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NEW YORK — The offerings were varied and lively, from belly-dancer jingle belts and Asian-inspired handbags to Indian embroidered tunics and basic sportswear looks at FAME, which ended its three-day run at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here Tuesday.
But uncertainty over war and the economy continued to cut into retail morale, as many buyers said they were shopping for immediate spring and summer deliveries, while holding back on fall. In total, the event attracted some 4,158 retailers and featured more than 700 exhibitors.
“There’s not a customer here looking for fall,” said Manish Khanna, sales director for Bhag’s, a New York-based junior brand. “We’ve seen a lot of boutique buyers coming for immediate.”
“Unusual and different” items were on the shopping list for retailers Sherry Markus and Marsha Edelstein of Finishing Touches in Denville, N.J., who were looking for “leather, suede, little jackets, fatigues, army-inspired items and items to work back to denim.”
“It’s like what we’re wearing,” Edelstein said, sporting a laminated linen jacket. “We’re buying later and taking our time. We did pick up a few good jewelry items.”
Meanwhile, prints, novelty sweaters and embellishments were top sellers at Putumayo, a moderate sportswear company. Belly-dancer gold and silver toggle belts and sequined tops were performing well at LeBazaar Fashion, while Chinese takeout-style purses in rayon with floral patterns, at $14 wholesale, were selling strong at Yans N.Y., a Brooklyn-based company.
Retailers Richard Moskowitz and Denise Ozeri were also shopping for “items” for their new store opening in May.
“For us, this is another show to go to, but overall, the show looks a little like you just stepped off a cruise ship. Which could be good,” said Moskowitz, whose store will open in Westport, Conn. “There are pieces here and there and if you want to work through the pieces, you could find some good deals. The reality is in today’s environment, you need to go to all the shows with people buying so close to the vest. It’s better to be on the retailer side.”
This story first appeared in the March 24, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.