By  on March 9, 1994

NEW YORK -- Short hemlines and novelty items for immediate and summer selling are expected to lure buyers at the International Fashion Boutique Show, March 19-22 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here.

The March edition is one of the two smallest of the five Boutique Shows staged here annually by The Larkin Group. The other is in October.

David Larkin, vice president for corporate development of The Larkin Group, said there will be about 500 booths at the upcoming show, about the same number as last year.

"The March show has leveled off," he said. "We were hoping for more, but the snow in January really set some people's plans back. This has been a rough winter."

Larkin said this edition was developed in response to vendors who don't have showrooms in New York.

Buyers and exhibitors have already come through last month's heavy slate of trade shows -- including Premier Collections, Fashion Coterie and Showroom -- but the potential to find good new suppliers or a hot item is, as usual, a key magnet for retailers.

Beth Silverstein, better-to-bridge merchandise manager at the Doneger Group, a buying office here, said she would be looking for immediate spring goods, summer items and some fall, as well as keeping an eye out for new resources.

"It's the heart of the selling season, so it's good to see what's trending," she said.

Silverstein said she was interested in T-shirts, broom skirts and novelty sweaters, adding that velvet will be a strong fabric going into fall.

As for open-to-buys, Silverstein said she anticipates budgets for the office's clients will be even with last year's, due in large part to the bad weather in recent months.

Bill McLane, an owner of Mystique Fashions in Wilmington, Del., said he shops the Boutique Show in search of "obscure lines," items and accessories.

"I'm going primarily just for items to fill in my buys," he said. "I'm pretty well bought for the summer, but if something unique catches my attention I might buy it. I did Premiere and the Coterie for fall. The Boutique Show is more for items, not for trends per se."

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