Thanks to my power-hungry nature (a true Capricorn to the end), I'd love to say that fashion editors are the most powerful people in the industry. But that's very much not the case. There is a group of people that has a bigger influence over how we shop: fashion buyers. Those who specialise in this role, especially for luxury retailers, spend a lot of time behind the scenes working out just what the public wants to spend their money on.
Buyers generally have impeccable taste and understand just what it is about a certain designer, collection, It bag or pair of shoes that will make shoppers part with their cash. It means then that I always want to know what buyers are after when shopping the new season as it's a good indication of what is likely to be incredibly popular in a couple of months' time.
I spoke to five buyers from Harrods, Harvey Nichols, MatchesFashion, Net-a-Porter, and Selfridges who all gave me their wish lists for what they personally want to buy for the coming new year. All of them came up with very separate, distinct lists but there were definitely some consistent themes that I found interesting. For starters, plenty mentioned that we will be looking to colourful pieces for the new year to inject a bit of joy into a potentially difficult few months post-Christmas. Pieces from designers Ashish and Molly Goddard were selected that really amp up the fun factor. That said, we'll also still be looking to comfortable items that will help us continue to work from home, such as a pair of luxury slippers.
There was an almost a unanimous agreement on one concept: buying into luxury pieces that last. Nearly every single buyer emphasised the importance of investing in items that are part of our forever wardrobes. Whether it's a simple black dress or a blazer, there was a clear indication that plenty of shoppers will be looking to buy timeless items, thanks, in part to our changing ideas around how we shop and the impact of 2020. For all the above and more, keep scrolling to see what those that shop for a living would buy themselves.
Libby Page, Senior Market Editor, Net-a-Porter
Courtesy of Net-a-Porter
"Heading into 2021, my favourite trend is 'All Dressed Down' from our S/S 21 presentation. I have really embraced a more comfortable and relaxed attitude to dressing that still feels chic and polished. My favourite designers for this trend include newcomer Lisa Yang, HommeGirls, Extreme Cashmere, Proenza Schouler and Lauren Manoogian. Top of my Net-a-Porter wish list is Saint Laurent's wool and cashmere blazer, I'll be throwing it over a relaxed cashmere sweater for a touch of formality, and I adore Lauren Manoogian's house slippers, they're sure to be this season's must-have indoor and outdoor shoe—perfect for a cosy winter's day. I can't talk about 'All Dressed Down' without mentioning our new lifestyle edit. I'm lusting after anything for the home, which is helping me to create a calm and tranquil space (much needed right now as we continue to work from home)."
"We love Khaite at Selfridges, and they have the perfect top for layering and it doesn't wrinkle. I'm also obsessed with their high rise leggings, all you need is an oversized white shirt and a good shoe and you're good to go. Jacquemus never fails to deliver a sexy must-have dress. I am an optimist and am holding onto the belief that I will have a reason to wear this dress (below) soon, even if it is just to bring the glamour to a zoom call. We were thrilled to welcome Wardrobe.NYC into our womenswear edit this year and their black jacket is utter perfection, It's one of those things you just know you'll end up living in. The definition of an investment piece."
Laura Larbalestier, Fashion Director, Harvey Nichols
Courtesy of Harvey Nichols
"The new season is all about positive dressing and timeless pieces. With positive dressing, we are seeing a surge of happy colour palettes and fun pieces that reflect our hopes for a brighter 2021. Timeless pieces are a macrotrend, continuing from previous seasons which is not slowing down but has been enhanced by the perspective of the latest year we have lived. Our favourite pieces include fun colours from JW Anderson, Loewe and Bottega Veneta's catchy use of colours on accessories, as well as timeless but interesting shapes from The Row, Stella McCartney, Totême and Petar Petrov."
Suzanne Pendlebury, Head of Womenswear, MatchesFashion
Courtesy of MatchesFashion
"We have loved seeing our existing designers diversify into different denim categories and also have some exciting new denim brands for S/S 21: B Side, Tu Es Mon Tresor and Made in Tomboy. There was a real sense of joy and optimism in the S/S 21 collections—everyday pieces from jeans to sleepwear have been uplifted by designers experimenting with bold colours and prints. I'm very excited about the joy of fashion and celebration of craft. As designers have had to pivot and work in different ways, we have seen really beautiful techniques and artisan ways of working come through, which has been super exciting. We believe there will be a focus on the key pieces that build the foundations of your wardrobe, whether that is the perfect white tee or trench coat. I am looking forward to refreshing my wardrobe with key pieces that I know will work hard season after season."
"Simple in design and seriously chic, this dress from Deveaux is perfect for WFH or for a special occasion. There's also Khaite's signature ribbed dress, which is effortless. The alluring neckline combined with an exquisite, formfitting silhouette means it is a wearable, timeless essential. A constant on my wish list is The Vampire's Wife. From the padded power shoulders to the flatteringly feminine silhouette that is the brand's trademark, this dress, in its slinky silk iteration, is a must-have. Up next, Loewe brings both minimalistic flairs to their accessories, and a particular favourite of mine is the Flamenco Ondas clutch bag. A statement to add to any look, the detachable strap means this is a bag worthy of a night or day out. Stompy boots are also a wardrobe staple, and Bottega's Lug Boots are the ultimate ideation of the style and are easily paired with dresses and skirts or a more relaxed trouser."