Miamians ‘are not shopping for basics’
Holiday gift giving should be easy and stress-free, so Gregg Andrews of Nordstrom advises selecting unique, special items that people on your list would not buy for themselves.
“A great gift should be practical but also a little indulgent,” said Mr. Andrews, fashion creative director for Nordstrom. “Something useful like a watch can turn into a wonderful present if it’s distinctive, a bit more expensive than an everyday piece.”
He said the most popular gifts tend not to change from year to year. “People are not shopping for basics,” he said. “They want something out of the ordinary.”
For women, designer handbags are always popular and are gift items that women always seem to want, Mr. Andrews said. They can range from a small, cross-body bag to a large tote with color an important feature.
“A handbag no longer has to be brown or black,” he said. “Color and style are key.”
For men, Mr. Andrews said there’s been a resurgence of the duffle bag, something he describes as “old-school” but now featured in attractive leather and suede.
“These can be used to travel, rather than the wheeling weekend bags we’ve seen for so long, or function as a gym bag,” he said. “It’s a popular item that looks new and fresh with an authenticity. Something one can have ‘forever’ resonates with men.”
Gift items can range in price from $200 to $2,000 and above, Mr. Andrews said.
“Everything depends on the level of quality in the fabric, manufacturing and design,” he said. “It’s about how many artisans have touched the garment.”
Luxury handbags, for example, undergo a tremendous amount of craftsmanship, Mr. Andrews said. “The factories turn out fewer of these highly-crafted bags a day and take longer to make.”
Although the holidays are a popular time to shop, Nordstrom does not carry a specific line of fashion for this time of year, Mr. Andrews said. Rather, he said what’s in the stores is a continuation of fall fashions with some changes in fabric and color.
This year, one of the much-loved fashions has been leather clothing for both men and women. “Even in Florida, leather has been important because it doesn’t have to be heavy, black or brown,” Mr. Andrews said.
“There’s a lot of lightweight leather that’s soft and supple and comes in off-white and pastels.”
For men, the classic bomber jacket has been popular, and Mr. Andrews anticipates that style will always appeal. “It’s got a bit of athletic flair and is also attractive in tweed.”
For women, there are leather skirts, light jackets and pants. Mr. Andrews said other items that were huge hits in the fall, and will appear throughout the holidays, include longer and fuller skirts in light colors, cashmere sweaters that can be worn as an alternative to coats, and all sorts of clothing either trimmed with lace trim or entirely created from it.
At Saks Fifth Avenue Dadeland, the focus this holiday season will be on the Deco Decadence as fashion roars like the ’20s, “an enchanted experience,” said Tom Soares, director of marketing.
“Spellbinding diamonds, glowing gifts and fairytale fashion highlight many of the luxury themes we are featuring in our Holiday 2014 magalog,” he said. The magalog is the first collaboration “on elevating the brand and the Saks Fifth Avenue experience to our clients” by President Marigay McKee and Executive Vice President of Marketing Mark Briggs, Mr. Soares said.
“We look to highlight those wanted categories that are the perfect gift-giving items: fine jewelry, handbags, cosmetic and fragrances, home furnishings, women’s, men’s and children’s accessories, travel-friendly items, novelty holiday ornaments and gourmet sweets are prime choices,” Mr. Soares said. “With the super-luxury client in mind, we do carry a heightened assortment in fine jewelry, fragrances, handbags and furs – all to surprise and delight at this very festive time of year.”
This year, Mr. Soares said, exclusive to Saks Dadeland is its perfect limited edition Bond No. 9 Swarovski-Encrusted custom bottle and fragrance. “Taking this approach,” he said, “allows us to entice luxury clients and those with the most discriminate taste.”