FGI-LA Spring 2008 Runway Panel Discussion
Although I live in Shanghai, I was recently in Los Angeles to visit several clients. While in town I managed to fight off my jetlag while attending the FGI-LA Spring 2008 Panel Discussion.
My extra effort paid off and I was able to enjoy a lively and informative discussion on the state of fashion in LA from their panelists who included Henri Meyers- EM Productions, Cristina Ehrlich- Stylist and Designer of Miss Davenport, Juan Carlos Obando- Designer, Mark Werts- Owner of American Rag/ Denim Bar, Betsee Isenberg- 10-11 Showroom.
The most interesting topic of the evening was about the advantages and disadvantages of showing at LA's fashion week.
Close proximity to celebrity clients and the entertainment business were ranked as the major advantages. LA designers are also able to represent the signature California style which leads the world in casual apparel.
However, LA Fashion Week's dates in relation to the international fashion calendar were sited by Betsee Isenberg as real issue. Currently LA Fashion Week is almost 8 weeks after New York. Buyers are tired and have often spent their budgets by the time they see the LA collections. To address this issue, LA Fashion Week will be moved up three weeks next year.
The discussion also included the panelists views on a number of trends.
Although the pricing on denim has come down, the denim bubble still has not burst. When asked if he thought the denim trend was over, American Rag owner Mark Werts laughed and said, "I've been in the bubble my entire career."
Denim is still a staple item for most markets. The denim designers who are doing really well, not only have the hot item like a skinny jean, but a range of cuts to fit any body type.
Green Products are also moving from a tertiary to a primary place in stores. Mark Werts noted that American Rag is looking for "sexy green" products to compliment their lifestyle offerings.
Lastly, green products may be in but expect to see them in citrus colors. The evening closed with the FGI spring trend report slide show which highlighted the bold yellows and oranges favored by this season's top designers.