NEW YORK — Specialty stores' open-to-buys might be holding steady, but at this month's Moda Manhattan and FAME trade shows, buyers reported they are looking more before making decisions, waiting longer to place orders, and then only buying what they love — mimicking the behavior of their own shoppers.
If not ordering for immediate delivery, most buyers were scouting for fall, rather than holiday, at Moda and FAME on May 4 to 6 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Top-selling items were must-have novelty pieces that stood out in terms of color, shape or embellishment, and that didn't break the bank.
Carolyn Billet, owner of Maple Street Clothing in New Orleans, shopped Moda and FAME for her two customer bases: "women and college students." She was looking for early fall with a flat open-to-buy, and ordered novelty knits, boyfriend sweaters and jackets in purples, reds and charcoals at Moda.
"I'm being extremely selective because of the economy, so an item must be something I absolutely love, nothing on the cusp, for me to order it this season," Billet said. "Fringe items will be trimmed, and I am sticking with manufacturers who have been tested."
Thomas George, owner of E Street Denim in Highland Park, Ill., said he "worked a lot harder" at this round of shows, making sure that he was finding the best merchandise for his stores with his flat open-to-buy. But he said he was disappointed by the lack of risk vendors were taking.
"I don't think we've done a great job in our industry to make things exciting, and consumers are probably spending the same amount of money, but they are shifting out of our industry to travel, technology," George said. "Retailers also have to take some risk, and unfortunately, I didn't find enough out there that's moving it forward — anything that was 'oh my god.'"
Vendors reported strong traffic on Sunday, then a tapering off of visitors when Intermezzo opened. For example, sales were up 40 percent over last year for Don Hurowitz, the New England representative for better lines Maralyce Ferree Design, CTC and Ameeta, which all showed at Moda. He said buyers scoured his lines for "novelty, texture and color."
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia