This morning, Matchesfashion.com‘s Fashion & Buying Director Natalie Kingham held a press conference in Dubai to discuss the upcoming S/S ’19 season and let us in on the brands and trends to know for the months ahead. Here’s eight key things we learnt from the morning:
1. The site doesn’t buy based on trends
Discussing the buying strategy for the platform, Kingham revealed it’s much more focused on the customer, rather than being dictated to by the runways. “We buy to a lifestyle, as opposed to trends. We buy the wardrobe and essentials for our woman with her taste and style in mind,” she explained, adding that the brand segments their customer into categories such as The Purist, The Fashion Pioneer and The Romantic. She noted that the company is well aware “that she can move through [the categories], too” depending on her mood. Furthermore, the buy is mapped out ahead of Fashion Week and then the team fills in the gap once they’re in the showrooms.
2. There’s one particular look that resonates well
Of all their categories, The Purist (described by the brand as “a back-to-basics approach to wardrobing”) is the one that attracts the most views. “It gets the most click-throughs from our email blasts,” Natalie explains. The Romantic also sells well.
3. Natalie informs her buy by watching the women around her
“I’m really interested in watching women and what they’re wearing at the airport, at the supermarket, and what they need for their lives.” From this, the company was able to identify crossbody bags and lower price-point shoes as key areas of investment.
4. High-waisted pants are a must for the season ahead
Natalie highlighted new-kid-on-the-block brand Françoise as the go-to brand for high-waisted pants this season. Expertly tailored, just add a pair of platforms and, says Natalie, “You’ll look two sizes smaller and two inches taller.” #Sold.
5. There are four keys categories that have seen an increase for S/S ’19
According to the site, hair accessories have increased by 120%, tailored shirts by 131%, escape essentials by 127% and in the lead with a whopping 723% increase is travel bags.
6. There are a handful of new names to know
First up, Emma Willis is new to site and designs classic white shirts. She began her business by designing bespoke men’s shirts and has now reimagined her silhouette for women. The best part of buying into Willis’ pieces is that her factory is run by and employs only females. Secondly, jeweller Joanne Burke should be on your radar with her beautiful pieces that she casts using bread dough (no, seriously), which Natalie says shows in the final product how incredibly handmade the pieces are. Emme Parsons is the shoe brand to know thanks to its ‘naked sandals’ — just be sure to have your pedicure appointment secured regularly — whilst Marine Serre’s couture dresses are for the fashion pioneers unafraid of making a statement. Made using upcycled materials, there are only three available on site in total. Finally, Dr Noki’s T-shirts (pictured above) should be added to cart immediately given that because the brand uses upcycled materials, there’s only one of every style available so you can be guaranteed you won’t run into someone wearing the same thing.
7. There was one trend they didn’t buy too heavily into for the new season
Natalie revealed that the one trend they didn’t really buy into this season was crochet as it doesn’t translate well into retail. “It’s quite hard to wear,” she explained. “It’s OK in a handbag!”
8. The Middle Eastern customer is ahead of the curve
Discussing the site’s Middle Eastern customer, Natalie explained, “The Middle East is a growing market for us. It is a market that engages with us quite early in the season — she’s a fashion pioneer who goes in quite quickly and doesn’t wait for trends.” As for the brands that are selling well? “Valentino is quite popular, and she’s not afraid to try the new brands. Michael Halpern is doing well, too.”