LAS VEGAS -- With buyers in search of every accessories look from flashy to classic, variety was the key word at the second edition of the Fashion Accessories Expo here.
The three-day show, which was held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center and ended Sept. 11, featured 400 exhibitors, some 50 more than showed at the February edition.
Total attendance was 5,328, according to show organizer Conference Management Co., Norwalk, Conn. According to first-day figures, 2,700 buyers registered, up from 2,300 in February.
Those shopping the booths were in search not only of diverse looks but a wide span of wholesale prices. Shelley Root, owner of Shelley's, a specialty store in Youngstown, Ohio, was targeting a $5 to $100 wholesale range. Top on her list in terms of trends were "tons of crystals and rhinestones." "What my customers want is glitz," she said."It makes them smile. They become like kids in a candy store."To this end, Root ordered metallic mesh and vinyl handbags from Comeco, as well as any sparkle jewelry she could find. Among the key items on her list were big-button and dangling earrings.
Root added that for the first time in three years, her store is posting gains. Her year-to-date sales were up 20 percent, she said.
"People are not as tight with their money these days," she noted. Her only complaint about the show was that there weren't enough exhibitors carrying sequined jewelry.
"That's a huge void in the market," she said. "It's what all the young girls want."
Deborah Jordan, owner of Diva Las Vegas, a plus-size apparel and accessories boutique here, said she wanted "big, bold and gaudy looks." Specifically on her list were items such as jewelry made of sequins or fuchsia and purple Austrian crystals, necklace and earring sets, goldplated chain belts and large constructed handbags that could double as briefcases.
Shopping price points of $10 to $70 wholesale, Jordan reported year-to-date sales increases of 65 percent and noted she had raised her buying budget the same amount. She attributed her gains to a recent decision to feature purses and western-style hats in the store.
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