By  on March 14, 2013

Fun, fun, fun.

Neon hues, bold, colorful prints and fashion furs in jewel tones were the trends at the Moda Manhattan and Fame shows that ran Feb. 24 to 26 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Pier 94 in New York.

Whether it was the sportswear and contemporary markets at Moda Manhattan or the junior lines at Fame, fabrications were seasonably suitable for spring through fall. While some firms showing at Moda Manhattan were suggesting retail prices at two-and-a-half times wholesale, the majority — including the junior lines at Fame — were suggesting retail price points between two times and two-and-a-third times wholesale prices.

Companies showcasing their product lines at Moda Manhattan were taking orders for all three seasons. The prints on polyester/nylon fabrics were just as suitable for wear-now add-ons for existing boutique inventory lines as they were for fall options when worn under heavier coats in colder climates. Fashion furs, especially the longer vests, attracted both buyers shopping for their fall lines and those from stores in warmer climates.

Angelo Marzocchi Jr., the representative for Elana Kattan, said there was good traffic at the show, with buyers from specialty stores placing orders for spring through fall.

“Prints are big this time, as are jumpsuits,” he said.

The company’s dresses, most with bright, colorful prints, wholesale between $70 and $150 each.

“We’re a print house. We buy [printed fabrics] from Europe in Germany and France,” Marzocchi said.

Many of the dresses shown also featured draping or ruching around the waist and hip area, a trend that’s been around for a few seasons now.

“We cater to the contemporary customer between ages 30 to 60 years. For many of them, draping is big because it camouflages the tummy area,” Marzocchi said.

Jonathan Bernard, sales executive at Frank Lyman Design, said, “This is the year for prints. Big, bold prints.”

One favorite among buyers is a sky blue-hued polyester/elastane fabric finished with a wet look. Specialty boutiques also sought colorful tops with bursts of contrasting colors, whether hot pink and coral or orange and green with black leopard-print accents.

According to Bernard, traffic was good at the show, with many milling around the first day and making scheduled appointments the second day to place orders.

The company was taking orders for early spring, summer, fall and holiday. “For spring the buyers are adding to complement existing inventory. Many are looking for that special item they can put in the store window displays to get the attention of shoppers walking by,” Bernard said.

Roni Brodherson, the representative from Metric Knits, also said traffic was good at the show. Her firm sells basic knitwear such as sweaters and tops and fun fashion furs.

“Buyers are ordering furs in bright colors. Black, gray are still the standby colors. The vests and short jackets are where the newness is at. These are the sporty furs, the fun fashion furs,” Brodherson said.

Rabbit fur vests, either knitted or on a net backing, wholesale for $149 to $169 on average, with the recommended retail price two-and-a-third times that. Among the ones attracting attention were rabbit fur vests featuring two-tone colors, or rich, deep jewel tones. The knitted vests this year garnered more attention than the shearlings. It was the fun fur vests and short jackets on display that buyers were asking about and ordering.

“Even in the warmer climates, our clients are buying vests instead of jackets. In California they are using the vests as mall coats while shopping in the air-conditioned malls,” Brodherson said, emphasizing consumers there find vests easier to wear and shop in because they are sleeveless.

At Kathy Ireland for Brodie Cashmere, some buyers were trying on the 100 percent cashmere tops that have been sold in the U.K. and were being introduced to the U.S. for the first time via the Moda Manhattan show.

Julie Salle, sales representative for Brodie, said, “Buyers are focused on ponchos and capes, items they can throw over things. They’re ordering them in winter coral and royal blue. Also doing well is our silver gray color.”

Sweaters wholesale at $79 on average, with longer sweater toppers ranging from $289 to $249. The cashmere is 12 gauge and is machine washable on a light cycle, although Anne Marie Holdsworth, the director at Brodie, recommended that the items be allowed to air-dry after washing.

Joy Cagno, the sales representative for Matt Reimer Co., there to show Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, said colored jeans were still hot for spring as she touted the brand’s signature Lift Tuck Technology. While colored denim has been around for a few seasons, Cagno said the option is big for NYDJ now because “after their daughters wear them, Mom decides she wants them too.”

Wholesaling on average at $51 a pair, all the jeans in the line have a nine-and-a-half-inch rise.

Prints are also showing well, although colored denim offerings are still what buyers were ordering. For fall, coated denim is the new trend. Treated with a wax finish, it wholesales for between $64 and $75. While jeans with the wax treatment are washable on a gentle cycle provided they are turned inside out, Cagno recommended dry cleaning the jeans.

New for fall for NYDJ is a tops line, which will launch in select department store doors starting mid-spring 2013. Some of the long sleeve tops on display, such as a nylon knit, wholesale for $49.

For the faux fur crowd, buyers visiting the Donna Salyers’ Fabulous Furs booth were more interested in vests than coats. Lindsey Wolf, the firm’s sales representative, said the longer-length vests, such as the 32-inch long coyote faux fur that can be worn for casualwear and dress-up, was a favorite. That wholesaled for $69.

“For women in their 40s and over, the natural faux fur options sell better than the colored options. The younger customer favors the more colorful stuff,” Wolf said, noting that the longer lengths also “cover the butt and can be worn with leggings as well as skinny jeans.”

The bold color and print options at Moda Manhattan were also seen at Fame, only more so.

Elisa Jara, sales representative at Chris & Carol Apparel, said traffic was good at the show and that orders were being placed.

Her firm was showing pastels, stripes, short sleeves and hoodies in a variety of patterns.

Many were shopping for pastels for the late spring/early summer selling season for the boutiques selling junior lines, eyeing open-link sweaters that wholesale for $10.50. Cotton/rayon blend cardigans and hoodies in summer hues were also hot items, suggesting that lightweight cover-ups with pops of color are what many of the stores will be showcasing in their store windows.

Kevin Kim, the sales representative for both Timing, a juniors line, and Lumiere, which targets the young contemporary/misses market, also said traffic was good at the show. Most orders placed were for May deliveries for summer. Dresses were popular at Timing, while sweaters were the big hit at Lumiere. The trends at both lines were big prints and bright colors.

How bright were some of the colors? Timing featured skinny jeans wholesaling at $10.50 a pair in neon brights, such as lime green, hot pink and chartreuse.

At juniors line Gracia, product manager Joyce Kim pointed to a deep yellow top wholesaling at $19 that could be long enough to wear as a tunic or mini dress as a big seller. Lace dresses that are longer but are still short enough to hit a few inches above the knee, such as a two-piece sleeveless lace overlay in coral with a matching slip, wholesaled for $46. Knit dresses on average were $45 wholesale.

Another item that was a top seller was a short pleather skirt in red with cutouts along the hemline, with a wholesale price of $26.

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