Springtime is not far from sight. Sunshine is peeking through the clouds here in Mississippi and that can only mean one thing: time to shop for Spring fashion! Color is in season and there is no place like Belk to find your new Spring looks. I have had the privilege of personally shopping the “So Bright” and “Most Wanted” Spring 2012 at Belk, the South’s premier department store chain with 303 stores in 16 states. The fashion is truly exciting and there seems to be a little something for every taste and every budget. There is absolutely no way to walk inside Belk and not catch “Spring Fever”.
I recently sat down with Arlene Goldstein, VP of Fashion Merchandising and chatted about Belk’s Spring 2012 fashion campaign. Please allow me to take you inside the world of Bright Now and get inspired for Spring’s hot trends!
What are the major trends this Spring and how is Belk representing them in the stores? The single most important message of the season is color. A committment to color that the customer hasn’t seen in several years. This will not be a flash in the pan, but a trend that will stick around for some time. Bright Now is what we call our campaign. Color is seductive. It gives off its’ own energy.
There are four distinct groups for your Spring 2012 looks. (70’s Glam, Shape Shifter, All American, and So Pretty) Do these fashions translate well to all women or is there a target group for each category? They translate in a broad spectrum of taste levels. One day you might feel preppy and wear a little button blazer with buttons down the sides with a pair of white shorts and a yellow pair of wedges. That may be more classic for you. The next day, you may want to wear a lacy dress. Each of the style statements run the gamut for interpretation. The consumer can personalize it.
Runway trends often influence the modern woman’s purchases. How can we wear Spring 2012’s runway inspired looks and make them workplace and everyday friendly? I believe that everything in fashion is inspired by runway. You may not think that you are wearing runway, but it may have been in Marc Jacobs’ show in some form. The runway trickles down to the consumer in a more subdued way, perhaps with a less plunging neckline or a longer hemline.
I write to inspire the fashionista in everyone, but especially while remaining accessible to the budget conscious consumer. What piece is the must have for the season? Something in a bright color. The consumer is more strategic in purchases and is not as much about price point as finding that “wow” item that creates the wow. A pencil skirt is also a workhorse item as is a skinny bottom.
What is the beauty must have for Spring 2012? Eyeliner is really important this season with a flick on the end. There is a more dramatic use of color on the face. I am loving the use of corals. Moderation is key.
Belk has a flair for Menswear. What are the trends for men this Spring? Color is important to him this season as well. He won’t be afraid to wear an awkward color polo. He will perhaps buy a sportscoat in a non traditional color that works from desk to dinner. The male customer is more fashion savvy than he has ever been. Although we know that 80% of all men’s fashion is purchased by women, the man is getting more involved in the trends.
The strong, artsy feel of the “Shape Shifter” group influenced me while preparing for the Belk fashion shoot. How can customers “tiptoe” into the bold, brights and abstracts trend? Finding one bright piece, integrating with black, neutrals definitely, grays even, or a taupe. Maybe buying a new handbag in yellow instead of the more obvious choice of black. Venturing into a shoe that is a color. It’s about comfort level. Tread lightly and see what happens!
I consider myself an avid “shoe collector”! What should women look for in the perfect Spring shoe? Color is important. Also metallics to wear with the bright colors. Silvers. Good to wear with the popular reds and shrimp colors. The wedge heel is a key silhouette this Spring. The single sole pump is back. A strappy, sexy sandal. Mixed media, mixed material is important. Cork, rope… You could interpret the color trend in the shoe.
Belk represents modern Southern style. What sets Belk apart as a leader in fashion, beauty, and style? We have our finger on the pulse of modern Southern style. It’s a lifestyle really, not a location. The consumer is given the touches of the more feminine Southern elegance with a treamtment of modern aesthetic.
Finally, how can my readers stay in touch with Belk and the style trends this season and beyond? Follow me on Twitter @belkfashionbuzz. Also Belk.com has some great resources including a fashion report.