Q&A with global buying director Maud Barrionuevo
Jan 25, 2021
Earlier this month, FashionUnited launched its FW21 United Kickoff campaign to give buyers an overview of the fall/winter 2021-22 collections, offer unique trend insights, unite the fashion industry and connect even more professionals. Maud Barrionuevo, the global buying director for the LVMH owned e-commerce platform 24S, shared an interview via email with FashionUnited to share her insights into the FW21 collections.
What is your process of searching for fashion items?
Before the pandemic, the 24S buying team used to physically travel to all of the global fashion weeks, as well as showrooms and trade shows. This is how we kept up with our existing brands but also discovered and met new designers. We have obviously had to adapt our approach, but the curiosity and excitement about what's going on in the industry has not changed. Brands often get in touch with us directly. And of course, social media is a great source for inspiration. It's a fantastic way to keep our finger on the pulse of what's going on and what our customer is loving.
With the pandemic ongoing, how do you think fashion buying will take place?
Digital showrooms have proven very efficient, because the brands have adapted amazingly swiftly, by coming up with innovative ways to introduce new collections remotely and present their universe differently. It's actually opened up what a presentation should and could look like beyond the traditional runway show format. For example, Balenciaga incorporated its collection into a creative gaming world through ‘Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow.’ We are currently facing a transition which we hope will allow the industry as a whole to reset and come up with the creative formats of tomorrow. Many brands are actually challenging production and delivery schedules and adapting their own presentation timings accordingly, choosing to revert to a simpler, more manageable calendar, like The Row. This has been particularly interesting because new constraints have allowed for the emergence of a different kind of creativity within an industry that has long remained unchanged.
What fashion items are you looking for this FW21?
We are seeing increased demand for comfortable and chic athleisure, as well as homewear and loungewear lines like Dior Chez Moi. The current climate is definitely influencing the new collections in terms of what the customer is looking to purchase. The subject of the environment is also especially top of mind for fashion buyers as well as consumers who still want to buy luxury items, but in a better and more responsible way. This state of mind is particularly visible in Marine Serre's collections (focused heavily on sustainability and upcycling) and their success at this time.
What trend are you most excited about this year?
We are seeing several trends emerge for the season: ‘Neo black’ styled as a full look with leather detailing (seen at Balenciaga and Givenchy); oversized wrap shapes and fringing details to wrap up in; and ‘bohemian bourgeoisie’ (seen again this season at Dior and Ulla Johnson). I look forward to discovering more with the upcoming FW21-22 presentations.
Where do you think inspiration is coming from for fashion in 2021?
At the moment, Asia is fast-growing and highly dynamic, so it is very likely that designers will increasingly work on dedicated items for this market. Successful brands right now are investing more than ever in creative design and marketing to stand out. Celine, Dior, Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga continue to be must-follows for 2021.
Do you want to view FW21 clothing collections? Click here to explore the FashionUnited Marketplace.
Photo credit: LVS