DALLAS — Price stepped to the forefront at FashionCenterDallas’ spring market.
Many retailers attending the four-day market that ended Oct. 26 slashed spring budgets 15 to 20 percent because business had fallen off or they felt jittery about the economy. An unusually large number bought immediate goods and took spring orders home to analyze, sales representatives said.
“My customers are still buying, but they are buying less and they are more price-conscious,” said Allyson Cooke, owner of Launch contemporary showroom.
Best-selling styles included fitted dresses with a Fifties influence, novelty skirts, tunics with beaded necklines, bold graphic and geometric prints, silk chiffon cocktail dresses, easy jersey cardigans, and brights including lemon, orange and pink. Gold chain and pendant jewelry and woven or textured patent leather handbags were also strong.
“They have to love it to buy it,” said Denise Berman, who represents labels such as Magaschoni and De Sentino at Berman & Associates. “The last few weeks have raised flags. I think I’ll meet my numbers [from last October], but in this business, you want to grow.”
Connie Sigel, owner of Elements, a Dallas boutique specializing in contemporary and designer fashion, said, “I’m being very conservative and definitely looking for value.”
Sigel praised the “exquisite” workmanship of Beauty Mark by Byron Lars’ blouses and fitted peplum dress, and ordered a watercolor print tunic and dresses by Goldhawk that wholesaled at $139 and $149.
Aileen Dauterive, manager of Chatterbox in Baton Rouge, La., said her business hadn’t slipped this fall and her spring budget would equal 2008, but she was shopping more carefully.
“My customers want to spend less, but they still want a new dress for every occasion,” Dauterive said. “We are picking up four new lines to accommodate occasion dressing for less money — Aidan Mattox, Nicole Bakti, Maria Bianca Nero and Yoanna Baraschi. Baraschi has sexy, chic classic dresses wholesaling from $125 to $160 — it’s like guaranteed income. Marc Bouwer is expensive, but timeless. It’s never left in the store.”
Sylvia Johnson, owner of Sylvia’s high-end boutique in the border city of McAllen, Tex., said her business was “OK, so far,” but she was being conservative for spring.
“We’re buying what grabs us,” she said. “People still have money, but they will buy basics from department stores and come to us for special items. We’re going with brighter colors.”
Johnson thought beaded linen tunics by Michael Michael Kors would appeal to her clientele, as well as novelty cotton sateen jackets by Muse and silk chiffon dresses by Bouwer.
“You have to watch out for price point and newness,” said Debbie Mohn, owner of four Furnishings for Her stores in Kansas City, Kan. “I had a great year going into September, but since then I am very cautious. October has continued to slide. We are just buying minimally and we will see what happens.”
As Mohn reviewed Brighton accessories, her biggest vendor, she kept an eye out for bags retailing for around $200, including a woven straw handbag decorated with a mustard leather butterfly and a “practical” pebble leather hobo bag with bronze trim.
Laura Young, Brighton’s national sales manager, hosted about 65 retailers daily during market for a formal lunch and merchandise seminar.
“The people who double [store] events between now and Christmas are the ones who are going to do well,” she said.
Brighton’s best-selling category is its nickel jewelry collection, led by whimsical enamel charms retailing from $4.50 to $18.
Retailers from Mexico, Central and South America came in response to incentives from the Dallas Market Center.
Cindy Morris, chief operating officer of the market center, which operates FCD, said the market “exceeded our expectations given the financial markets and economic issues.”
Edgar Serrano and his mother, Nida, owners of the D’Mori buying office in Miami and a store in Guayaquil, Ecuador, shopped with five Latin American stores.
“Most of what [our stores] are buying is eveningwear, like Sue Wong, Teri Jon, Tadashi, Maggy London,” Nida Serrano said.
Caesar Soriano, president of Volare Group, shopped Dallas for the first time, seeking handbags and day dresses for Volare’s 40 boutiques in the Dominican Republic. He looked at Muse, Donna Morgan, Phoebe Couture and Sonya Roberts.
“Now is a difficult situation and expectations are not good,” he said. “We sell to tourists from Europe and I think sales will decrease over the next six months.”
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews