Our journey this week took us to The Shops at West End in St. Louis Park, MN. Two of our favorite stores are located here – Anthropologie and Love Culture – and we thought it would be a great idea to compare how today’s trends are impacting assortments in both venues.
Love Culture is a fast-fashion store that was founded in L.A. and has quickly expanded across the U.S. They pride themselves on offering women fashions that are always a step ahead in style at very affordable prices. On the other hand, Anthropologie is a higher-end retailer that sells unique women’s fashions, as well as home décor and accessories. Despite a higher price point, Anthropologie has a very loyal customer base that flocks to their many stores to see their sophisticated new takes on the trends.
We saw a lot of lace and crocheted details in both chains, but they were used in different ways. If you really want to get into this trend, you can find entire shirts made of lace at Love Culture. Best updated interpretation: a little cropped lace jacket with a feminine “biker edge.” This girly take on a normally rough-and-tough jacket suggested that lace is revved up to go in new directions. Also of note were tables of tank tops with brightly colored prints on the front and sheer lace backs that had very few sizes remaining—a sure sign that they are selling like crazy!
Anthropologie also had lots of lace on their racks, but the applications were more subtle than at Love Culture. For example, dresses and fashionable tops with lace trims and details came without the 80’s feel. Anthropologie’s lace styles were also much more versatile, which grabs the attention of the trendy workingwoman.
Another trend that we have been seeing a lot of lately are long, flowy vests. We can see these vests being worn over a t-shirt or tank top on a hot summer day. They can add an extra layer to any outfit just like a cardigan. Love Culture had tons in stripes and solids, which are easy for fashionistas to mix and match. Anthropologie’s vests had a much more chic vibe with deep hues, unique color combinations and abstract prints which appeal to many Anthropologie gurus.
Finally, we couldn’t help but notice Love Culture’s graphic tees printed with bows of all sizes and colors. These hip tees definitely appeal to this chain’s youthful shoppers! Anthropologie’s use of bows was limited to accessories (think necklaces and belts), steering clear of statement prints.
For our next blog post we’ll be switching back to a home décor focus as we tour International Market Square in Minneapolis. We’ll be back in a week to tell you all about it!