In the second instalment of Ragtrader's interviews with AAFW buyers, David Jones GM of womenswear, footwear and accessories Bridget Veals, discusses the trends.
What are some of the top selling Australian designer brands you currently stock?
P.E. Nation, Zimmermann, Aje, Bec and Bridge, Camilla & Marc, just to name a few.
Which designer collections are you most looking forward to seeing at Fashion Week?
Ginger & Smart, KITX, Anna Quan, Bassike, Commas, Bondi Born and Rebecca Vallance.
What are the key pieces or categories you will be searching for?
As people move out of COVID we are really looking forward to seeing event and PM dressing coming back.
As part of this, accessories will also be key, with jewellery, handbags and shoes playing a huge part in this.
Flatbed sandals grow in importance as well as the barely there sandal and we expect to see new updates on these.
With us heading into a summer for locals, resort collections will appeal to the local aesthetic.
How have purchasing habits changed during the pandemic and what are the core changes you’re seeing?
With international travel not possible, we saw David Jones customers gravitate towards luxury investment pieces and purchasing timeless classics, including fine jewellery, designer watches and designer handbags.
Obviously, there was a huge increase in loungewear during lockdown however we have been seeing dressing up increase over the past few months as we get back to the office and socialising.
Interestingly as a result, shapewear is coming back as people dress up again as well as heels and accessories.
Keeping fit has been a consistent to brands such as P.E. Nation have continued to perform extremely well.
What do you see as the biggest opportunity currently as a buyer?
Definitely party and occasionwear although we have been seeing that come through consistently over the past few months.
What is the biggest challenge?
As life comes back to normal there continues to be a bit of an unknown around COVID with ups and downs.
As a result we need to keep up with the changing customer mentality and stay ahead of what she wants and is thinking.
We are definitely optimistic about the coming season though, having had such a good response to fashion currently.
Looking forward to the resort season, what do you think will be the key trend to emerge?
An update on the flatbed sandal and barely there sandal.
Also the ‘barely there’ dress, with cut outs and midriffs still having a moment along with the two piece – skirts matched back with cropped tops.
Soft tailoring with blazers is key and very chic and wide leg pants are also coming through strongly this season.