By  on January 11, 2008

DALLAS — Fashion Industry Gallery, the wholesale fashion mart here that focuses on contemporary, denim and accessories, is eyeing new space as it marks its fourth anniversary this month.

FIG's director, Shelli Mers, said the boutique-style mart has outgrown its more than 50,000 square feet of permanent showroom space, which includes over 50 permanent showrooms. The FIG footprint also includes in excess of 15,000 square feet devoted to the temporary juried show called Shop.

FIG is fully leased and has a waiting list of vendors seeking new permanent space, she said.

"We've come a long way since we opened...and we're making plans now for even more growth in 2008," observed Mers, who said there's a possibility of FIG taking showroom space in an office building near its headquarters on Ross Avenue in the downtown Arts District. She didn't discuss details.

FIG's October show was its largest market ever, Mers said, without providing specific numbers.

San Francisco-based designer Julie Chaiken was guest designer at the show and presented her lifestyle fashion collection that encompasses a range of customers, from working moms to celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Reese Witherspoon, among others.

Retailers looked ahead to spring and summer merchandise, including Wanda Mange, who owns W Wear in Harbor Springs, Mich. Her seven-year-old store is on the banks of Lake Michigan.

"Our peak season is spring and summer, and our customers want updated and contemporary styles that are also comfortable. Our budget was up by at least 10 percent," said Mange, who bought Betsey Johnson's exuberant strapless tulle and taffeta dresses; novelty denim in white, chocolate and green from Rich and Skinny, Seven For All Mankind and Citizens of Humanity; Rachel Palley's color-blocked cobalt, lemon, turquoise and fuchsia sleeveless shift and trapeze dresses, and silk voile novelty dresses from Corey Lynn Calter.

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