(Filed Under wholesale Costume News). The latest executive to comment on trends in the “sexy costume” industry is Mark Rosenfeld, the new national sales manager at Escanté. He joins several other key players in the industry in this ongoing series from BODY.
BODY: What are the most unexpected trends you have noticed in the costume business this year?
Mark Rosenfeld, Escante: Girls seemed to be going back to basics, nurse, police, maids, etc. More than anything else. I don’t think anyone in the industry was expecting that.
BODY: What are the three or four dominant or “must have” costumes?
Rosenfeld: Again, a company has to be strong in the basics, good French maids, several police outfits, nurses, pirates at good price points will never steer you wrong. And with all the superhero movies coming out, costumes along that theme will be good sellers I believe.
BODY: How will this change for next Halloween, 2013?
Rosenfeld: More build-a-costumes, accessories over a cat suit, or petticoat/tutu based stuff. Cat, nurse, police. Kits will be hot.
BODY: A number of companies have been cutting back in their Halloween offerings this year. Explain.
Rosenfeld: Yes, retailers were reluctant to try newer things. They wanted older, proven sellers, and to sell off existing stock. Sales have been slow over the past few years, so retailers are holding back on new purchases.
BODY: Licensing has always been important for costumes. Is the impact of licensed product continuing as strong as ever?
Rosenfeld: It totally depends on the license. I think the same styles will always sell, and there is a niche for every movie or TV show. But that trend is slowing down. It’s hard to pick the next hot thing.
BODY: There seem to be more licenses available than ever. Some have reported success with “lesser known” licenses. Do these lesser-known licenses work with consumers in your opinion? Comment and explain your opinion.
Rosenfeld: You need to touch the right audience, comedy, sci-fi, classic character. It’s hit or miss. The costumes have to be good and fit no matter what the license. Companies grab a license without thinking it through, a name won’t sell if it is not done correctly.
BODY: Do you see a trend to buying costumes LATER in the year or EARLIER in the year?
Rosenfeld: It used to be everyone came to do early buys. Now more and more retailers are waiting and trying to feel out the economy/customers. This won’t change until the economy picks up. Until the economy picks up, even a bit, I think everyone — retailers, customers — will be cautious with their dollars.
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