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Quality Buyers Shine on Annex

NEW YORK — While smaller in scale than its Designers & Agents counterpart, The Annex lured buyers here looking for one-of-a-kind spring and summer items.<br><br>Spread over three days, the bright, gallery-like setting featured a DJ spinning...

NEW YORK — While smaller in scale than its Designers & Agents counterpart, The Annex lured buyers here looking for one-of-a-kind spring and summer items.

Spread over three days, the bright, gallery-like setting featured a DJ spinning music and approximately 45 accessories and ready-to-wear companies — and quirky items like designer-made rugs. The show took place from Jan. 12-14 at 450 West 31st Street, with about 1,000 buyers attending.

Exhibitors ranged from hat maker Tracy Watts to jewelry designers Decamp and Viv & Ingrid to rtw lines Nicole Romano and Heatherette. Despite the blustery weather, the energy was upbeat and buyers were ordering, said vendors like designer Danielle Shriver of Prairie New York.

“For us, the quality of the stores that come here is great. Whoever comes is interested in buying,” said Shriver, who sells to Henri Bendel, Bloomingdale’s and TG-170. Her line wholesales from $25 for a T-shirt to $55 for skirts. “People walk in and find the music, the lights and everything very refreshing.”

Susan Denowitz, a buyer for Malawi, based in the Flushing section of Queens, N.Y., said it’s the well-edited selection that makes the show worthwhile.

“We’re so time pressed and it was very important to come here because we know we’ll find something different,” said Denowitz, who was perusing the show with her partner, Mimi Klein. “Even if we don’t buy anything, the selection here is more forward and less commercial and always one step ahead.”

Intermix buyer Sari Sloane said she found some new designers that she doesn’t normally see in the showrooms.

“It’s a nice space and it looks great,” Sloane said. “Ed [Mandelbaum] and Barbara [Kramer] are trying to keep it edited and not [accept] everyone and [that] helps — it’s more creative than commercial.”

D&A organizers Mandelbaum and Kramer said they were pleased with the turnout and are looking forward to expanding the New York shows to incorporate new concepts. The larger Designers & Agents show will have its next edition in New York on Feb. 24-26.

“The feedback has been fantastic,” Mandelbaum said. “I would love more traffic, but people are writing orders. But we don’t just want to fill space — we turned down about nine out of 10 people [trying to get in].”