Recently the Ivystone team sat down with Brian Miller, Founder and CEO of Coco + Carmen, to discuss fashion and accessory trends.
Where do you and your team look for trends?
We've had to pivot since the pandemic, just like many brands have. In the past we would visit European designers in market and now we have to obviously look at them online for inspiration. In addition to European designers, we also follow celebrities and influencers that we feel that align well with our brand and our core customer. Pantone also gives us great guidance as to color trends for the future. And our factories share fashion and lifestyle reports with us that help guide us. There is also general gut intuition from our product design team.
But honestly, at the end of the day, it's really a mix of art and science. So, we take all those factors, and then combine it with what we have seen work in the past. And by combining all this together, we're able to continually curate new collections and add pieces that she wants to add to her wardrobe.
What fashion trends will we see over the next few months?
As we move into the fall/winter season, we're seeing lots of puffer jackets. Jackets, vests, handbags, scarves, and chunky sweaters are on the rise. Looking into the holiday season, we will see pops of red, velvet, and updates to traditional plaids.
Thankfully, we're moving back to a new normal, and that means more and more people are heading back to the office and they're enjoying going out socially with friends and with family. And what that means is an acceleration in trend from that comfy athleisure that we all seemingly wore forever into more stylish pieces. Yet those stylish pieces retain that comfort that we all grew accustomed to and love. Examples of that include pieces with softer fabric and brushed finish stretch jeans that you can wear during the day and you want to keep wearing when you get home at night.
And finally, there's an increased interest in natural materials. For example, in Coco + Carmen’s Summer Collection, we are launching several pieces made from gauze. But this gauze has undergone a special washing technique, which makes it a little comfier and has a luxurious feel to wear.
What do you see coming in jewelry trends?
In jewelry, we're seeing larger links emerging. Gold has been trending and that trend accelerates in popularity as well as mixing metals. Really, there's no rules to mixing and matching your metals anymore. In addition to that, we're seeing natural stones continue to be popular.
The last several years, dainty and layering chains have been really popular. And that's a trend that will continue. But you're seeing a transition to bolder, larger statement pieces, especially in necklaces, as she looks for a new way to express her personal style.
The last trend that we're seeing is giving jewelry as a gift, especially when that piece has a personal or sentimental meaning behind it.
As we look beyond jewelry, what else do you see coming for accessory trends?
There's lots of exciting trends with fashion, accessories, handbags. For example, we're seeing sling bags, belt bags, and messengers all trending. Additionally, women are increasingly personalizing their bag with woven straps.
When it comes to scarves, cashmere scarves, oversize scarves, and snoods are all trending this fall and people are wearing scarves in different ways. For example, many are belting oversize scarves for a more stylized and fitted look.
Finally, hats are having their moment! Knit hats and hats with fuzzy fabrics are really doing well along with buckets and ranch hats that have wider brims.
How have you seen the economy impact what shoppers are doing in the fashion arena?
We are definitely seeing customers be more mindful in making purchase decisions, and she's looking for elevated products that help give her a sense of value and style from that decision. A couple of ways in which we're seeing that are her migration to cross-functional pieces. This way, she's able to get the most enjoyment and use out of her purchases.
If you could recommend to a retailer one thing to help make them more successful in the fashion category, what would that be?
First off, I would recommend always bringing in some new fashion picks, continually having new items to show and to share. But bringing those in store isn't enough. Curating them into outfits, into looks, helps to inspire the customer to mix and match and put things together that she may not have thought of on her own. Take that one step further by taking a quick photo of that curated outfit and post it on your social channels. You customers and your followers will always know when there is something new in store.