NEW YORK -- Specialty store retailers set a brisk pace, seeking key items for immediate deliveries at Itemworks, a trade show here geared to at-once goods as well as item-driven collections.
The year-old show, now in its third edition, featured items from 250 apparel and accessories lines in suites on seven floors of the Rihga Royal Hotel. Its three-day run ended Tuesday.
Retailers generally expressed satisfaction with their Christmas business, noting that open-to-buy dollars are slightly up, compared with a year ago.
Items getting attention for spring and summer selling included important-looking pieces of costume jewelry, novelty sweaters, vests, trousers, baby-doll dresses, and long, romantic-looking dresses.
"I just want something that's special-looking," said Arlene Minkus, owner of On Impulse, an apparel and accessories shop in Flossmoor, Ill. "That's what's been selling."
LouAnn Freysinger, an owner of Maggie Adams, an apparel and accessories boutique in Mechanicsburg, Pa., said, "We are looking strictly for summer goods, and hot items in soft fabrics.
She noted, however, that merchandise at "reasonable prices" was a must.
Patricia Tubiana, creative director and an owner of The Show Club, the show organizer, said one goal of the show is to attract more California-based vendors who generally do not have sales representation in the Northeast. She noted that seven additional apparel and accessories names from California showed at Itemworks this week, totaling some 20 vendors from the West Coast.
The effort was not lost on Diana Salen, an owner of two Diana & Jeffries shops here.
"This show really gives my husband, Jeffrey, and I a chance to buy the California lines we never get to see. We don't go to Los Angeles," she said.
Terming Itemworks a "really good show," she noted she visited it more than once during its run this week. Merchandise ordered included sweaters of handspun yarn by Amyrill and novelty sweaters by Donna Maione.
Nickie and Mariann Boston, sisters and owners of Ma Jolie Atelier, an upscale apparel and accessories store in Philadelphia, both said long, romantic-looking dresses and trousers were high on their shopping lists.Nickie Boston said they will order sweaters by Su-Zen, Donna Maione, and Jackie Loves John. She added they will also order contemporary sportswear items from Cinzia M. Iaffaldano, a young designer line. "Our business has increased this season and so has our open-to-buy for summer goods," said Mariann Boston. She noted they were looking for "lots of dresses" for summer selling.
Summarizing the general view of retailers at the show, Joan Rotman, owner of Top Drawer, an apparel shop in Westport, Conn., said: "This is a wonderful show for young-looking items."
Rotman said she was out to buy more items in fashion colors, and sweaters and T-shirts to "perk up inventories, which can look repetitious."
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