In an Afterpay Australian Fashion Week special, asks key buyers about trade, trends and what's on their agenda. Here, David Jones GM for womenswear, footwear and accessories Bridget Veals talks shop. 

What purchasing trends are emerging after lockdown?

Following the pandemic, it’s fantastic to see customers re-energising their wardrobes and embracing colour this Autumn Winter season with printed sets, hyper bright shirts and dresses in bold colour ways being some of our best-selling styles.
With the shift to hybrid working patterns and the adoption of business casual lifestyles, smart dressing has been a big trend with classic loose trench coats, girlfriend jeans, knitted sets and long line blazers being very popular amongst our customers.

Are there any categories that are particularly strong at this time?

As customers embrace occasion dressing, statement heels from new brands including MACH & MACH, Manolo Blahnik and The Attico have been particularly strong.

We are also seeing business casual and relaxed suiting styles including wide leg trousers and oversized blazers from our Australian designers such as Camilla and Marc, Rebecca Vallance, AJE and Anna Quan performing well.

What have been some of the key changes or brand additions to the womenswear portfolio?

This season, we were thrilled to welcome over 25 international and Australian brands to our designer portfolio including Khaite, Halston, Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs. We also welcomed upcoming Melbourne brand CLEA to our designer stable which has already been making waves for its incredible design and premium quality.

What changes or developments can we expect to see in that space this year?

As a brand, it’s important we continue to bring the best of International and local designers to our stores with a handpicked curation of luxury styles that we know our customers will enjoy styling for any occasion.

We also know our customers really value the experiences and services David Jones offer, so we are delighted to open our modern Bourke Street (Melbourne) service suites for customers to enjoy both beauty treatments and luxury personal shopping sessions. Our brand new centralised fitting rooms and point of sale destination will also elevate the customer shopping experience at this store, particularly with its convenient location in the centre of the floor.

As the reimagination of Bourke Street continues throughout the year, we will see various immersive spaces and services enhance the instore experience for a new generation of David Jones customers across the home, food and menswear categories.

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