Fashion & Shopping

Talking Spring Trends With Holt Renfrew’s Joseph Tang

May 12, 2023

As fashion director at Holt Renfrew, Joseph Tang develops the overall fashion messaging and direction for the retailer and aligns this with the company’s vision and business strategies. His work ensures that Holts is first with winning fashion trends, designer collections and merchandise that is relevant to customers. We sat down with Joseph to ask him for the low-down on spring fashion. —Vita Daily

There’s still a chill in the air, but we’re setting our sights on spring; besides the obvious (temperature), why does a new season warrant fresh fashion?

The spring season represents a time to shed the winter layers, explore new ways of styling old favourites and testing out new trends or experimenting with a new silhouette. After returning from the spring 2023 runway collections, we’re stepping into the season with an optimistic attitude to brighter days ahead with a fluid and colourful wardrobe to reflect this sentiment.

What are some of the key trends you’re seeing for spring 2023?

One of the biggest themes from spring collections is what we are calling Maximalist Energy. This trend is all about embracing full colour, styling and creativity. Brands like Versace, Loewe and Dries Van Noten all used colours in unexpected ways, with silhouettes that are fluid and play with proportions and textures and bold prints. Our Soft Utility trend focuses on a colour palette that is informed by nature: energizing and restorative. Colours are earthy, rich, calm, therapeutic. Pieces are utility-inspired. Technical fabrics and details, a desire for smarter dressing. Chloe, Sacai and The Row showcased this the best. 

Are we still focused on the 1990s, or is fashion turning the clock back even further than that?

Designers are always referencing the past to inform the future, with all decades being referenced. The ’90s and early aughts are most prevalent across the spring season with both decades here to stay! From worn-in leather jackets from Acne and Miu Miu to the explosion of denim at Glenn Martens’ vision for Diesel—expressive nostalgia is the most powerful trend of the season!

Denim is always in style, but what new silhouettes are you seeing for spring?

We are focusing this season on the extra-long, wide-leg denim in a more relaxed fit. We love this style done in the inspired carpenter pant with utility details. Frame, Citizens of Humanity and Agolde. Another style that is trending is the long denim column skirt in a mid wash. 

Colour wise, what hues should we fill our wardrobes with for the warmer months ahead (we hear pastels are particularly posh right now)?

Neutrals never go out of style with earth tones in shades of khaki, green, shades of brown, cream and navy all mixing well within seasonal pieces. Invest each season in a trend colour to update your foundational wardrobe and this season try the bright acid green colour or hot pink! 

Is footwear going to see any major new trends in the upcoming months?

This spring we see the return of the ballet flat with Miu Miu, Alaia and Louboutin offering re-editions of their iconic styles. Sneakers are still trending and we are seeing some of our key brand partners including Dior, Gucci and Loewe taking inspiration from skate shoes with a thicker sole.  

Sustainability should always be kept top of mind; any advice around stocking up on spring pieces that will stand the test of time?

Sustainability is a huge initiative for us at Holt Renfrew so we are always working toward curating our assortment to offer traceability in materials and also invest in crafted pieces that stand the test of time. Investing in jackets or blazers in neutral colours is an easy way to creative longevity in your wardrobe that can be updated with seasonal dresses or knits. Denim is also something that can be seasonless—my tip is to always invest in clean mid-to-dark washes (limited distressing) for a more polished look. 

Final, tough question: what one item will you be adding to your own rotation this spring?

I am investing this season into the quiet luxury trend, which has been talked about quite a bit in the industry. I’m opting for clean and minimal silhouettes from my favourite brands like Bottega Veneta, The Row and Jacquemus.


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