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Why Your Fashion Trend Analyst Information Is Essential Across All Retail Departments


Starting where we left off from our last article, we explored the exciting Pre-Fall offerings from the recent runway shows. Once we study all the designers, shows, collections and fashion developments, we sift through all the data and decide what is important to focus on as a hot new trend.

Of course we will target this trend in the apparel departments, but the many other departments of the retailer are equally important. The customer needs to see that you are taking a solid trend stand across the board and that you are presenting it first; before the competition.

So we’ll take just one trend that we touched upon from the Pre-Fall shows and carry that trend across to the various departments in a retail store, as one example.

Let’s take Karl Lagerfeld, (everyone else will.) Since we can be sure that his “Cowboys and Native Americans” trend will be picked up by everyone, why don’t we explore how we can bring a smattering of this trend into all of the retail departments before the competitors? This will prove once again to your loyal customers that you can spot the hot trends and offer them first. Why bother to shop anywhere else?

Jewelry is a logical place to start. As so much of any sale is based on emotion, (we’ll go into depth on that topic at another time,) let’s delve into Old Pawn jewelry.

1. Old Pawn bracelet.

2. Old Pawn bolo tie.

Old Pawn is Native American jewelry with a story to tell. This vintage jewelry was originally part of a Native American family’s heritage. Worn as a symbol of status and wealth, the finely crafted jewelry, usually made by a trusted craftsman and friend, was part of a family’s treasure. Handed down from one generation to the next, these gorgeous pieces were cherished. When a family fell on hard times and had to bring the prized jewelry to the pawn shop, the hope was that they would be able to buy it back. Alas, that was not always the case and after a time the pawn broker was allowed to sell the jewelry.  Today, specialists search the American South West to discover these exquisite pieces.  The stories are amazing and the idea of wearing an original piece of Native American history and creating your own history with these beloved jewels would be an inspiring purchase for any customer.

I have picked out two incredible pieces of Old Pawn to show you. Both are from the Ugly Otter Trading Post.  An amazing, heavy, hand cast sterling silver and turquoise bracelet and an unusual hand carved turquoise bolo of a ram’s head with two wolves. These fabulous creations are one-of-a-kind and both are crafted by talented Navajo artists.

3. Nomad Yippy rubber cowboy boots.

Available in every color way on earth, here’s a fun and inexpensive way to give your customers a touch of “Yippee-ki-yea” without the Tony Lama price tag.

4.  Serious collectors may be interested in the hand beaded shoes by Shoshone Native American artist Jamie Okuma, whose incredible shoes are über fashionable and one-of-a-kind sculptures.

5. Wyoming Native American artist Teri Greeves is from the Kiowa tribe. She is one of the top beadwork designers in the world. Her high-tops tell a story as well as amaze the viewer. If $10,500.00 is too much of a chunk of the inventory dollars to spend, her beaded bracelets are very affordable at $250.00.

6. Beaded wayfarer sunglasses will allow your customers to add just a touch of the trend in a stylish and tasteful way.

7. Can’t forget the luggage department! Here we have luggage tags with all sorts of bold and colorful graphics. An easy and low cost way to bring in the hottest trends without a big price tag. This one is a Native Swan.

8. For the stationery department, folios and planners with bright and smart designs. Here is a dream catcher graphic in an Aztec pattern.

9. Health and Beauty department? Of course! Here we have Native made Blue Corn Sugar Scrub.

10. Gourmet Foods department cannot be left out. Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly sounds delish. Mix with peanut butter for a new classic sandwich!

11. The Furniture department will have too many customers to handle with a sofa like this one by Blackfeet Indian Ernie Apodaca on display. High end furniture, hand crafted with fine leathers, fur, fringe and hand tooled leather trim, these pieces are incredible. Check out northwestnative.com.

12. Home accessories will not be left out! How about some cowboy spurs as candle holders? Every cowhand deserves a pair to add an extra glow to those starry nights on the range.

13. By Zuni goldsmith Myron Panteah, here’s a “wow” in any language. 14K and 18K gold overlay accents on a sterling silver seed pot. The petroglyph motif would be at home in the abode of any collector of exquisite beauty.

14. For the art and home accessories department, Native American pottery and sculpture would be a natural choice. Here’s a piece that’s a combination of both, by delightful ceramic artist Caroline Gachupin.

Now we’ve just touched upon one single trend and given each department a hint of what adding unusual hot new trend merchandise can do for the store mix.  Of course you’ll want to add some fun displays to follow through with the trend promotion!


Fashion Trend Analyst contributor: Diane Weisbeck.

TAGS: retail, retail trends, fashion trends, fashionista, fashion,
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