully, what's the one styling hack you swear by for making what you already own feel like new?
It's all about the accessories and shoes. Items in your current wardrobe can easily feel fresh and on-trend by pairing them with new, seasonal accessories.
Our customers gravitate toward pouch bags, ankle-wrap flats and pumps, hoop earrings, and lots of embellishment and color for spring. These styles transition well from day to night and add a fresh spin to any look.
With spring here, which trends do you think are worth investing in? Why?
Photo:Courtesy of Christian Siriano; Courtesy of Balmain; Courtesy of Monot / ImaxTree
Cutouts are one of the most popular trends to emerge from the runways last season, and they are ideal for a transitional season like spring.
2. Suiting Sets
Photo:Courtesy of Miu Miu; Courtesy of Michael Kors; Courtesy of Dior
Modern suiting styles like the shorts suit and skirt suit are another excellent investment. They feel effortless and fun and bring in a reinterpretation of a classic style as people return to the office. These trends are selling well this season and feel worth the investment.
3. Party Shoes
Photo:Courtesy of Bottega Veneta; Courtesy of GCDS; Courtesy of Loewe
I also recommend investing in bold, colorful heels—what we're calling party shoes. You can wear these styles not just for a night out but also with a summer dress and jeans to add playfulness to any outfit.
Can you share the fashion brands you predict will be big in 2022?
Saks is excited to be focused on new and emerging talent across all categories. But a few we love are…
1. LaQuan Smith
Photo:Courtesy LaQuan Smith
LaQuan Smith is already having a big year. His collection celebrates the female form and empowers women with bold, confident clothing.
2. Kimberly Goldson
I am also very excited about the on-the-rise designer Kimberly Goldson. Overall, her collections are filled with joy and happiness, full of bright colors, patterns, and a new play on proportions.
3. Andrea Wazen
I am also predicting a big year for Andrea Wazen's whimsical, playful footwear that adds the right pop to any outfit.
As Saks's chief merchandising officer, you're acutely aware of how quickly trends go in and out of style—what advice would you give to our readers to discern which trends lend themselves to becoming long-term wardrobe staples?
I recommend choosing seasonless investment pieces that can be used for layering any time of the year, such as statement outerwear or blazers. Colors and timeless patterns, like white or floral prints, will give you a more versatile wardrobe season to season.