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Intermezzo’s New Mix

The Beat: Denim and miniskirts ruled at Intermezzo, which ended its three-day run May 8.

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Designers offered plenty of denim and short skirts for holiday. A MAD Woman top with Rock & Republic jeans.

NEW YORK — Denim and miniskirts ruled at Intermezzo, which ended its three-day run May 8.

Held at the Show Piers, the fall and holiday Intermezzo show brought in 686 exhibitors and 7,000 retailers, all on the quest for something new.

“When I started Intermezzo, it was an opportunity for buyers to buy midseason,” said Elyse Kroll, president of ENK International, which produces Intermezzo. “Now, designers are designing for this season. Holiday is no longer a fill-in. Now, if you don’t have anything new in your booth, there is no reason for retailers to walk in.”

At the show for the first time was Catch A Fire, a line founded by Cedella Marley, daughter of the late reggae legend Bob Marley. The company made its entrance this season when it welcomed Cedella’s famous singing brother, Ziggy, to the booth. He stayed for an hour on Wednesday and signed autographs for fans of his music and his sister’s clothing line.

Marley is looking to keep her father’s legend alive through the collection of reworked vintage concert T-shirts, hoodies, denim jeans and leather jackets. Learning to sew from her mother, Marley launched Catch A Fire just under a year ago and decided to dedicate it to her father, her biggest fashion influence.

“The reaction to the line has been really great,” said Karen Greenberg, head of the Catch A Fire brand. “Because of this, I know Cedella really wants to do a full line of denim.”

The Catch A Fire line wholesales from $18 to $300.

Also new to the show was C. Ronson.

“We’ve been happy here with our first show,” said Charlotte Ronson, designer of the contemporary sportswear collection that has just entered a licensing deal with Rocawear, as reported. “I’ve gotten some great feedback and opened some new accounts.”

Ronson said she has booked her thermal Ts in colors like gray, white and pink, as well as a few pieces from her new intimates line, Tooshies. She also sold the brown satin miniskirt with hot pink lace sticking out from the bottom. Now that she has backing from Rocawear, Ronson said she is free to be creative and is enjoying her new home in the Rocawear offices.

This story first appeared in the May 15, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“It’s a very different vibe than we are used to,” she said. “But Damon [Dash, Rocawear chief] has been so supportive of me.”

Also making its Intermezzo debut this season was Ben Sherman, the British-rooted contemporary line. The company is celebrating its 40th year in business, and to mark the occasion the brand dedicated its holiday line to the way it used to be. There were vintage-inspired tracksuits, a striped red, white and blue fitted blazer, and a slew of the wovens they are known for in many original prints. Wholesaling between $27 and $36.50, Eric Fitzgerald, the company’s women’s national sales manager, said he opened about 10 new accounts.

“This show has been all new business for us,” he said. “People were stopping in because they heard of the brand from our men’s wear.”

For Stefani Greenfield, owner of the New York-based Scoop stores, finding new items from the vendors she already carries was easy to do. She said there were great new looks from Seven For All Mankind, Diane Von Furstenberg, Joie, Alice & Olivia, Vince and Theory, to name a few. But the trouble she had was finding new vendors.

“I didn’t find any new brands and that’s really what I got to these shows for,” Greenfield said. “It’s easy for me to go to the showrooms for the brands I already carry. I just wish I could have found some new people.”

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