Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Spin Cycle: Washable fashion is hot in tough times

September 25, 2008

Listen up, fashionistas. Celebrity stylist Jorge Ramon wants women to know that wash and wear is the new rock and roll, when it comes to fashion trends.

That’s good news for every woman who’s ever skipped lunch just to pay her dry cleaning bill.

“In these economic times we’re in, with what’s going on, on Wall Street, women want to look good and save money. Finally, fashion is washable. It’s affordable, so you don’t have to spend money on dry cleaning,” Ramon told Reuters. He was presiding over a launch party for Tide Total Care detergent and Downy Total Care softener at the AnnTaylor Loft store in Times Square.

Ali Sharaf, an actress and Broadway caterer, was No. 1 in the line of the first 50 shoppers who scored a personal styling consultation with Ramon on Thursday morning. Her mission: Find the perfect LBD (little black dress) to wear to the opening night party for “Equus.”

About two-thirds of AnnTaylor Loft’s fall line is washable, said Ramon, who’s worked with such celebrities as singers Beyonce and Christina Aguilera, as well as with women selected for makeovers on TLC’s show “10 Years Younger.”

“I’m seeing more easy-care items” in stores and on runways, “and I just saw a menswear suit that’s completely washable,” Ramon said, describing the trend. “The idea is here. It’s the technological advances in fabrics and in clothing,” as well as in laundry products, that have made washable fashion more than just a slogan.

Silicone technology used by Procter & Gamble’s beauty division was adapted to create a detergent and softener that would fight the aging of fabrics and help keep their color and shape, Downy brand manager Marty Vanderstelt said.

“Silicone protects the fibers so there’s less friction as you move, put clothes on hangers or even in washing,” he said.

Chlorine neutralizers, often used in swimwear fabrics, were also added to cancel out the effects of chlorine in wash water and stop dyes from fading.

If only it could fold and iron, too.

(Video: Chad Ruble/Reuters)


I love! I just bought a gift from there using a coupon from and I couldn’t be more excited. You gotta love the internet discounts these days.


Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see