By  on December 19, 1994

NEW YORK -- Retailers will be on the prowl for spring inventory at the 74th International Fashion Boutique Show, with favorites expected to be short skirts, rayon dresses, tiny T-shirts and slim pants. The four-day event opens Jan. 7 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Having taken a wait-and-see approach for spring, some buyers said they are counting on the January show to preview key looks. Other retailers say they will be filling in around earlier purchases and eying early summer merchandise. Budgets among buyers interviewed ran even to somewhat ahead of last year.

Price remains a key issue, stores also noted, and along with specific looks, retailers will have an eye out for sharply priced items.

Soft denim sportswear could be important for spring, according to Carol Weart, who owns five specialty stores in Westchester County in New York.

Weart, whose show budget is even with last year's, said she plans to order cotton and rayon dresses, washed linen pants, linen and rayon jackets and other separates from Urban Outfitters, Kiko, Flax and Michael Stars, with iced pastels a key color range.

Weart said she will be looking for trendy, fashionable and comfortable clothes. She said this is the first time she has not placed spring orders by this time. "It's scary. Many of us are waiting too late to buy," she said. "I usually have very strong feelings about the trends, but I don't know what will be key for spring."

Weart said she relies on the Boutique Show for the latest trends.

Having recently relocated to a 10,000-square-foot space in Atlanta, Pam Majors, owner of Junkman's Daughter, said she expects to spend 50 percent more than last year at the show.

She said she is also anxious to see what the key looks will be for spring. Majors said she generally orders 80 percent of her spring merchandise at the January show.

Lip Service, Trip, Serious and XOXO are important resources at Junkman's Daughter, as well as in Majors's brother's 15,000-square-foot store in Athens, which is appropriately called Junkman's Daughter's Brother.

Majors said she'll be looking for short rayon dresses, tiny T-shirts, jumpers and short skirts. Eyelet and other baby-doll looks should be important for spring, she said.

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