Q&A with Hue’s Catrinel Popa

On Trends

Hosiery and leggings were a common sight on the runways during the fall ’10 shows, appearing in everything from bold shades embellished with rhinestones to slouchy knit styles reminiscent of legwarmers. And Hue, the Greensboro, N.C.-based brand owned by Kayser-Roth, is tapping into the strength of the trend.

“There were so many inviting and legwear-friendly trends on the runway,” said Catrinel Popa, Hue’s VP of design. “You couldn’t ignore it.”

After fostering partnerships with established ready-to-wear designers, including Tracy Reese, Tibi and Trina Turk, Hue has teamed up with clothing line Milly to create a fall ’10 collection of legwear featuring argyle prints, cashmere ribs, metallic herringbones and studded opaques.

Hue also unveiled the sleepwear and sock line Huetopia for spring ’10 and carries gel inserts, liners and slippers.

Sold at department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s and at Hue shops in Charlotte, N.C., and Westlake, Ohio, the company’s full collection retails between $10 for socks and $32 for embellished tights.

Popa, who also oversees Kayser-Roth’s No Nonsense division, spoke with Footwear News about the hottest looks for fall and why tights aren’t just for colder days.

FN: What are the biggest trends in leggings and tights?
Glamour is big, so we took the embellished look, with rhinestones and embroidery, to tights, leggings, sheers and socks. Some of them were really out there, with multicolored rhinestones and gunmetal studs. And, of course, texture is always big. Layering is becoming important for the more casual look, [so we have] chunky sweater knits and over-the-knee socks [that offer] warm, fuzzy and rustic fabrications.

FN: Any looks to avoid?
Not really. There are so many strong trends, and you have the flexibility to mix and match. It’s amazing how many different looks can coexist on [sleek] heels and on chunkier clogs and wedges. It’s almost like there are no rules. You see socks that are sheer or are very chunky [being] worn with elegant heels and strappy sandals. You used to only wear sheers with high heels, but it’s just not that simple anymore. There’s no taboo.

FN: Why are tights becoming more popular in warmer weather these days?
[Women] are certainly wearing tights further into the summer, but of course, everything [for spring] will be lighter weight. It’s a trend driven by [what’s on] the runways, and [tights] really help a woman express her mood and update her look.

FN: What do designer partnerships bring to Hue?
They really provide us with inspiration. We always look for designers with a wonderful sense of color, a great attitude with their clothes and a similar point of view [as Hue]. That’s a large part of why the collaborations have been successful.

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