JUNIORS ARE REACTING TO THE POST-SEPT. 11 WORLD BY OPTING FOR PIECES THAT COMFORT THEM AND DISPLAY PATRIOTIC SENTIMENTS.
The junior shopper's fashion sensibility has changed since Sept. 11, and accessories vendors are courting the lucrative demographic with looks that speak to the style-savvy generation.
Junior accessories vendors said teenagers are on the hunt for pieces that satisfy their need to feel good and that display patriotic sentiments. So firms are stepping up offerings of Americana-themed pieces, as well as feel-good jewelry with engraved spiritual motifs signaling peace and fortitude.
The simplicity of the prairie aesthetic -- as well as the grungy, hippie look -- will also appeal to younger shoppers, vendors said.
Here, a look at what a handful of vendors plan to offer:
Prairie-inspired looks will be among the key trends at Kemestry, launched one year ago in New York. But don't expect frumpy "Little House on the Prairie" looks, said Lara Kinigsberg, the company's vice president of sales and marketing.
"The western look is still here, but we are having a little bit more fun with it because we are trying to lift the spirits of the country again," she said.
Tooled leather belts and handbags and touches of gingham, will be part of the company's prairie push, Kinigsberg said.
Wholesale prices for spring and summer range from $5 to $80.
AAB Style's offerings are not for the squeamish.
"We sell body-piercing jewelry, like rings for belly, tongue, eyebrow and nose, and any other place you can pierce," said Alicia Rosalis, sales representative for the four-year-old Sunrise, Fla.-based firm.
Rosalis said she expects animal looks to be particularly popular this year, including miniature sterling silver lizards, frogs and spiders that dangle from the rings.
Wholesale prices range from $3 to $8.
Hippie bohemian looks are an important trend at 16-year-old jewelry firm Fad Treasures, based in Huntington, N.Y.
"In a way, the hippie look is coming back, like the Seventies peace signs after Vietnam," said Donna Axelowitz, the company's designer. "It's back to that whole era, and people want to show their individuality."
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