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What’s hot

Latest trends on Bay St

What’s hot
Latest trends on Bay St

The weather isn’t the only thing that’s hot in The Bahamas. Visitors will discover that many stores and boutiques in Nassau and Paradise Island are carrying this season’s hottest trends in watches, handbags, clothing, jewellery, perfume and more. And thanks to duty-free prices, you may have to leave extra room in your suitcase.

Many retailers say first-time customers are surprised by the variety of luxury goods available in The Bahamas. Most high-end stores in Nassau carry all the things you’d find in New York, London or Milan.

For instance, Via Mare, located steps from the cruise ship dock, carries the latest in women’s fashions, including coverups from Italy.

“People love them as well as Via Mare’s beautiful hats, sexy tops and blouses,” says co-owner Dawn Pratt.

“Last summer we saw a lot of white, neutrals and grey,” she adds. “Our most popular items were short and maxi summer dresses with lace and cotton.”

This season, however, Pratt says buyers are after bolder colours such as neon yellow and deep reds in lace and in fabrics such as chunky knits. “These are the go-to colours for the season,” she says. As for accessories, Pratt says bolder colours should be highlighted with gold accents.

In addition to Via Mare, there are many clothing stores that offer the latest fashionable trends in Marina Village and the Crystal Court at Atlantis on Paradise Island.

Vibrant jewels
Gold continues to be popular but buyers in 2012 want vintage designs and nature-inspired stones–including turquoise, agate and onyx–and intense colours such as green emeralds, violet amethysts and bright pink stones.

“Effy is known for vibrant coloured gemstones and our new collections surpass the status quo,” says Effy Jewelers marketing director Jennifer Pearson. “We have the new Sapphire Petals, Cognac Bloom and Seaside collections which not only embrace colour but have an elegant appeal.”

For vintage designs, check out Coin of the Realm, which has The Bahamas’ largest collection of Bahamian gold and silver, Spanish and ancient Greek and Roman coins. You will find them fashioned into earrings, rings and pendants. Colombian Emeralds International, John Bull, Carlo Milano and Little Switzerland also offer a range of designer collections such as Marco Bicego, Chopard, David Yurman, John Hardy and Pandora.

Timepiece trends
Meanwhile, you can find an unbelievable selection of fashionable watches in shops along Bay St and on Paradise Island. This season, look for black and white timepieces, says William Carey, senior manager at Little Switzerland.

“About five years ago, white watches became the trend, especially for women’s watches,” he says. “White is still popular today, but to keep it in balance, watch houses such as Michele and Rado, have come out with all black watches made of ceramic and steel, that are appealing to men.”

Also popular again for 2012 are watches with interchangeable straps and bezels. “A lot of the houses are allowing you to create your own look by giving you the option to change different coloured straps and bezels,” says Carey. “If you’re wearing red shoes, there’s nothing wrong with wearing a red watch.”

Large watches are also big this year. “Big is definitely in,” says Carey. “You want to be able to walk into a room and have people go ‘Wow!’”

He adds that “Michael Kors is the hottest thing out there.” Little Switzerland also carries Omega, Movado, Tissot and a wide selection of Breitling. “Our Breitling Boutique has about 400 watches–you’ll be mesmerized.”

Trendy timepieces can also be found at Quantum Duty Free which carries Montblanc, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, Tissot, Baume & Mercier and Dior. John Bull also carries an extensive timepiece collection including Cartier, Gucci, TechnoMarine and Tag Heuer. John Bull is Nassau’s exclusive Rolex retailer.

Handsome handbags
Shoppers can find the most popular styles almost everywhere.

This season’s hottest trend steers away from the traditional brown and black handbag and ventures towards more colourful styles, says Diane Delisle-McCartney, Fendi’s marketing representative.

“We’re seeing a lot of two or more tone bags,” she says. “Black is always in but colours like grass green, electric blue, ink blue, light blue, yellow, orange, tan, dark pink and floral prints will be on scene for winter and spring.”

Colour-blocking with neutrals teamed with bright hues will also be in fashion. At Fendi, Delisle-McCartney says the most popular trends include their Peekaboo and Chameleon lines as well as satchels, shoppers, crossovers and lady flapover bags.

Like Fendi, the Coach boutique on Bay St downtown offers a variety of the latest high-quality leather handbags and accessories. Also, see John Bull’s Leather Gallery for this season’s top lines including Kate Spade, Kenneth Cole and Marc Jacobs.

For an idea of where to go to find that perfect trendy gift for that hard-to-shop-for fashionista or a keepsake for yourself, check out the Shopping section on the following pages.

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