By  on June 27, 1994

NEW YORK -- For accessories vendors, the second half is shaping up as comeback time.

With the minimalist trend fading from the fashion scene for fall, manufacturers are forecasting gains ranging from 10 to 30 percent over the second half of last year. Firms specializing in scarves, hair goods, casual bags, gloves and hats had some of the most optimistic outlooks, though jewelry and belt companies, who suffered the most as a result of spare looks, said they are expecting the year to finish up more strongly than it started out.

Erwin Pearl, owner of the fashion jewelry firm here bearing his name, projected an increase of at least 20 percent over last year's second half.

"We had some nice increases in the low double digits for spring, but the market overall was tough," Pearl said. "Going into the second half, though, I do believe things will improve even more, and already we have more commitments than we did in the first half."

One key element is the introduction of a new glass jewelry division, Erwin Pearl on Bead Street.

Another jewelry executive, Carol Dauplaise, said she's banking on tassel pieces to provide a projected 10 percent gain for fall. She predicted tassels will be as successful as last fall's crosses.

"We're doing it in a wide selection of styles, with wholesale prices from $8 to $40," said Dauplaise, whose company here bears her name.

Dauplaise said the minimalist look had some deleterious effect on her first half, but an emphasis on small earrings proved to be successful.

Some belt makers also pointed to a similar down cycle kicking off the year.

"Actually, both the tail end of last year and the first quarter of this one were soft in department stores," said Joel Pinsky, president of the belt firm Omega Fashions here. "But we got around that by actively pursuing private label and specialty store business." Looking for a 10 percent fall gain, Pinsky said he will continue pushing the specialty store and private label routes. To spark department store business, Omega has a number of programs, from gift-with-purchase to boxed gift sets.

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