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Thursday, Feb 2, 2023

Fire’s Skirts Are Summer’s Hottest Item

Scrap those minis full-bodied peasant skirts are the must-have for the summer and local apparel manufacturers and retailers are rushing to keep up with the trend.

Andrew Strasmore, president of Fire, a division of Los Angeles-based apparel company Topson Downs Inc., has been trying to keep up with orders to Wet Seal Inc., Charlotte Russe Holding Inc. and Nordstrom Inc.

The demand for Fire’s skirts, which run $18 to $60, is three times larger than Strasmore anticipated. So far this summer, retailers are selling 50 percent to 75 percent of their weekly stock, while typically only 10 percent of available merchandise is sold.

“People are surprised in how strong the consumer is reacting,” he said. “There is a whole generation of kids who have never worn a long skirt.”

Peasant fashions helped fuel a 17 percent jump in first-quarter women’s skirt sales compared to the like period a year earlier, according to NPD Group, a marketing consulting firm.

That’s certainly been the case at Intuition, a Los Angeles boutique, where skirts make up 20 percent of all sales. “As a category, skirts are just huge for us right now. We are chasing it a little bit to keep up,” said Jaye Hersh, Intuition’s president.

Intuition sells private-label eyelet prairie skirts that run from $45 to $200. Bright colors like Kelly green and hot pink, as well as muted coral tones, are popular for the skirts.

Strasmore is betting that full skirts won’t fade in the upcoming seasons. “Our challenge for spring is to continue to make them in a different and new way so they continue to buy them,” he said.

*The full column will be available in the June 27 issue of the Los Angeles Business Journal.


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