The fashion industry has a well-rehearsed knack for taking affordable items and producing versions beyond most budgets. From denim jeans, available from Versace for $1,660, to Italian brand Golden Goose selling $1,560 versions of the no longer humble sneaker, basics have been hijacked by luxury labels.
Now the tank top, also known as the singlet, once a symbol of national pride on Chesty Bond and everyman appeal on Marlon Brando in the 1951 movie A Streetcar Named Desire, is changing price brackets faster than a waterfront property. In classic white, Prada’s $1,340 tank top, was frequently spotted outside the shows at New York Fashion Week, while celebrities Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Olivia Wilde and Kim Kardashian have appeared in versions with varying prices.
“An item which has undergone a transformation, from a simple under layer to a true fashion staple, the tank top should never be underestimated,” says Libby Page, market director at luxury e-tailer Net-a-Porter. “We continue to see an appetite for tank-tops and have seen an increase in searches for the style month on month.”
“For spring/summer, Loewe’s logo tank [$355] was the hit. We nearly sold out of all units globally within the first week of upload, and its popularity shows no sign of slowing – searches for ‘Loewe tank-top’ increased by 45 per cent in August versus the previous month, showing the power of a simple logo.”
Australian designer Josh Goot and celebrity stylist Christine Centenera jumped on the trend this week, launching a capsule collection with model Hailey Bieber for their label Wardrobe NYC, featuring a $230 ribbed cotton tank top.
At Milan Fashion Week, Fendi creative director Kim Jones showed tank tops as part of his Y2K-inspired collection, but Australian customers are still seeking versions that stick to double digits.
“The Bower Bird tank top [$39] is in our top 10 ongoing items and yes tank tops in general are booming,” says Liz Roberts, chief executive of denim brand One Teaspoon. “We are just about to recut ours again, which we are doing consistently. White is always the number one seller.”
“Our tank tops consistently sell well, but we are seeing a seasonal spike in sales with our customers wearing them as part of the utility trend and matching them back with cargo pants, cargo skirts and parachute pants,” says James Glasson, chief executive of high street store Glassons, where tanks start at $14.99. “White performs best, but we are selling solidly across all neutral colours.”
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