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Spotlight on hope during Fashion Week

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Kai Ryssdal: I’m just guessing here, but I’d say you probably won’t see too may Big Macs in New York’s Bryant Park this week. Fashion Week starts tomorrow, when designers show off their collections for next spring. Based on what the recession has done to most of the fashion industry, you might expect the looks to be subdued. But Sally Herships reports there is a hint of recovery on the runway.

SALLY HERSHIPS: I’m at the New York City loft and workspace of Steven Cox and Daniel Silver. They’re the designers behind the menswear line Duckie Brown. Clothing racks, bolts of fabric and shoe boxes line the walls. Silver says the recession played a big role in their designs last season. Clothes were simple and dark.

DANIEL SILVER: And we made sure that we did a lot of pieces that were very protective, very classic pieces that people could wear for a very, very, very long time. And feel that they got the best bang for their buck.

The designers say this season, while they won’t raise prices, they do want to show something more hopeful and open, like a pair of men’s shorts Cox shows me.

STEVEN COX: It’s a huge bow on a short. A big, big bow. I don’t know, it’s like a huge present.

Marc Karimzadeh is Designer Sportswear editor at Women’s Wear Daily. He says designers are still hanging by a thread, no pun intended. So they’re adding special pieces like the bow short. But they’re also widening their price ranges and using fabrics that can be worn over multiple seasons.

MARC KARIMZADEH: Stores are asking designers to tightly edit their collections, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re going to see lesser pieces but more meaningful pieces.

Karimzadeh says we won’t see a lot of flashy clothes.

KARIMZADEH: Because this is just not the time to go out and present that kind of mind set.

But designer Cesar Galindo says he’s not holding back.

CESAR GALINDO: No, I’m not, I’m actually having more fun with it now because it’s a moment to do that.

Galindo says he thinks it’s time to make pieces that stand out. He’ll be showing dresses with an 80s look straight out of Dynasty, metallic foiled-linen and polka dots.

GALINDO: The basics are in your closet. If I’m going to buy a t-shirt I want it to be on sale. If I’m going to buy a really incredible jacket I want it be really incredible because I don’t have it.

HERSHIPS: Tell me about the production of show. Are you keeping that more scaled down or is that over the top too?

GALINDO: No, it’s over the top. Why do you want to see a boring show?

Boring? That’s so last season.

In New York, I’m Sally Herships for Marketplace.

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