Brigitte Chartrand oversees Womenswear Buying at SSENSE and is among the first to introduce and nurture brands like Vetements, Charlotte Knowles, Louisa Ballou, and Mowalola. She’s been integral to blurring gender lines at SSENSE by bringing menswear collections like Raf Simons and Wales Bonner to the womenswear category.
Which is the main trend you forecast for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2021 season?
I don’t have a crystal ball, but personally in Spring/Summer 2021 I’ll be inspired by a ‘70s aesthetic. We’ll be seeing a mix of patterns and prints; vibrant colors and flower prints. The vintage influence will also incorporate flared trousers, denim paired with tees, and block heels. This will encapsulate a peace and love vibe, with hope that the pandemic will be over.
Are you changing the way to select brands and to edit the collections?
SSENSE has always catered to building an offering that is casual yet elevated. Given that sales in ecommerce have grown significantly over the last few months, we’re not aiming to trim our assortment or shift our buying direction. A more casual approach might be adopted by others right now, but SSENSE is staying true to what has always been our buying direction; finding and working with emerging designers as well as established houses to offer loungewear alongside classic luxury.
Have you observed any change in customer behaviours?
While we’ve been selling a lot of jerseys and loungewear, at the moment our dresses category is selling better than ever. This speaks to our overall buying direction that remains sophisticated, yet perfect for the everyday. We recently expanded our dress offering with exclusives from Charlotte Knowles, Helmut Lang, Kwaidan Editions, Molly Goddard, Peter Do, amongst others. SSENSE customers are familiar with our elevated casual offering and buying direction and continue to look to us for everything from loungewear to dresses to footwear.
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