JCPenney Women’s Design Experts Break Down 2017 Holiday Trends

Every holiday season brings an endless number of events to attend from company parties and festive celebrations to family gatherings, neighborhood potlucks and more. We sat down with Sue Koger, vice president of Women’s product development and design, and Geoffrey Henning, vice president of Women’s design and fashion, to break down the season’s hottest trends that will help customers stand out at their next holiday event.

JCPenney Corporate Communications: Before we dig into holiday trends, what’s the process for choosing the next trend?

Geoffrey Henning: We do a lot of research. Runway is very influential for us. We look at current and next runway, and then look at common themes. Then we digest the trends to see what works for our brands. We have to decide: do we do it or not?

Sue Koger: Street and celebrity style are big influencers. We’ll also use that as a guide of what our customers see and use that to react to trends that become a bigger issue because a certain celebrity is wearing it, or because you see it more on the street.

JCP: What are the big trends this holiday season?

GH: There are two trends. The first is cozy: lofty looks and yummy yarns that you wear staying home with your friends and family. That can also go into going out, but you better have a pretty amazing embellished pant, or a shoe that’s a stunner.

The other one is embellishment and shine. It’s the glam and glitz that we always see during the holiday season but the difference is, in the past we’ve been very overt about it. This year, we’ve quieted it down a bit with gold the most important color this season.

SK: There’s also lots of velvet and luxury fabrics, such as satins and lace, things that are pretty and shiny – very ready for going out.

GH: Some of the styles are less simple, so there are lots of ruffle or cold shoulder looks. Some will wear it with a dress pant, but some will wear it with a jean. I love the idea of contrasting denim with a satin or lace top. It’s a nice contrast and it brings it down a little bit. And this time of year, the shoe is definitely the superstar when you go out for the holidays.

JCP: Do either of you have any tips for showing your personal style during the holidays?

SK: [JCPenney] has a lot of options built in the different collections. So, for someone who wants to be more overt or subtle, we have standout pieces from different collections. We have lots of options so you can put your spin on it. I do think people will bring things back to denim, and then you can make it as dressy as you want by how you accessorize, or make it as simple as you want.

JCP: What’s the one must-have piece this season?

SK: Something velvet or satin. You’ll see it across the entire season.

GH: Shine, gold – it’s the must have.

JCP: What sets JCPenney apart as the go-to shopping destination?

SK: Style and value!

GH: Absolutely. You can walk in, buy your outfit and then go to the Salon by InStyle or Sephora Inside JCPenney to finish your look. It’s perfect!

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