Vegas Recap: Add Some Excitement!

by Karen Alberg Grossman

Reading through several notebooks filled with observations from the Vegas shows, I have to admit that I’m still loving woven shirts! I know it’s time for a knitwear resurgence but based on what I’ve seen out there, innovation in wovens (embellished, embroidered, sheer, gauzy, color-drenched) should keep the category going strong for at least another season. (Were there only as much excitement in bottoms!)

Epitomizing a casual-luxe beach-y mood: the entire shirt collection at J. Campbell. In the capable hands of James Campbell and Rick Solomon, the relaxed elegance of summer weekends is somehow infused into every shirt! Check out their soft seersuckers, washed oxfords, embroidery on stripes, updated paisleys, mini-florals, and even some California Cowboy styles. It’s a great collection with tremendous attention to detail, well-priced at $55 to $65 for the long-sleeved styles ($135-$155 suggested retail), and sized to fit America men (shaped but not tight).

James Campbell and Rick Solomon show some winning wovens

Other strong woven shirt lines: Riscatto ($45-$75 cost, great double-faced fabrics, batik-printed linens and clip effects), Options (Matt Totillo’s pale washed linens are exceptional), Arnold Zimberg, Luciano Moresco (special shirts at $80-$140 wholesale), Haupt, Ike Behar (their original clipped shirt is still hot!), Tori Richard (their proprietary Lawn’s Egyptian cotton at $80 (short sleeve) and $95 (long) retail is a find; also silk/cottons and linens with a Japanese design sensibility), Poggianti, Road (hand-embroidered at $52 cost, $135 suggested retail), Gionfriddo (Joe’s baby daughter is their new model), and of course Robert Graham (it just keeps going…)

Fresh looks at Riscatto

Craig DeLongy of John Craig shopping the Zimberg line

Bold colors at Haupt, shown by Jack Makoujy

Josh Feldman with some exclusive prints at Tori Richard

Powerful prints at Poggianti

Akhil Shah with some beautiful embroideries at Road.

Francesca Mary Gionfriddo in the new Gionfriddo ad campaign.

In the premium denim category: Aniki is a new rock-inspired collection of Japanese denim, $74-$95 cost, heavy on the details e;g; dragon-shaped buttons. Stronghold is a re-launch of the original L.A. denim line established in 1895. It was once very basic and worn by the likes of Charlie Chaplin; today, there’s tons of custom work, as modeled by Amanda, Michael and Britt. (I loved the soft “sky-wash” and the yarn-dye mattress ticking stripes.)

Travis Homer, Sarah Pollack, Kyle Boyd at Aniki

Stronghold owner Michael Paradise with Amanda and Britt

In accessories: Sandstorm offers great leather and canvas safari-inspired bags out of Kenya (a percentage of sales goes to save the game preserves) whereas Dr. Koffer is a new collection of Italian leathers with brass hardware and some suede detailing. Geno d’Lucca (at Tandy) offers great rock & roll belts, bags and wallets; the Italian-born designer is a real pop culture hero (motocross and rock star) in Mexico where he resides; his family has been in the leather business for three generations.

Saving the game preserves: Sandstorm leathergoods

Elegant bags by Dr. Koffer

Cool belts by Geno d’Lucca

Other spring winners: Tulliano’s safari-inspired frayed sportcoat, $77.50 cost to retail for $195-$295; Dom Rebel’s Swarovski crystal-encrusted T-shirts (with lots of skulls!); affordable tie-dye knits from Samurai Surfer and Gran Sasso’s collegiate cardigan in a yarn-dye pima cotton ($130).

Bottom line: There are great items everywhere, at all pricepoints for all customer types. As tough as business is at the moment, a shot of excitement could bring it right back!

Michael Isaacson modeling Tulliano’s frayed safari sportcoat

Sparkling skulls at Dom Rebel

Samurai Surfer’s bold knit shirts

Ultra-soft spring sweaters at GranSasso, shown by Pierluigi and Sandra.