Leasing is up at Fashion Industry Gallery, the boutique wholesale venue here focused on contemporary and bridge fashions.
For the first time in more than a year, all showrooms and the Shop booth show will be full at FIG when the spring market begins Oct. 21. It’s a positive sign even though some of the rooms were leased only for the three-day show and not long term, said FIG director Shelli Mers.
“Everyone is looking forward to October, especially after August was tough for everyone,” Mers said.
FIG has 44 galleries plus the Shop show, which will feature more than 150 vendors — five times the number that exhibited in August when the market was squeezed between shows in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Permanent rooms were leased to DL 1961 Premium Denim and to Prairie New York, sharing with Twnz showroom, while Jennifer Lazarus Sales doubled in size by moving into two adjoining rooms. In addition, two former buyers for the Dallas luxury store Stanley Korshak launched a high-end showroom called Col-lek-tive at FIG in August.
Multiline sales firms arriving for October only include Showroom Seven, The Globe Showroom, Studio Two Clothing, It’s All About the Girls, Sue Goodman Showroom and The Commons.
Among the dozens of new labels that will be featured at market are: Winter Kate and House of Harlow Shoes, both by Nicole Richie; Frankie B., Nu by Mark Anthony, Gypsy05 and T Los Angeles.
“I feel this show will be really important,” said Summer Van Foeken, who manages Jennifer Lazarus’ Dallas business and represents Joe’s Jeans, Twisted Heart and other lines. “Business at retail is better than it was last year at this time. I have people reordering more often.”
Danielle Shriber, chief executive officer and designer of Prairie New York, also is fielding reorders, after buyers were ultraconservative with fall orders.
“The business is changing,” Shriber said. “The stores are nervous, and it’s hard for them to forecast. That’s the problem more so than business being bad.”
Prairie New York’s embellished tops and dresses have been represented at FIG for years, but Shriber leased a room to have stronger presence in the region and to unveil a line of bridesmaid and casual wedding dresses.
“The South is a dressier territory, and some of my most sophisticated customers are there,” she said.
Sales representatives said retail business seems better, but buyers remain cautious because of continuing economic uncertainty. They expect to see far more merchants than they did in August, which was extremely quiet.
“We have tons of appointments on the books already,” said Diana Buckroyd, owner of Aire Showroom. “Our buyers are still buying very close to delivery and more wear-now clothes. This market we will have [deliveries] all the way through March, but they will probably book January and February.”
“It’s a little tough and it will be for a while, but if the product is right it is selling in the stores,” said Julie Hall, whose namesake showroom specializes in accessories such as Gerard Yosca.
“I’m expecting a good show,” said Suzanne Collier, owner of S. Collier showroom. “I’ve had some good interest and people are making appointments.”
FIG typically throws a cocktail party the Thursday of market in its lobby, but this time it will shuttle buyers to the Hard Rock Cafe for a short runway show, live music and a silent auction to benefit Gilda’s Club.
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