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Buyers Focus on Denim, Prints at Dallas Show

Spring and summer immediates and early fall dresses and sportswear were on the fashion radar for stores shopping the four-day apparel and accessories market that ended Jan. 27 at FashionCenterDallas.

DALLAS — Spring and summer immediates and early fall dresses and sportswear were on the fashion radar for stores shopping the four-day apparel and accessories market that ended Jan. 27 at FashionCenterDallas.

Retailers’ shopping lists and purchases were tempered with caution because of uncertainty about the economy, particularly, and consumers’ shrinking fashion budgets. Such concerns led many retailers to play it safe and buy merchandise closer to the season.

In FCD showrooms, popular spring and summer looks included denim in a wide range of styles, washes and finishes and novelty gauze and cotton tops with romantic beading, embroidery and embellishments and whimsical styling such as lantern sleeves and Empire seams. Other favorites included abstract, geometric, floral and ethnic prints, such as India-inspired paisleys and Moroccan-style tile prints in bright colors including yellow, green, fuchsia and shades of blue.

For fall, the mood turned romantic with slinky social occasion dresses inspired by the Thirties, sexy secretary suits with shorter skirts and matching blouses, and colorful outerwear, including vibrant raincoats inspired by the colors of the rainbow.

“January market was a successful beginning to the new year,” said Cindy Morris, chief operating officer at the Dallas Market Center. “In addition to welcoming new resources, we also received high praise for the newly opened D15TRICT Lounge, an upscale buyers’ lounge with sweeping views of downtown located in the heart of the contemporary neighborhood.”

Specialty store buyers shopped for lines intended to inspire consumers to spend, as well as for new or exclusive lines that also would make their stores a destination and alternative to the big-box mall scene. Budgets were mostly flat, though a few stores reported increased spending, citing growth in their local economies, among other factors.

Palette Lisy, buyer at Cara’s Boutique, a specialty store in Westlake, Ohio, shopped for spring and summer merchandise, including Brighton’s leather handbags in a range of shapes, Max Studio’s printed tops with lantern sleeves, trenchcoats from Samuel Dong and related separates.

Calli Saitowitz, owner of two BB1 Classic contemporary stores in Houston, bought some spring and summer goods, but mainly shopped for fall.

“We looked for items with a twist and must-have and impulse buys for summer, such as jewelry and belts,” Saitowitz said. “For fall, we wanted everything to have a luxury feel.”

Saitowitz cited Bandolero’s textured knits, Luisa Cerano’s updated luxury clothing in tones of gray, taupe, brown and black, Cartisse’s metallic knits and Maloom’s silver and gray jackets, dresses and skirts.

“Despite the talk about the economy, our shoppers…are still shopping,” she said. “They earn well and we have not yet seen a resistance to new spring and summer merchandise. They are asking for new styles and are coming in to check it all out.”

Lewis Hoffer, owner of Butch Hoffer, a women’s and men’s specialty store in Beaumont, Tex., shopped for contemporary fall styles, including denim jeans, shorts and capri pants; patent, woven and leather handbags, especially hobo styles; tops and dresses from Peace of Cloth, and fashion jewelry.

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