At Market, Favorites Aren’t Always Best-Sellers

Designers offer insights on why some styles sell more than others.

Designers will be the first to admit that when it comes to their collections they have their favorites. But does their cloth-crush sometimes outshine the actual needs of the buyer?

A boutique owner has to be part fortune teller, part knowledgeable curator. A smart buyer realizes that above all, they need to be prudent. Getting caught up in the hype of Market Week with a designer telling them something is “Amazing!” and “Will sell through,” can translate to merchandise that doesn’t move.

What this means for you is an uninteresting store selection and a buyer whose investment isn’t going to give much return.

I caught up with a handful of sustainable designers at Market in New York this past week and had them show me a piece they loved, but was it what the buyers were choosing for their Fall 2011 assortments? Not necessarily.

Alice Wu, founder and designer of Feral Childe (above), says the Paganini Practice Shift was her favorite but the more colorful signature prints of her line were buyers’ favorites.

Lara Miller, founder and designer of Lara Miller: “The Callie Flip Cardigan was one of my best sellers and is also one of my favorites. Buyers like that they can wear it more than four different ways and get so much from one piece.”

Tracey Forrest, Owner of True Collaborative Showroom, representing Pendleton’s Portland Collection: “The Cape was placed by every buyer but the men’s pants were sometimes overlooked which typically happens in bottoms that are not denim or khakis-This is often a missed category for men’s clothing.”

Raina Blyer, designer and founder of Creem: “These two were my favorites and the buyers’ because they’re different, but not so different to alienate any type of customer.”

Moriah Carlson, co-designer and founder of Feral Childe, said her Rabbit Bump Dress was a bright spot for buyer’s ordering because she loves it and thankfully, so did they.

Lizz Wasserman, founder and designer behind the line Popomomo, says her A/W ’11 Ferus Shirt is a favorite of hers as well as the buyers: “It’s a shift in silhouette for the buyers but they’re able to see the piece has cross-appeal and accommodates lots of body types.”

Amy DuFault

Amy DuFault is a conscious lifestyle writer, consultant and fashion instigator. She resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.