New York-based Lester’s has dressed babies, kids, tweens and teens for their first day of school to their first school dance and each day and milestone in between since 1948.
The family-owned business has matured, too, expanding to four locations in Manhattan, Greenvale, Rye Brook and Brooklyn, and into new product categories, including apparel, footwear, accessories, camp gear and home goods.
The retailer has kept a pulse on what’s cool by allowing its customers guide the trends. Teens, in particular, are always hard to please.
Jill Oralevich, divisional merchandise manager at Lester’s, says the teen customer discovers her trends on social media and is driven by current styles more than anything else. “She is looking for the newest and hottest, the trendiest footwear in the market,” Oralevich said.
This summer Lester’s teenage clientele continues to be interested in booties, wedges and sneakers. Slip-on, skate-inspired sneakers are especially popular, Oralevich reported. “Every single trend-driven girl has a slip-on sneaker in her closet,” she said, noting that Vans are a go-to brand.
Classic Converse sneakers are also driving sales. Ash and Superga are consistent sellers, as well, but Orlavich said Lester’s footwear business continues to be driven by Steve Madden. The fashion brand taps into current trends quickly, including fringe, which Orlavich named a popular embellishment for the season.