NEW YORK — Despite the wintry weather conditions sweeping the city, retailers with spring and summer on the brain trekked to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center this week for the Femme and Moda Manhattan trade shows.
This story first appeared in the January 8, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Both shows took place over a three-day run Sunday to Tuesday, and exhibitors were generally satisfied with the turnout and openness of retailers to new resources.
“The weather has put a damper on the show but, in general, business is good, which is a positive sign for the new year,” said Reza Khoyi, a salesman for the better sportswear firm Kiko, an exhibitor at Femme. “Retailers also seem to be going back to basics and moving away from trendy items.”
Designer Harris Pontikis of moderate-priced sportswear line Karavan, said, “It’s gone very well. Sunday was really good and we have opened mostly all new accounts this season.”
Retailer Nancy Fine said attending the January shows is a must because this is where she buys most of her junior and misses’ sportswear.
“The shows used to be four days and now they’re three and I liked the extra day,” said Fine, who owns three stores in State College, Pa., called A.J. Fine & Co. “I’ve been here for the whole nine years and am finishing my buying for spring and summer. Femme especially is a great show for Middle America.”
Store owner Joel Shapiro of Jet Black in Syracuse, N.Y., said it would be easier, though, if all the trade shows were staged at the same time, noting that he will need to come back into the city for Intermezzo next week. “You can’t miss anything in this industry, so I have to come back,” he added.
At the other end of the Javits Center, Moda Manhattan, which is produced by Business Journals Inc., was also buzzing with retailers writing orders for spring and summer.
“Sunday was decent and today was very good,” said designer An Ren of the ready-to-wear line An Ren, which features novelty jackets and dresses. “People have been buying a decent amount and with this economy considered, I am pleased with the business.”
Retailer Neeta King said the vendor assortment at Moda Manhattan might save her some future travel to faraway places.
“This is my first time here. I usually get a lot of my stuff from India and by the things I’m seeing here, I might not have to go to India anymore,” said King, owner of Aaaraa, in Hoboken, N.J. “This will save me a lot because I think I can do all my buying here and I won’t have to deal with customs.”
Femme, which is produced by Advanstar Communications, featured more than 550 exhibitors, and new sections devoted to clubwear, skatewear, surfwear and urban contemporary. Marilyn Harrington, general manager for Advanstar’s East Coast Fashion Group, said retailer attendance was up about 18 percent over last January, or about 6,000 buyers coming between Sunday and Monday.
“People have been writing orders, meeting new customers and retailers have found new vendors,” Harrington said. “There was an energy on the show floor.”
Harrington said she heard positive feedback about the three-day format and will continue that.
Britton Jones, president and ceo of Business Journals Inc. said he was pleased with the turnout of Moda Manhattan as well. “Most of the people on the floor have done well and many opened new accounts. Some who had been doing hotel shows were pleasantly surprised by the number of buyers,” he said, adding that retailer attendance tracked close to January, with more than 100 lines represented on the floor.