Products - Skirt Savvy
How To Sell This Niche Product
If their recent prevalence on catwalks is any indication, skirts remain a hot fashion trend. At the spring/summer 2013 fashion shows in Milan, Versace models wore lace skirts with matching tops, paired with belts and tall gladiator sandals. Yves Saint Laurent currently offers miniskirts, A-line skirts and even biker-inspired leather items with metal accents. On the retail side, H&M and Forever 21 carry a variety of skirt styles, from asymmetrical, pencil and mini, to floor-length, lace and denim.
So, how do you make the case for skirts to be used for branding purposes? Start off by bringing your client's attention to them. "Since a lot of the apparel on the market is tops and outerwear, customers are sometimes unaware of skirts," says Shurli Allinott, president of Brandwear (asi/41545). "After they have selected a top, ask them if they'd like to add to the order, noting that skirts can be much more forgiving than pants or dresses and fit a broader size range."
In part because of skirts' popularity in fashion circles, suppliers are releasing new styles. Brandwear offers the nylon/spandex Marina skort (16) and the Deziree (263), a multi-tie bamboo blend dress that can be worn in five different ways, including as a skirt or halter dress.
"We often hear from our clients that it's very hard to find any bottoms in the industry," says Allinott. "That's why we now carry these. We are very excited with the sales of both styles so far this year and expect them to be strong as the seasons change."
Abby de Joya, senior account manager at Blanks Plus (asi/40642), says the company's goal is to give women the freedom to create their own look. "We've focused on chic skirt styles that are versatile, figure-flattering and easy to wear," she says. "We're seeing a demand for versatility, so we create a silky smooth canvas so the wearer can add her own touches. The canvas can also create its own statement. We want women to explore and have fun."
American Apparel (asi/35297) is focusing on the renewed popularity of skirts with several styles, including a skort, an interlock miniskirt and a new pleated tennis skirt. "Skirts can really polish and transform an outfit," says Yvette Corona, wholesale marketing representative. "Plus, you can pair them with just about anything – especially crop tops."
Popular markets for skirts include restaurants and bars, hospitality, fitness, golf, tennis, schools and sports teams, though the skirts used for each application vary. Says Corona: "That's why we offer skirts for almost every need."