It took lingerie purveyor and Halloween Costumes manufacturer 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 now have an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ attitude during Halloween season.”
Predicting the latest trends for many Hallows Eve can be tricky for retailers, and full of potential political pitfalls as Yandy found out using its Brave Red Maiden Costume. Fashioned following the popular Hulu show “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the costume was yanked late last month after customers accused the company of se.xualizing “a show about misogyny and rape.”
With fickle customer tastes and a flub generating immediate backlash on social media, the key for retailers is speed, Quintana-Williams said, declining to comment on the Brave Red Maiden. That’s true both in ramping up production and removing problematic costumes off the shelves. Yandy’s “Se.xy Op-Ed Anonymous” costume was according to an opinion piece published Sept. 5 in The New York City Times written by an anonymous senior aide within 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 following the op-ed began to dominate the news that week. It’s now ready for purchase on Yandy’s website – taking less than a month to go from idea to consumer. “The struggle whenever we the group have these ideas is how to create a costume that will resonate with this customers and will still be relevant,” Quintana-Williams said. “The timeline is usually critical, and we work quickly on these.”
For some Adult Halloween Costumes suppliers, identifying these trends could be somewhat of a guessing game.
Brad Butler, CEO of Halloween Express, said buying decisions start immediately after the vacation and continue through March. “So there’s enough time to hold the product made and shipped using the ocean to the U.S. market,” he stated. “It’s not possible to predict with certainty what is going to be popular or trendy. I wish we could,” he said.
Licensing restrictions also constrain retailers from quickly making costumes of popular celebrities or movie characters, he explained. Halloween Express sells greater than $50 million a year in costumes and other items on the web and at its 130 seasonal store locations throughout the U.S. They can travel that simply by making celebrity Halloween “kits” using items the actor, singer or politician may be recognized for and packaging them together on the market.
“The thrown-together celebrity kits usually are done using look-a-like pieces or pieces that closely resemble something the celebrity was recognized 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 since the world’s leading costume company, licenses ideas from Hasbro, Disney along with 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,” interest in Halloween Costumes rose, said marketing director Bernice Nesbit. Some of the company’s most favored costumes this year are characters and items through the summer blockbuster hit “The Incredibles 2.”