Fall’s must-have pieces are all substance and no fluff.
The concept of ‘investment dressing’ has become increasingly more popular amongst consumers and designers alike in recent years. People want to have smaller, more curated wardrobes comprised of better-quality pieces that will last season after season. More than just simple economics, reducing the number of fashion items piling up in landfills has become something of a moral pursuit. The environmental cost of fast, disposable fashion places a huge burden on resources and the planet, and the style-minded public are starting to take note and demand change.
For Fall 2018, Poppy Barley was heavily inspired by the shift towards functional dressing that emphasizes quality construction and minimal waste. The brand was founded on the principle of building products that customers will cherish for years to come, so aligning the latest designs with a trend towards practicality was a natural extension.
To break down how the 2018 Fall Collection delivers big on both form AND function, we sat down with the head of design for Poppy Barley, Leah Dahlgren, about her process and what customers can expect from this season.
Q: Why do you think that functional design has come such a big driver for brands and fashion houses in recent years?
A: There's a whole movement with consumers on the desire for investment purchasing, which translates down into consumers wanting to get as much out of the product as possible; whether it's being able to wear the item across multiple seasons, occasions, or ways. As consumers needs are shifting toward more experience led lives, they want travel-ready items that fit with their lifestyles.
Q: Do you think customers demand more from the products they buy now?
A: Definitely! Because consumers want more trans-seasonal products, with dual day to night functionality, they are essentially demanding more out of their products from day one. They want fewer, better things that are also multi-functional, which is leading the fashion industry to design more intelligently.
Q: In terms of functionality and versatility of the new collection, what do you think are the key standouts for footwear?
A: The Beltline Cutout flat and Rosemont Mary Jane are both good examples of functional and versatile shoes. The Beltline you can wear from day to night, and it’s a stylish flat that looks a bit more stylish and exciting than other styles that you may find in the mall or online. Similarly, the Mary Jane is a nostalgic and classic style that can be worn any time of the year. In the fall/winter seasons you can pair them with decorative socks or hosiery, and then easily transition them to warmer seasons. The practical 2" heel height makes it perfect for day to night, and the option to remove the ankle strap allows the shoe to be transformed into a dressier look.
Q: Accessories are a big part of the fall collection, what are your callouts for the versatility for this season?
A:The Backpack and Shoulder Satchel both deliver big in the functionality and versatility categories. The backpack has lots of function—from the laptop sleeve, the multiple pockets, the ability to unzip it and have it attach to the handle of your luggage, it serves a lot of different needs. You can even tuck the back straps in and attach the adjustable strap to carry it as a crossbody. It's the perfect bag for going to work and traveling.
Similarly, the Shoulder Satchel is a staple in every wardrobe. You can carry across any season or occasion— carry it as a crossbody for a handsfree appeal during your busy day, and remove it and carry it as a handheld for your evenings out!
Q: Comfort is important to our customer, how do you achieve this in our products?
Our 4mm memory foam in every shoe is our key feature to making our shoes extremely comfortable. We use the highest quality material for lining our shoes: leather. It helps to form the shoe to your foot over time, allowing your foot to breathe through letting moisture evaporate, ultimately making the shoe more comfortable. In addition, we also use leather soles which also helps to keep the feet cool and allow them to breathe. If you are one of those people standing on your feet all day, memory foam, leather soles and lining are your friends!