ATLANTA — A return to classic lines in sportswear and ready-to-wear and the dynamic of dresses — always high on Southern buyers' lists — were big draws at AmericasMart's June show here.
Textured fabrics, from jacquard to tapestry, and Lurex replaced the embellishment of recent holiday seasons in new jacket silhouettes such as artist-inspired cropped styles with sleeve details. Monochromatic blends of charcoal, black and gray were the prevalent holiday palette.
Short, flirty cocktail dresses and daytime tunics paired over leggings were well-received, and some buyers said the category was edging out denim as a key fall staple.
Officials said traffic at the show, which ran June 9 to 12, was even with last June. Mike Turnbull, senior vice president of marketing, said contemporary product was driving business, especially in temporary shows such as Premiere and the NY/LA Co-Op area on the ninth floor, a new 14,000-square-foot space that is expanding for August with an additional 5,000 square feet.
But some exhibitors said attendance at this market was off, even for June, which is typically the slowest market of the year. Sales representatives and vendors attributed the traffic partly to confusion over recent date changes. This market established a new Saturday-through-Tuesday pattern, after the April market changed to Sunday through Wednesday.
Color, print and texture, in looks to attract college-age women and their mothers, were the goals for Thomas Heery, owner of Heery's Clothes Closet, a specialty store in downtown Athens, Ga. Shopping for mostly holiday, he also bought fall fill-ins and accessories.
"I'm buying my 'hotshot' sportswear lines for after-September deliveries," he said, listing Tibi, Nanette Lepore, Trina Turk, BCBG and Nicole Miller.
He cited Milly as a particularly strong line this season, and bought short dresses, cashmere sweaters and jackets with Lurex. For mothers, Heery shopped for special occasion looks that combine youthful styling with coverage for arms, either from sleeves, wraps or jackets. He picked up chunky accessories, as well as simple layering necklaces for more petite customers.
Eveningwear and dresses were key targets for Robert Nemer, president of The Cotton Mill Inc., which has three specialty stores — The Cotton Mill Collection, The Cotton Mill Lifestyle and a Nicole Miller boutique — in the Green Hills area of Nashville.Doubling eveningwear assortments, for a clientele that attends black-tie events including Nashville's Country Music Awards, Nemer also increased day dresses, which have replaced denim as a key fall classification. He applauded the variety of silhouettes and lengths, but noted difficulty in finding color with the abundance of black and charcoal for evening.
With a budget up 15 percent from last year, Nemer said, "We're looking to go deep with reputable, strong vendors as partners." Key lines include Diane von Furstenberg, Milly, Nanette Lepore and Shoshanna. He also bought sportswear from Juicy Couture and Vince and T-shirts from Michael Stars.
Day dresses and the return to classic dressing with less embellishment were important to Lisa White, owner of OK Collection, a specialty store operation with three stores in Fairhope, Ala.
"Our customers love dresses and love this look," she said. "I'm tired of embellished stones and bubble skirts, and the clothes now are a breath of fresh air."
White added that she was "on the hunt for dresses with sleeves for fall." She ordered holiday and resort collections and previewed early spring from her best-selling lines: Badgley Mischka, Teri Jon, Jon, David Meister and Lafayette 148.
"Holiday is a precarious season for us, but we have lots of special occasions, including Mardi Gras in February," White said. "We had a roller-coaster year after Hurricane Katrina, but business and tourism is back."
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)