DALLAS -- For children's wear buyers shopping the market here last week at the International Apparel Marts, discounts and sharp pricing were priorities.
They sought incentive pricing on coats, fall lines expected to sell out before the fall market that begins here April 7, and some fill-ins for Easter dresses and summer.
Light- and mid-weight denim jackets, leather and suede jackets, barn jackets, dressy wool coats trimmed in velvet or soutache and wool cape coats led outerwear bookings. Buyers also went for knitted big tops with leggings, wind suits in new fabrics like washed silks, colored denim, novelty sweaters, velour sportswear and little girls' tailored dresses in plaids and jewel tones.
Budgets were calculated along the lines of 1993 sales results, which ran flat to slightly ahead for most. Reflecting the hard-nosed approach to price tags, several buyers said they wouldn't buy a dress or sportswear outfit that retailed for over $75 or $80.
"We're only looking at things we can't buy in April, because I think we have to buy closer to need," said Jackie Pearson, an owner of Kids' Stuff, Spearman, Tex., operating four children's stores in small towns in the Texas panhandle.Pearson was looking at coats by Lavon, Young Gallery, Braetan and Rothschild, Guess jeans and Lavon washed silk windsuits, but she planned to place orders later with a flat budget.
Comfortable fall big tops over leggings and calf-length dresses were sought by Eula Balay, owner of Mimi's for Kids in Arkadelphia, Ark.
"I have to buy brands that are mid-priced and will wear well," she said, citing Buster Brown, Healthtex, Oshkosh B'Gosh, Frog Pond, J.G. Hook and Ruth of Carolina as mainstays. She planned to increase her buy slightly, reflecting a 10 percent sales increase last year.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"