Ann Taylor Double Dot Scarf, $59.50
I have no right to be surprised that Ann Taylor’s accessories kind of rule right now. First, my former editor Britt Aboutaleb tipped me off to the fierceness of Ann Taylor’s bags and trench coats in this story. Then, thecute scarf above popped up in a story I was editing, and I became obsessed, imagining myself the kind of girl who jauntily ties on a neckerchief before hopping onto her scooter to go buy local produce and the kind of bread without preservatives.
Then last week, I met a friend for breakfast. She works for a magazine whose name you’d definitely recognize and is the kind of girl who always looks Instagram-worthy, thus making you wish you’d thought harder than “skinny jeans and Vans” for your breakfast date. I asked her where she got her cute tassel bracelet, which was boho but in a cool, international-traveler way, not in a “this is my first Coachella” way. “Isabel Marant?” I guessed, hoping it’d make me sound in-the-know. “Nooo, Ann Taylor,” she said, in a tone that made me feel like maybe all self-respecting fashion people shop at Ann Taylor, not Isabel Marant now. OK, universe, I can take a hint. Ann Taylor’s having a moment.
We spoke to the brand’s creative director, Austyn Zung, about why that is and which accessories are the hottest sellers right now.
Ann Taylor Large Turnlock Saddle Bag, $138; Folio Crossbody Bag, $118
Zung says her approach to the spring collection is all about “a sense of strength, ease, and femininity.” Indeed, the brand hasn’t really swerved from its mission of providing nicely cut basics (you complete me,chambray bow blouse) and work-worthy dresses. But something about the accessory mix feels really right for right now. Witness the bags above. The slate-blue envelope bag makes a chic little night-out carryall or city bag (and how cute is it worn with a trench?). And the clean-lined saddle bag in winter white is the summer work tote you didn’t know you needed. Zung confirms it’s one of the best-selling styles right now, pointing to its “clean lines and special hardware. It feels like a modern take on a Jackie O classic.” It’s also cute in a dainty smaller size.
Ann Taylor Crystal Statement Drop Earrings, $49.50; Crystal Fan Burst Earrings, $49.50
The jewelry game is strong now too. No one wants to pile on jewelry in the summer, so we like the idea of keeping the focus on one simple statement piece, like these earrings. Zung tells us the Crystal Statement Drop Earrings at left are another of the brand’s current best-sellers: “I fell in love with them the minute the first samples arrived in our studio last fall. Every time I wear them, I get a ton of compliments — they’re the next best thing to a family heirloom.”
The retro-modern cluster earring at right is super cool too — and not just because we want to serve face like this model.