Tiffany Hsu, fashion buying director of the online womenswear retailer Mytheresa, talks about the corsets and exotic prints that have taken over the runways this season, and how changing consumer attitudes affect Mytheresa’s selections.
What caught your attention in autumn/winter 2019?
From New York, I loved The Row for their oversized roll-neck in iterations such as silk and shearling, and Gabriela Hearst for her elegant and feminine statement coats and floor-length looks. I was also excited by Khaite’s debut runway show, where Cate Holstein presented an array of wearable looks that felt feminine and modern in a new and fresh way, from the incorporation of hand-painted zebra prints, to silk dresses and whipstitch-detailed outerwear. In terms of emerging talent, Deveaux New York was also very much on our radar for its chic tailoring.
From London, Victoria Beckham’s show was made for the modern woman — the skintight thigh-high boots in electric blue, leopard print and nude were so refreshing against the formal tailored looks. I loved the open-toe styles and pumps in bright colours, too. Combined with a comfortable heel height, they make a great statement even when worn with the most casual workwear look. Simone Rocha also had some beautiful eveningwear styles, proving the corset trend is back and more statement than ever.
Bottega Veneta had to be the most hotly anticipated collection in Milan, and new creative director Daniel Lee didn’t disappoint. The collection provided the perfect balance of androgynous styles and powerful silhouettes, particularly with the use of leather across full looks and accessories; the cube-effect shoulder bag is going to be another coveted item after the success of the pouch so far this season. The Attico also had a refreshing presentation, which offered some of the best partywear in the brand’s cult sequin dresses.
I loved Paco Rabanne’s collection in Paris for its mash-up of floral on floral in different exotic prints, combined with over-the-top statement bling. Jonathan Anderson presented another stand-out show at Loewe with his chic checked outerwear and glamorous, understated evening bags. At Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello took the collection to new levels; the outerwear was better than ever with oversized shoulders and straight cuts, finished in classic shades of black and cream.
What key trends did you notice?
Black is the new black; the shade dominated the runways in a fresh, revived way — Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta did this especially well in a subtle yet chic way. Dramatic oversized shoulders were key from the likes of Isabel Marant, who offered classic shearling and tweed styles with extra padding to elevate the looks. Chain mail was prominent across accessories as earrings, mini-bags and belts, which were more glamorous and statement than in previous seasons with a “more is more” approach. Finally, midi-boots are the key style to watch in footwear.
What categories/new designers are you most excited about?
Marine Serre is one of the most promising new talents that we already offer on Mytheresa. Our fashion-savvy customers love her bold designs and all-over prints that are meant to be worn in several layers. The T-shirts and dresses as well as the printed tights and long-sleeve tops were an instant sell-out. For the new season we’re also bringing on Kwaidan Editions by the London-based designers Léa Dickely and Hung La. I fell in love with their leather suiting and ’40s tailoring in bold colours, which are very on trend but at the same time wearable for everyone.
Some key themes — sustainability, emerging talent, diversity — have captured the industry. What are your thoughts on them and do these new concerns within the industry affect the way you buy?
These new themes are great as they offer room for fresh new ideas and approaches. As we see that the customer is also starting to pay more attention to these topics, we try and expand our buy accordingly to reflect this new found engagement with these important issues.
Which consumer attitudes of spring/summer ’19 did you take into consideration when buying for autumn/winter?
I think there’s a focus on our planet more than ever. Designers are inspired to raise awareness of various eco topics through this, but also to look to nature as a key source of design inspiration because of its beauty. For many designers it’s not a trend, but rather a brand identity that their collections are based on. We picked up Nanushka last year, which offers some incredible vegan leather pieces that don’t compromise on style and are also practical.
How is buying for online retail different from or similar to buying for bricks-and-mortar stores?
For online we need to make sure the product is visual and that all the details translate well online. We really focus on depth rather than just width — we have one of the largest offerings in terms of runway looks and pieces compared to our competitors.