By Christina O’Flaherty
From a glowing sunset to crashing waves, Resort wear captures the essence and experience of unforgettable travel getaways.
“Every buyer in a boutique is looking for uniqueness and Resort wear in general is the most unique category out there,” says Molly Peterson, brand manager for Walker & Wade. “It’s really open to interpretation and that can bring a lot of life to the floor even if you just incorporate pops onto your floor all year round. It adds that sparkle and freshness that buyers love and that boutiques pride themselves on.”
Next week at Atlanta Apparel, Thursday, October 6 – Monday, October 10, you can see the top Resort lines in person and source from their newest inspirations.
“Our latest collection ‘Welcome to the Tropics’ was inspired by our love for warm weather travel,” says Alexandra Chauss, vice president sales & marketing for All For Color. “We wanted to combine the colors and excitement that one would experience when traveling to exotic tropical destinations. This inspiration led us to incorporate a wide range of color into our collection; you will see everything from ocean blue to citrus lime. We took a lot of inspiration from lush tropical landscapes and perfect summer sunsets. We want the customer to be able to get the feel of the ultimate vacay every day.”
Product inspiration for DEI’s Sea Life Collection came from the coastal community of Cape Cod, MA, explains Marketing Coordinator for DEI, Melissa Ellis. “Surrounded by some of the best beaches in the U.S., Cape Cod is a popular vacation destination. We are inspired by summers spent at local beaches. The creative design team often utilizes the beautiful scenery for onsite catalog photography.”
In addition to their inspirations, we asked representatives from four leading lines to share the inside scoop on their top tips for how you can include Resort in your inventory for added success this season.
1. Tell a story with a vignette.
“Make a dedicated section for Resort styles in the store and tell a story to the customer. Since Resort falls during a time when the weather is still cold, it’s important to show the customer what these pieces are meant for; warm weather escapes,” explains Alexandra Chauss of All For Color. “Create a vignette with complimentary styles and accessories to get the customer in the mood to shop for their upcoming vacation.”
2. Diversify your style selection with versatile pieces: tunics, dresses, shorts, etc.
“Resort apparel should be loose fitting and comfortable. Versatility is very important. Kaftans are great for a day at the beach and can be paired with pants for evening attire. Sunglass readers and sarongs are a great extension of Resort apparel,” says Melissa Ellis of DEI.
“Our mantra is beach to table. Our looks take you from day to night—throughout your day and then have you looking completely chic for any evening or event,” says Molly Peterson of Walker & Wade. “It doesn’t have to be put in just a Resort wear box. You can merchandise it with your denim, your white tanks, or throw a jean jacket over a top. A lot of things can be worn as dresses or as tunics.”
3. Don’t forget shoes and accessories to appeal to a greater audience.
“Women have an average of 10 handbags and 40 pairs of shoes in their closet,” says Stephanie A. Wolf of Jack Rogers. “Have you ever heard a woman say, ‘I have too many shoes, handbags and jewelry’? Never! It’s the trifecta to completing a great outfit. Many times a woman just needs to freshen up her Resort clothing and new accessories do the trick. It makes her feel like a million bucks!”
4. Consider which Resort locations are nearby and select inventory to match your area’s aesthetic.
“Bright colors, pineapples and palm leaves do well in the South. Seashells and sea creatures are popular on all coasts. Nautical ropes and anchors are a staple in any lake or ocean region,” says Melissa Ellis of DEI. Keep in mind that other countries have different vibes too. For instance, Bermuda is preppy while Jamaica is more relaxed.
5. Stock quality items but stay on trend.
“We see women loving quality and paying for it as long as they can wear them with many styles and to many occasions,” says Stephanie A. Wolf of Jack Rogers. “We are seeing a large uptrend for boho and it is crossing over into many brands and style categories. In the coming years it will influence the design of clothing, handbags, shoes and jewelry. Coupled with the more casual work and lifestyles of millennials, this boho chic look is more and more mainstream.”
Images courtesy of All For Color, DEI and Walker & Wade.