Brightly colored pants

Last week I found myself in the fashion brain center of Maurices chain of more than 800 stores.

It came during a tour of Maurices corporate headquarters in downtown Duluth, led by company President George Goldfarb himself who, by the way, knows many of his 365 downtown employees by name.

“I think that’s important,” he said. “That’s an important part of the (company) culture.”

The tour took us across a private skywalk and down a few floors to the Michigan Street level of the old Woolworth’s store at 106 W. Superior St., now part of Maurices’ corporate headquarters.

There, a mock Maurices store and storefront window are set up for trial displays and experimentation. Several women who determine what fashions Maurices will feature at its stores and what its store displays will look like, sat around a large T-shaped table.

So I had to ask: “What’s the next big fashion trend?”

“Colored bottoms,” one said without hesitation. Expect slacks in bright colors — pink, teal, bright green, red and pastels this winter, she said. The others chimed in in agreement. Some were even wearing colorful slacks themselves.

The trend has begun.

Last weekend, I noticed TV ads for Old Navy are showing colorful jeans. And the JCP (aka JC Penney) advertising insert in Sunday’s paper pictures models in bright orange and purple slacks and loud black and white prints.