By Holly Haber
DALLAS — Colorful jewelry, dresses and accessories were priorities for buyers shopping the three-day contemporary and bridge market that ended June 2 at Fashion Industry Gallery.
Spring business has been solid, retailers said, and many had increased budgets as they booked immediate, fall and resort deliveries. Top trends included silk tops, metallic and brocade dresses, sequined embellishment, colorful semiprecious stack bracelets, snakeskin and mock crocodile handbags, long scarves and streamlined sportswear.
The June market is typically a small show, but reps said they were pleased to see new buyers shopping the venue.
“I got six new accounts in small towns that I can’t get to on the road,” said Lacey Griffin, who represents Lodis small leather goods and the company’s new belt line, Forest & Culver. “Louisiana and Arkansas stores have really been here.”
Nan Napier, owner of Tres Mariposas in El Paso, said her sales are up 16 percent this year.
“My biggest increases are in fine jewelry,” said Napier, as she reviewed silk tops by Dora Landa. “I’m shopping for immediate accessories and dresses.”
Napier attributed the rise in sales to organizational changes that reward associates for teamwork and overall contributions to the company instead of by commissions.
“I heard a salesperson say to another, ‘Are you going to help her, or am I?’ and I knew I had a problem,” she explained.
Linda McDonald, buyer for Sobo Fashion Lounge in Fort Worth, was relieved to see sportswear make a comeback and planned to spend 15 percent more than last June.
“I’m loving going back to jackets and trousers and getting away from boho to cleaner, fresher silhouettes,” she said.
“Nanette Lepore had beautiful color, tailoring and leather detailing, and I love Chan Luu scarves and bigger, chunkier jewelry, plus small layering pieces.”
Patty Hoffpauir, owner of The Garden Room in Austin, Tex., said business was picking up.
“The customer is tired of putting pieces together,” Hoffpauir said. “They want it head to toe, and I’ve heard that from other retailers, as well.”
She planned to buy coordinates from Isda and Lola & Sophie, as well as novelty multimedia tops by Two Old Hippies.
Katherine Dee, who reps Paper Crown, Kain Label and Odylyne for Addison & Crescent showroom, did particularly well with fall deliveries of Odylyne dresses, such as a belted lace dress for $115 and a brocade for $100.
Megan Darling, vice president of sales at Nanette Lepore, introduced colorful emerald, pink and navy resort sportswear in the Shop temporary show.
“We’re getting a great reaction, which is not always easy with these deliveries,” she said. “Our December delivery is colorful but also something to wear with black boots.”
FIG director Emma Greathouse said, “The June show was very steady. We were pleasantly surprised to see a consistent turnout of buyers eager to find new product.”