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Jeff Russel, Director of Product Development
What are the three biggest trends you see shaping the market and what you are doing to meet them?
1.) Fits are trending longer in jackets and slimmer in pants. All of Armada’s jackets are a little longer this year and we are continuing our popular ‘Long Fit’ from 10/11 which adds 4″ of length. Everyone is running a slim fit pants now. We are adding a slimmer pant fit called Progressive Fit which tapers in the knee but still has room in the hips to accommodate athletic movement.
2.) Prints with fading between colors like a dye or wash technique, are interesting, and can be found in Armada’s 11-12 line.
3.) We are still seeing color blocking trending but with more tone on tone colors rather than higher contrast from a year ago.
What are the biggest changes in the outerwear market you’re seeing for this winter on the business front?
The biggest change in the outerwear market has been dealing with the radically changing climate in China. The combination of a labor shortage with rising wages, raw material costs and exchange rate between RMB and US dollar have made both planning and pricing a huge challenge.
What fabrics, colors, and technologies are you focusing on for next season? We are focusing on creating visually unique line using prints and color blocking to complement higher performance fabric throughout the line.
What are pricepoints doing?
We are keep the price points generally the same as 10/11, but this has been a struggle due to rising costs in China.
How have you responded to the current market and the decrease in prebooks?
Armada is an anomaly in the industry because our prebooks have doubled year over year. As a result, we are looking to expand the line in the right places for 11/12 by strategically filling in any gaps.