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Second Act

The category is following up the turquoise trend with semiprecious stones to spare.<br><br><br><br>Accessories are poised for a strong holiday and early spring season, and there are plenty of new trends to keep even the most discerning fashionista...

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The category is following up the turquoise trend with semiprecious stones to spare.

Accessories are poised for a strong holiday and early spring season, and there are plenty of new trends to keep even the most discerning fashionista satisfied. Among the key looks are semiprecious stones of all sorts, which can be found on everything from dangly earrings to belts and handbags. While turquoise remains popular, designers are adding other stones to the mix, including coral and quartz crystal.

As companies break out their resort and early spring looks, straw is the material of choice for handbags and hats. Cuff bracelets and beach bags should prove to be winners, as well.

Trends are stemming from a variety of sources such as looks from the designer runways, and also include bohemian influences and Gothic motifs.

Meanwhile, beauty companies are focusing on natural scents and aromatherapy products to drive their business.

Here, a look at some key trends:

Natural fibers are among the most important trends at Dance of the Ancestor. The seven-year-old firm, based in El Sobrante, Calif., makes a variety of accessories, including bags, jewelry and belts.

“I am using a lot of natural looks, including natural fibers and natural stones such as turquoise, quartz crystal and coral,” said Nanette Vides, owner and designer of the firm. “Also, we are using bronze, silver and gold beads. Colors include olive, brown and rust.”

Vides said she draws much of her design inspiration from Brazil, where she lives part of the year.

New bags feature plenty of embellishments, including sequined appliqués, images of artist Frida Kahlo, what Vides calls “kitschy glamour girls” and woven plastic looks.

Among the jewelry styles at Dance of the Ancestor are macraméd bracelets and necklaces, as well as cuff bracelets and coil choker necklaces. Wholesale prices for the line range from $4 to $68.

Straw is getting some new treatments at Capelli Straworld, the Miami accessories company, which primarily makes handbags and hats.

“We are going more into textured design,” said Melissa Madden, the firm’s designer. “We have added embroidery and more artwork to our bags. Overall, we are focusing more on novelty items to drive our business.”

This story first appeared in the August 12, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The company has used materials such as metal and enamel to add a more three-dimensional element to the designs on the bag, Madden said. Some pieces have frayed edges, while others feature wood beads and shells and have a layered look. Motifs include fishing themes as well as palm trees and flowers.

Prices range from about $5 to $16 for the line, which is sold primarily in department stores.

Dorfman-Pacific Co. Inc., the hat and bag firm based in Stockton, Calif., is featuring plenty of straw for early spring. “We are very much into the bohemian, rock ’n’ roll kind of feel,” said designer John Callanan. “We are also using a lot of turquoise embellishments on hats.”

Callanan said the firm is also launching a higher-end line under the Callanan name. It will carry wholesale prices between $45 and $60 and will comprise products made of a lighter straw and a raffia material.

“We are also really expanding our bag collection,” Callanan said. “We have more embellishments on bags, including semiprecious stones and embroidered looks. Also, we are working hard to coordinate our bags and hats.”

At New York–based Seasonal Whispers, earrings are a key focus for the coming months, said owner Esther Lixenberg.

“We have a wide variety of earring styles, including some combined with beads and metal styles,” she said. “All of our customers are asking for earrings.”

In addition to earrings, the 12-year-old firm makes a wide range of accessories, including hair accessories, belts and jewelry. Lixenberg said hair accessories, which have been a soft category in recent years, are drawing more interest, and the company has added more styles for the coming season. “We have also added more color to our jewelry,” she said.

Other key styles include suede leather necklaces, black crystal jewelry and items featuring semiprecious stones. Stainless steel wire is being used in necklaces, and beads are being incorporated into a number of new jewelry styles.

Wholesale prices for the line range from about $18 to $120, and the line is distributed primarily in specialty stores and boutiques.

Beauty firm Lucky Chick is offering a range of new products, including shower gels, body scrubs and fragrances.

“A lot of apparel stores are getting more interested in beauty, since so many people now are looking for ways to treat themselves at home,” said Stephanie Sakoff, Lucky Chick’s president and creative director.

The company was founded four years ago by Sakoff, a former shoe designer, who said she was down on her luck, but decided to start her own company and turn her fortunes around. Lucky Chick is based in Pearl River, N.Y., and is showing for the first time at WWDMAGIC.

“I started out by drawing this character in my apartment and then I decided this character should have some items to pamper herself with,” said Sakoff.

Among some of her key items are peppermint foot scrubs, a new bubble bath and a sugar body scrub featuring pure cane sugar. Retail prices range from about $7 to $30.

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