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Back to Class

Looking back on my childhood, as much as I adored the summer months, I loved the back-to-school season even more.

Looking back on my childhood, as much as I adored the summer months, I loved the back-to-school season even more. From the brand-new books whose spines I had yet to crack to the prospect of freshening up my wardrobe, it was an annual ritual to relish. Every year, my mother would take my younger sister and me shopping for clothes—an all-day affair that would exhaust everybody but her. Even as children, shopping for clothes was an exercise in self-expression and creativity. It was all about scavenging for items that our friends would not likely find. By the time classes rolled around, my sister and I were ready to tackle the school year.

In “School Rules,” page 16, I was thrilled to find that back-to-school traditions are alive and well at small specialty stores across the country. Contrary to some reports that the season had waned in recent years due to customers spreading out their purchases throughout the year, as well as the buy-now wear-now trend, store owners say they use the opportunity to connect with customers, unveil new inventory and boost their bottom lines. Back-to-school fashion isn’t simply utilitarian, they say. Making a strong sartorial statement at school has the power to boost a child’s self-esteem which helps them thrive in the classroom.

Each back-to-school season is also a chance for stores to stock up on must-have items and add-on sales. In “Back-to-School Buys,” page 14, we highlight unique items on the market, unusual takes on staples like lunchboxes, backpacks and mobile phone accessories. (Personally, I’m partial to the mirror that sticks to the back of a cellphone.) According to trend forecasters, fashion-forward merchandise is expected to sell briskly throughout the season. Turn to page 8, where we break down the most important directions coming from the European trade shows, ranging from graphic prints to lush fur.

When I think back to my school days, another memory that stands out is the time I shared with my sister. The little moments that we took for granted then seem so much more important as adults. Simply walking to school and back, hanging out at dad’s office in the afternoons or participating in activities like gymnastics—my sister was always around and always had my back.

This month, Earnshaw’s celebrates that special bond siblings share in our fashion spread “Family Matters,” on page 20. These images serve as a lovely reminder that there is no person on earth who gets you quite like a sibling.

   

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