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Breuninger buyer: “It's getting dressier again, but with the comfort we've grown to love”

By Regina Henkel


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Fashion |Interview

Breuninger’s head of style Martina Haberbosch / Image: Breuninger

With the new round of orders for FW22/23, buyers are again faced with the challenge of planning ahead for a season whose general conditions are more difficult to estimate than usual.

What kind of ranges will fashion brands and retailers present to their female customers next year? What kind of fashion do women want next autumn? Will they still want to dress in oversized and comfortable clothes or in figure-hugging and sexy ones again? What trends can one already identify? We asked Martina Haberbosch, head buyer at German department store retailer Breuninger, for her forecast.

Ms. Haberbosch, for the FW22/23 order season, what do you see as the most important trend themes in womenswear?

There are various themes. First and foremost, modern ready-to-wear, so it's getting dressier again, but the comfort we've grown to love is still there. Specifically, I expect casual blazer styles and loose-fitting pants in comfortable, high-quality materials, and ready-to-wear sets will also remain strong. The mix-and-match idea in general allows for a variety of possibilities.

Breuninger flagship store in Stuttgart, Germany. Image: Breuninger

Timeless, high-quality pieces with a longevity factor are also important as key wardrobe pieces, like wool coats and cashmere knits. Knitwear in general plays a major role as a feel-good guarantee in high-quality cashmere and comes in interesting material blends and great new styles - as cardigans, casual jumpers, workwear shapes and also still as sweater vests with fresh updates. Fashion highlights are open knitted fabrics with loose stitch patterns and details such as deep necklines. Just as important: highlights that playfully blend into the current wardrobe and create a ‘wow’-effect, often also for occasions. From one’s desk to the party, so to speak.

What about silhouettes and lengths?

In addition to relaxed silhouettes and modern layering, which give maxi silhouettes the right appearance, we are also seeing more body-hugging shapes again. Here I'm thinking of knitted sets and knitted dresses, which are tight yet still comfortable. In the basic knitwear sector, too, we see tighter turtlenecks and knits, which can be combined with casual pants - narrow at the top, wide at the bottom. Bodycon and mini silhouettes are fashionable, especially for evening wear.

What kind of dresses can we expect at Breuninger next winter?

Dresses will play a big role - from sophisticated drapes and wrap effects to casual boho-style dresses. Prints give a new impulse and of course, all party dresses are about sophistication and glam effects.

Trend agencies are talking about a new desire for sexiness due to the current Corona restrictions. What do you think?

We have to keep a close eye on our target groups and see what is feasible for our customers and in what form. Sexiness can also be expressed more subtly, for example by wearing a crop top under a blazer. That way it also works for the broader market. Then you can also play with details that pave the way for this new sexiness, for example with cut-outs or simply by choosing a slimmer silhouette. In party dressing, however, mini- and bodycon shapes clearly provide new impulses. Here, the glam factor with sequins, metallics and lamé remains important, even the party blazer with leggings.

We see a huge range of different pant cuts right now. Will it stay that way?

The variety will remain. In addition to relaxed fits and wide pants in the denim segment, we are getting more straight to narrow shapes again. Leggings are also getting a push again in the fashion area. Let's see how and whether the narrower shapes will catch on quickly.

What colours and materials will dominate next winter?

Warm, nut-brown tones will form the basis, up to chocolate brown; grey tones will also come into play again. Colour is and remains important! Pink and red will remain while orange and green are on the way. Not to forget violet and lilac, which is the Pantone Colour of the Year 2023. Softness and comfort are important for materials, in contrast to everything technical and functional.

Sustainability is also an important trend topic. How do you implement it?

Breuninger is actively addressing the issue of sustainability within the framework of four specially created fields of action. For us, it is not a trend but an important part of our corporate social responsibility, which is part of being a member of society. In the Breuninger online shop and the department stores, we identify all brands and products accepted by us and certified as sustainable accordingly.

In your experience, is sustainability a decision-making aspect for your consumers?

We are observing an increasing awareness and interest from our customers.

What kind of styles have worked well so far, what not so much?

Anything that is comfortable and practical works very well. Cashmere knitwear is clearly a winner in our ranges. Quilted jackets have also done well - from waistcoats in autumn to long coats in winter. In addition, fashionable highlight pieces are doing well, for example a particularly attractive print or an eye-catching colour.

Aboout Breuniger
E. Breuninger GmbH & Co. is a Stuttgart-based German department store retailer trading under the name Breuninger. The company has 12 department stores in Germany, and an online store. In 2021 it aquired Konen in Munich and Bram in Luxemburg, making the total number of stores 14.

This interview was conducted in writing, originally published on FashionUnited.de. Edited and translated by Simone Preuss