It took lingerie purveyor and Sexy Halloween Costumes For Women maker Yandy just 72 hours to go from idea to product execution on its Se.xy Op-Ed Anonymous Halloween outfit for the 2018 season. “The timeline is usually critical, and we work very quickly on these,” Pilar Quintana-Williams, Yandy’s vice president of merchandising, told CNBC. “We have an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ attitude during Halloween season.”
Predicting the most popular trends for many Hallows Eve can be tricky for retailers, and full of potential political pitfalls as Yandy found out with its Brave Red Maiden Costume. Fashioned following the popular Hulu show “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the costume was yanked late recently after customers accused the company of se.xualizing “a show about misogyny and rape.”
With fickle customer tastes along with a flub generating immediate backlash on social media marketing, the true secret for retailers is speed, Quintana-Williams said, declining to comment on the Brave Red Maiden. That’s true in both ramping up production and removing problematic costumes off of the shelves. Yandy’s “Se.xy Op-Ed Anonymous” costume was based upon an opinion piece published Sept. 5 in The Ny Times authored by an anonymous senior aide in the Trump administration who claimed to be “part of the resistance” working to thwart President Donald Trump.
Quintana-Williams said the thought came to her after the op-ed begun to dominate the news that week. It’s now ready for purchase on Yandy’s website – taking less than a month to travel from idea to consumer. “The struggle when we the group have these ideas is how to produce a costume that will resonate with the customers and is still relevant,” Quintana-Williams said. “The timeline is definitely critical, and we work rapidly on these.”
For many Halloween Costumes suppliers, identifying these trends may be somewhat of a guessing game.
Brad Butler, CEO of Halloween Express, said buying decisions start right after the holiday and continue through March. “So there’s ample time to possess the product made and shipped through the ocean to the U.S. market,” he stated. “It’s difficult to predict with certainty what is going to be popular or trendy. If only we could,” he said.
Licensing restrictions also constrain retailers from quickly making costumes of popular celebrities or movie characters, he said. Halloween Express sells greater than $50 million a year in costumes as well as other items on the web and at its 130 seasonal store locations across the U.S. They could get around that through making celebrity Halloween “kits” using items the actor, singer or politician could be noted for and packaging them together available for sale.
“The thrown-together celebrity kits usually are done using look-a-like pieces or pieces that closely resemble something the celebrity was known for,” Butler said. “In Michael Jackson’s case, a sequin glove was easy oknqdh to use to get the idea across.”
Disguise Costumes, which bills itself as the world’s leading costume company, licenses ideas from Hasbro, Disney and other movie studios so its turnaround time is significantly slower. However, when 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney proposed to consider away government funding for PBS, home of popular children’s show “Sesame Street,” need for Adult Halloween Costumes rose, said marketing director Bernice Nesbit. A number of the company’s most popular costumes this season are characters and items from your summer blockbuster hit “The Incredibles 2.”