By  on October 20, 2010

Prints and color were the big trends at Designers & Agents, as well as anything slouchy, layered, draped or gathered. Leather goods and accessories were key categories, rounding out knits and printed separates and dresses.

“This is always a good show for us,” said designer Jenny Han, whose printed spring rompers were attracting a lot of interest, as were her shirtdresses and maxidresses.

Some of the bigger specialty store chains had been holding back, but now have major open -to-buys for immediates, said Megan Freedman, owner of the Latitude showroom, which carries Jenny Han, among other lines.

“This is our first break,” said Luz Solarez, director of sales for I Love Binetti, referring to a brief moment of calm in the booth. “It’s been wonderful.”

The past few seasons were slow, but now stores are writing orders, she said. Dresses and jumpers were popular.

“So far, everything we’ve written has been large orders,” said Souchi designer and owner Suzi Johnson. “The traffic feels a lot busier than the previous show.”

For spring and summer, Souchi showed lightweight knit layering pieces hand-loomed in Portland, Ore., from organic cotton, bamboo and silk. Prices range from $55 for a cami to $288 for a cashmere dress.

Buyers said they come to the show to find something different to round out their assortments. Zayan Ghandour, co-owner of five stores in Dubai called Sauce, said she was looking for novelty pieces with color and details.

“Designers have moved from basic and safe to something more interesting in the last few seasons,” she said, adding that although business in Dubai has been somewhat affected by the economy, retail remains strong.

“We always find something unexpected here,” said Phyllis Newhouse, owner of the Phyllis boutique in Palo Alto, Calif., known for its avant-garde and European designers.

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