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Industry Icons: Trend report from Twigs

April 7, 2009

509_twigs2687If you’ve had a chance to read my Retail Therapy column in brava’s April issue, then you know spring trends are at the top of my mind this month. And, as I can only vouch for my one perspective, I thought to myself that the trend-driven women behind the scenes at Twigs would be great resources to tap regarding current fashion fads.

With a thriving online store (seriously — they’re cited in national magazines like “Lucky” and “InStyle” — two I read religiously!) and an equally endearing storefront on Monroe Street, Twigs is the epitome of “what’s now.” So recently, I took the opportunity to pick the brains of operations manager Katie Bickers and owner Jen Van Wart (shown on left and right, respectively) about what they’ve been seeing on the trend forecast. Below you’ll find some excellent feedback that Katie passed along.

Mollie: How often are you ladies scouting trends?
Katie: The scouting of trends is a fundamental part of my position at Twigs; this is a very crucial part of our business, which is essentially on my mind all day, every day. That being said, we also really try to focus our buying on classically chic styles. There is a right way for every woman to mix current trends in her wardrobe without having to extend herself toward buying clothing based solely on what’s trendy. We do all of our buying in New York.

Mollie: OK, here’s the big ticket question — What are your favorite trends for spring 2009?
Katie: Being a Wisconsin-based fashion boutique, we’re excited that one of the top trends for spring and summer is color! After a long harsh winter, we’re revived by a rainbow of color mixed in with femme florals and tribal prints.

Mollie: If a woman is only buying three pieces to amp up her wardrobe for spring, what would you recommend?
Katie: The first should be a bright colored new handbag, perhaps in cobalt or mustard. (Marc Jacobs and Tory Burch have created some quintessential handbags in their spring collections.) Oftentimes by investing in accessories you can revive your dated wardrobe and your older garments will feel new and fresh.

Second would definitely be a tan or nude shawl. Nudes are must to mix with a colorful wardrobe this spring season. Nanette Lepore made two great options for this: a very versatile beige, full-sleeve shrunken jacket and a tan crocheted shawl.

Last, but certainly not least, is some fresh, reasonably priced jewelry. This season you won’t have to break the bank in order to find a multitude of pieces that accentuate any wardrobe and deliver fresh styles and colors combined with top quality construction. Invest in well-priced, statement jewelry like tribal bangles and turquoise necklaces.

In short, there are dozens of terrific garments to choose from this season, but these selections can be worn more regularly and will undoubtedly enhance the wardrobe that you already have.

Mollie: Are there any tips you have for women on how to utilize pieces they already have for the season?
Katie: Beside the aforementioned ideas, my best advice is to buy classic looks that feel fresh and new, which you also feel comfortable wearing. You can always revamp your look with just a few key pieces. Be sure that any garments you buy really fit properly and are those you’ll be happy to have for many seasons.

Mollie: What items should women splurge on this season?
Katie: If you’re going to splurge this season, do it on “seasonless” pieces. Pieces that are not just for spring and summer, but those that come in rich saturated colors and offer versatility for fall and winter looks as well.

Mollie: Why should someone support independently owned boutiques as opposed to what you call the “majors”?
Katie: For me, this answer is simple and one I can answer from my experience with Twigs. When you do business with small boutiques, you receive a level of quality and service that is sadly no longer even expected at the “majors.” More and more we hear from our customers that a high level of service is incredibly rare and refreshing.

Twigs is located at 1925 Monroe St., Madison; (608) 255-4363. Visit their online store at

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 9, 2009 8:02 am

    Twigs is a great find. I recently stopped in and loved seeing all the bright colors that are so hot for Spring/Summer. When you stop in, be sure to ask Jen or Katie about their jewelry cases…. they were specially designed and have a really cool feature!

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