Last season's spring/summer collections are finally hitting stores. The current influx of fresh gear to stockists worldwide has fashion enthusiasts dreaming of the warmer months and prepping their shopping lists in anticipation of what will be hot for SS18.
We asked for the expert opinion of three industry insiders: Joe Warner, Sales & Brand Manager at East London retailer Goodhood, Nigel Minani, our Commerce Content Curator here at Highsnobiety and Lee Goldup, who is the Menswear Buyer at Browns to give us their take on what will be making a splash from the SS18 shows.
Tell us about the overall vibe for SS18 – what can we expect in terms of trends and themes for the season?
Joe Warner: You tell me! We try and stay detached from a lot of trend-driven mania. We love killer product. Personally, I'm really enjoying the overtly '70s vibes coming from a lot of good brands right now, runway or otherwise. Needles are doing this incredibly well. Also CMMN Sweden. Elsewhere we're still loving mad printed short-sleeve shirting, rebuilt garments, killer graphics, tie-dyes, the return of the One Star....
Nigel Minani: We can expect a lot of vibrant colors, such as orange, royal blue, green, yellow etc. featured on lightweight trousers and short-sleeved silk/viscose shirts. While most of the pieces have color-blocked and sleek designs there is one pattern that is not dead yet: floral. Also, dadcore isn't going anywhere, expect the cool kids to look like your tourist dad on summer vacation, sporting an anorak, shorts, chunky sneakers and a nylon fanny pack.
Lee Goldup: The '90s was clearly a major influence for designers approaching the SS18 collection; it was the biggest overarching trend. The '90s was the decade that gave us mid-wash denim, sportswear, oversized and blown-out proportions, so it’s fun to see these trends return in such a big way this season.
Logo mania is also having a major moment – another '90s throwback. Other big trends that we’ve bought into this season are overhead jackets, Hawaiian shirts, and bum-bags. We saw them everywhere during show season and they quickly made their mark as key pieces.
What were you favorite collections, shows and presentations of the SS18 season?
Joe Warner: Sasquatchfabrix. hands down was my favorite. Usually is. Wacko Maria too. Those guys just keep getting better and better. I overheard somebody say recently that it (Wacko) hits a sweet spot between Supreme and Gucci which was funny but kinda makes sense. I thought it was a really strong collection from Gosha too, my favorite in a long time. Looking forward to seeing it all in store.
Nigel Minani: Hyped players like Balenciaga and Vetements are still very relevant, but Prada is definitely the new wave! The Cloudbust sneakers and big tab trousers will be huge, and cop yourself one of their triangle logo sidebags for the ultimate flex.
Lee Goldup: Liam Hodges and Martine Rose were favorites of mine in London, as was Kiko Kostadinov, who we’re adding to our brand mix for SS18. J.W. Anderson was a highlight in Florence, and in Milan, Marni and Prada were both incredible. There were lots of great shows in Paris, but if I had to narrow it down I’d flag Yohji Yamamoto, COMME Des GARCONS Homme Plus and sacai in particular.
What new labels and designers should we be looking out for this season?
Nigel Minani: Brands like A-COLD-WALL*, Heron Preston and Human Made all presented beautiful and cop-worthy collections and UNIQLO U has got you covered with affordable premium basics with a slight colorful twist.
Lee Goldup: We’re excited to introduce some new names to Browns exclusively this season. Browns has been supporting Japanese brands since 1981 with the introduction of COMME des GARÇONS, but we’ve been particularly focused on ramping up our offer of Japanese brands over the past two seasons.
Bed JW Ford is a UK exclusive for SS18 – the Japanese label is an emerging brand we rate for its unconventional tailored silhouettes and incredible attention to finishing. Children of Discordance is another Japanese label that we’re adding to our roster for SS18. It’s a young brand from Tokyo, helmed by Hideaki Shikama, who reimagines and reconstructs vintage pieces including Burberry macs and Levi's jeans, with military fabrics and vintage bandanas. Really incredible stuff.
NYC-based Willy Chavarria is another new addition and UK exclusive we’re excited about. We’re also launching a much-anticipated capsule collection with Election Reform and releasing second drops of our capsule collection of graphic tees: Just a T-Shirt, alongside Languages, so there’s tons to keep an eye out for as we move into the new season.
What specific pieces should we look out for?
Joe Warner: Hmm good question. Those North Face and Karimoor reversible Junya Watanabe jackets are pretty spectacular up close!
Nigel Minani: Uniqlo U's striped tees and trousers are a must-cop for me.
Lee Goldup: The comic book-printed shirts and futuristic sneakers at Prada, argyle knits at Marni, oriental dragon shirts at Balenciaga, oversized parkas at Martine Rose and utility vests at Alyx are all set to be key pieces this season. In terms of footwear, the Nike Air Max collaboration at COMME des GARCONS is a definite contender for most-anticipated sneaker drop of the season. We’re already seeing major interest from our customers, which is no surprise.
What shopping advice would you give to people on a budget this season?
Joe Warner: Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.
Nigel Minani: Whatever adventures you're gonna make this summer and what you're gonna wear to them, just make sure you feel comfortable and confident.
Lee Goldup: Many brands have really upped their accessories game this season, giving people the opportunity to buy into a luxury brand at an entry price point. Whether you opt for a cap, bag, phone case, belt or a lanyard, a relatively inexpensive accessory purchase is a great way to make a statement on a smaller budget.
In case you missed it, one of last years biggest trend pieces - the Balenciaga Triple S, has just been re-stocked in an all black colorway.