NEW YORK — It was all about holiday sparkle at Intermezzo.
The ENK International trade show ended its three-day run on Tuesday, where vendors showed plenty of shine and bright colors for holiday and resort. Retailers shopping the show, which was held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center because of the ongoing construction at the Show Piers, had mixed feelings about the season's offerings.
"The new Seventies direction seems to stand out the most, with tie-dye, ombré effects and more soft, muted brights looking great," said Abbey Samet, contemporary market analyst at the Doneger Group, a merchandising and fashion consulting organization based here. "One-shoulder and one-piece rompers and jumpers also looked new, and customers should respond to these fashion items. Clear crystals and beads were still prevalent, which shows the market is not ready to move beyond embellishments. Many stores are looking for newness in brands and trends to differentiate assortments. Spring will debut for most in a month or so, this is also a time to look and see to get some ideas on where the trend direction is going."
Randi Evans, owner of Palm Beach, Fla.-based Rapunzel's Closet, said she liked some of what she saw, but certainly not everything.
"There are too many horizontal stripes and many brands are incorporating horizontal stripe groups on clingy fabrics. That just isn't flattering on a lady's body. There are also not enough white jeans. Seven and Joe's had white, but many didn't produce them," Evans said. "I liked the patent Botkier Bianca bag, which came in an electric blue color. Rachel Pally had some new silhouettes and had a color blocking group. I really liked her updated styles."
Evans said she also purchased Botkier's footwear line, which doesn't launch until February 2008.
"The shoes are very sleek and simple," she said. "We also picked up the Love Story J Brand jean, which has a wider leg opening but still slim fit to the knee. I think it's the next big J brand style."
Stacey Pecor, owner of the four Olive & Bette's stores in Manhattan, said she cherry-picked the collections at Intermezzo, choosing only a couple of items from the vendors she liked."There was a lot of repetition," she said. "My customers are craving something new and I was really looking for lines I wasn't that familiar with. If the styles weren't new, at least I could pick up some new brands that my customers haven't seen before."
Pecor said she bought a few printed dresses from Eva Franco and one gold jeweled dress from Yohana Barashi. She also liked what she saw at Hudson and Serfontaine for denim and Cake Couture's bright colors.
"During the holidays I really have to give my customers a reason to buy," she said. "So I was looking for pretty things and bright colors to liven up the store. We picked up about 10 new vendors, which was good, but I really did have to pick through to find the best items."
On the exhibitor end, brands seemed happy overall with the traffic at the show. For the Los Angeles-based Maxstudio, buyers seemed to like the Sixties-inspired romantic dresses and tunics, since those were some of the company's best booking pieces.
Among the best-selling items at the show were the silk retro minidress for $112.50, printed silk and bamboo tunic for $67.50 and a silk embroidered shift for $122.50.
The entire Maxstudio line wholesales from $47.50 to $197.50.
At contemporary dress brand Molly New York, sales representative Laura Budde said the company booked a good amount from their holiday collection.
Budde pointed out that bright printed silk shift dresses sold well, as did the Audrey Hepburn-inspired little black dresses with some Lurex for shine. All-over sequin styles also did well for holiday. The Molly New York line wholesales from $69 to $109.
At Revolver, a Los Angeles-based contemporary T-shirt and dress company, sales representative Marsula Marchesani said the strapless Deco-print dresses were doing well, as were the lace and sequin dresses for holiday.
"This is something new from us, so our accounts are really liking it," Marchesani said.
Other best-selling items included Modal T-shirts in bright yellow, blue and purple, a key-hole minidress in a range of brights and a bubble halter top in navy. The Revolver line wholesales from $34 to $72.
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