Before I owned a store, I would have asked the same question. It's hot. Summer has just started. What on earth are you talking about?
Another of my confessions...in my previous life, because I was always so busy with work, I usually did a major shopping trip about twice a year (typically Spring and Fall). And I shopped whenever I traveled (always had to pick up a fun piece from a local boutique wherever I happened to be). But I didn't particularly pay attention to "seasons". I knew what I needed and when I could carve out time to shop and that drove my purchasing habits.
When I started shopping for Zoe, my second market visit introduced me to the concept of "Pre-Fall". As I've researched the topic online, it really seemed to gain prominence as a "seasonlet" in the 2009/2010 timeframe. As you know, there are two major seasons - Spring and Fall. And we shop for our stores in the converse of those seasons (I bought for Spring 2013 in September of 2012 and I bought for Fall 2013 in Spring 2013). The other Seasonlets (I love that word, by the way) are Resort, Summer, and Winter/Holiday. I bought for Pre-Fall when I bought for Summer in January in NYC.
These seasonlets are much smaller collections that the large Spring/Fall collections. Pre-Fall was created by designers to fill that period between Spring and Fall. (Although personally, I still have a hard time thinking Fall clothes in our 100+ degree July days!) Most Pre-Fall clothing is of lighter weight but tends toward the darker, richer colors of Fall. And they can often be a preview into the direction the designer is going with their Fall collections.
Not all of Zoe's designers create Pre-Fall collections. The larger designers like Rebecca Taylor and Tracy Reese do as does Zoe's new designer (Pre-Fall arriving in July). Some of my favorites from our recent Pre-Fall arrivals include:
Don't be afraid of Pre-Fall - embrace it!