It took lingerie purveyor and sexy Halloween costume maker Yandy just three days to go from idea to product execution on its Sexy Op-Ed Anonymous Halloween costume for the 2018 season.
"The timeline is always critical, and we work very quickly on these," Pilar Quintana-Williams, Yandy's vice president of merchandising, told CNBC. "We have an 'all-hands-on-deck' mentality during Halloween season."
Predicting the hottest trends for All Hallows Eve can be tricky for retailers, and filled with potential political pitfalls as Yandy found out with its Brave Red Maiden Costume. Fashioned after the popular Hulu show "The Handmaid's Tale," the costume was yanked late last month after customers accused the company of sexualizing "a show about misogyny and rape."
With fickle customer tastes and a flub generating immediate backlash on social media, the key for retailers is speed, Quintana-Williams said, declining to comment on the Brave Red Maiden. That's true both in ramping up production and removing problematic costumes off the shelves.
Yandy's "Sexy Op-Ed Anonymous" costume was based on an opinion piece published Sept. 5 in The New York Times written by an anonymous senior aide in the Trump administration who claimed to be "part of the resistance" working to thwart President Donald Trump.
Quintana-Williams said the idea came to her after the op-ed started to dominate the news that week. It's now ready for purchase on Yandy's website — taking less than a month to go from idea to consumer.
"The struggle when we the team have these ideas is how to create a costume that will resonate with our customers and will still be relevant," Quintana-Williams said. "The timeline is always critical, and we work very quickly on these."
For some Halloween costume suppliers, identifying these trends can be a bit of a guessing game.