CHICAGO — Dresses showed staying power as a go-to item at this month's apparel market, along with shimmering classic-cut pieces adorned with sequins, jewels and metallic thread.
"I think dresses are still a commodity," said Bernice Burg, principal of Bernice Burg Associates. "They appeal to a broad customer base."
In her Chicago showroom, sparkling bubble-skirt dresses by Betsey Johnson were a top seller, along with Johnson's polkadot taffeta duster and whimsical bustier, and one-shoulder tops in bright pink, jade, red and lavender for holiday.
Late fall and holiday looks were the focal points of the market that ended its four-day run on June 6 at the Apparel Center here.
Buyers also responded to the shimmer sweaters by new better cashmere line b.chyll, a division of Sweater.com, and styles such as long vests, kimono-look sweaters and hooded, deep V-neck sweaters, Burg said.
Retailers scooped up shimmer swing jackets and bolero styles from Fashionista and washed taffeta and velvet swing jackets from Drama, she said.
Karin Berger, owner of Karin Berger Ltd., also noted the movement toward eye-catching pieces with a dash of flash. Her bestsellers included an Urchin two-tone bronze-and-black striped sequin minidress that may be worn with or without jeans or leggings, and a Wilster dress in solid black, black with metallic silver or gold thread with jeweled bodices.
Overall, the market, which tends to attract fewer retailers than Chicago's larger StyleMax shows at the Merchandise Mart, proved fruitful for Burg, who reported 25 percent more sales than last year's June market.
"There are a lot of people doing a good business out there; it was a very up market," she said.
"People were looking for more glitz and more shine for holiday as opposed to your traditional black or red," said Kim Knudten, a showroom assistant with Karin Berger. "Designers did a lot of classic designs with a little embellishment or used a more interesting fabric to dress up the standard cut, so it didn't scare people off."
Dresses continued to perform well, as hems moved a bit shorter. Tunic-length pieces worked well for younger clients who chose to wear them as dresses or with leggings and for older customers who would wear them as tops with jeans, Knudten said. In particular, buyers opted for silk georgette dresses in abstract prints from For Love and Liberty and modern A-line cotton and nylon dresses with a cutout back from Wilster.Retailers also ordered patterned tights in brown, gray, navy and black by Spanx.
"Dresses are just huge," said Brenda Cycholl, in the showroom bearing her name and her daughter's, Angela Hill.
Hot items included maxi dresses and bias-cut dresses by Sue Wong and printed dresses with lace trim from XS Clothing. Buyers also liked the attention to the waist given by Rinascimento, an Italian line featuring high-rise pants, high-waisted skirts, cotton stretch blouses and a black princess coat with leopard belt, Cycholl said.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews