By  on June 20, 2007

NEW YORK — Consider it another notch in the category's belt.

Last month The NPD Group released its first accessories report, generated by a new accessories tracking service. When it announced the program last fall, NPD executives said it was "crucial&" to provide more information about this "underserved segment.&"

What have we learned so far?

For the first quarter of 2007, jewelry came out on top in dollar sales, followed by bags and luggage, watches, small leather goods and sunglasses. Based on unit sales alone, the top five items bought by women were earrings, handbags, chains/necklaces, bracelets/anklets and rings. Men chose baseball caps, leather belts, wallets, cold weather hats and sport sunglasses.

So it's no surprise that accessories trade shows have been multiplying. There was the birth last year of AccessoriesTheShow Las Vegas, a spin-off of its New York sister. They are owned by Business Journals Inc. of Connecticut. At the same time, specialty accessory boutiques have been sprouting within traditional apparel shows.

Last year, New York-based ENK International launched Clear, a luxury accessories show, as a stand-alone event. It has since been pulled out of its Gotham Hall digs and paired with Fashion Coterie, held at the Jacob K. Javits Center and the Show Piers. An ENK spokesman describes Clear as "very popular&" and said it will be held once again Sept. 18 to 20.

Meanwhile, the long-

established jewelry show JA New York is watching its registrations skyrocket, up to 17,000 from 13,000, for its summer show taking place July 29 to Aug. 1 at Javits. There will be 1,700 designer and manufacturer exhibits.

The summer JA will be enhanced with several new features. There is a Bridal Showcase in partnership with David's Bridal, where live models will don gowns and be adorned with JA exhibitor jewelry pieces. Also coming is iW Watch Pavilion, a venture with Fine Life Media that will display new watch brands such as Ball Watch, Luminox, Ernst Benz and D. Atlantis.

There is an enhanced online program that enables participants to search for products, exhibitors and conference sessions during the show and prior to arrival. Additionally, the show floor has been simplified. An after-hours lounge on Sunday and Tuesday nightsallows time to mingle.

AccessoriesTheShow is revving up for its next event, Aug. 5 to 7 at the Javits Center, where Elle Jewelry will introduce a new Italian line, and Beyond Words will launch. Even accessories are getting into the green movement: Blue Wild Indigo, an all-

natural, handmade jewelry line said to capture the essence of nature through color and design, will also be present.

ENK's Accessorie Circuit event, coinciding with the Intermezzzo apparel show, is expected to draw 9,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors to its next event, Aug. 5 to 7.

The 20-year-old Accessorie Circuit has grown over the years. Starting out at the Omni Hotel, it moved to the Plaza Hotel before landing in recent years at ENK's larger venues, Javits and the Show Piers.

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