Cruise & Resort, Explained

Lately, instead of concentrating on school work, I have been spending rather too much time on, perusing the latest offerings from the upper echelons of designers.  Though the collections had that seasonally indeterminate look which has taken over the runways of late, I was confused by the name – ‘Cruise’.  Were these clothes specifically for people going on a cruise ship?  Could I purchase them for other occasions, if I am not taking a Titanic-esque journey?  Why do some designers release these collections and not others?  And what is ‘Resort’?  How do Resort and Cruise differ?  

I did some very in-depth research (thanks Wikipedia), and it turns out that these two seasons are actually the same thing.  Unfortunately this means every time I referred to them as seperate seasons in front of fashion people was actually a mild faux pas.  Resort and Cruise can be used interchangeably, although it makes sense to use the same word as the designer who’s line you are referring to!


There are two cruise/resort lines per year – a pre-fall and a pre-spring.  You could think of them as bridge between the last few, slightly nippy days of summer, and the first few days of autumn when you resign yourself to wearing a coat for reasons other than the ascetic.

It’s origins are particularly chic; as these inter-season collections were first designed for mega wealthy Americans spending their winters in the balmy Mediterranean, hence the names ‘Cruise’ & ‘Resort’.  (So, the answer to my first question was a resounding yes!)   Originally, only designers in the highest price bracket tended to create Resort collections, as the customers who shopped for these items, and went on these holidays, were already their clients.  Now many designers with varying price points create two extra collections a year.  Additionally, the menswear designers have caught on, and we now have holiday-appropriate offerings for both sexes!

Reportedly, resort-wear has grown in popularity since it was first introduced, and has become more popular year-round, or for customers purchasing investment pieces.  Many designers take inspiration from the purpose of the collection, and create retro inspired leisure-wear aplenty.

Despite the fleeting timing of the actual season, many collections offer clothing appropriate to any time of year.  For the buyer unconcerned with only wearing the latest runway faire, or purchasing investment pieces, there are pieces in each collection which range from barely-there chiffon to fur coats.

While extra seasons are great for customers, the downside for designers is in addition to their two main annual collections; they must also produce two inter-season collections, adding strain to many designers already huge workload.  Designers can decide to ignore the trend, but with Resort and Cruise becoming an established part of consumers’ vernacular, it may be important to keep up with the new pace.

(Feature Image courtesy of Giamba)


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