Niche: Purses and totes

The fall and winter 2014/2015 fashion shows turned out a multitude of purses and bags that rivaled those of previous seasons as far as imaginative design and color and style availability. If a client is investing in a handbag or tote this year, whether for an employee gift or a promotional event, there are a few specific trends you’ll want to recommend.

Jessica Brown, senior director of luxury goods for Rymax/Brainstorm Logistics (asi/41515), says intense color is a major trend this season. “Rich tones are popular, such as deep coffee or reds,” she says. “Pops of bright colors like deep pink and raspberry will also be prevalent, both as standalone colors and in colorblocking.” Brown also points to quilted textiles, “whether it’s the traditional square quilt that’s seen in Michael Kors handbags or a more modern take like the new rose-quilt pattern from Kate Spade,” she says. Bright hues and quilting represent notable revamps on these tried-and-true styles. “When trends are updated, it breathes new life into the classics,” Brown says. “You can reach a newer client base and retain customers who’ve been buying these bags season after season.”

KayLee Wheeler, product designer at Vitronic Promotional Group (asi/93990), seconds the motion for neutrals: “We see a growing trend in neutrals that feature a pop of color, specifically blue.” Blue-themed bags are ideal for promotional opportunities: “They’re great because a majority of businesses have blue in their logo,” she says. Wheeler also cites functionality as another major trend because it focuses on a busy lifestyle. “Ensuring that you have products with functionality and purpose will have a considerable impact on what your clients buy,” she says.