By  on June 18, 2009

The recession isn’t stopping girls from buying new summer clothes in the contemporary arena. Whether it’s a $475 dress from Intermix or a $40 bra at Rapunzel’s Closet, specialty store owners are beginning to see an uptick in traffic and a range of best-selling items that are moving quickly.

Location: The Web
Bestseller: Current/Elliott’s roll shorts.
Retail Price: $178
The Appeal: “Denim cutoffs are a coveted basic this spring season and it’s no surprise our customers liked Current/Elliott’s the most,” said Kate Ciepluch,’s fashion director. “The boyfriend style can be rolled or frayed hem exposed, and provides a broken-in look that’s just right.”

Store: Intermix
Locations: 25 units nationwide.
Bestseller: ALC’s jersey dress.
Retail Price: $475
The Appeal: “It’s perfect for summer,” said Sari Sloane, vice president of fashion and merchandising at Intermix. “It is supersoft and lightweight and easy to wear. It also transitions from day to night very easily by simply adding bold jewelry and some high wedges.”

Store: Holt Renfrew
Locations: Nine stores throughout Canada.
Bestsellers: Alexander Wang’s classic mini-pocket T-shirt and Citizens of Humanity’s Dylan boyfriend jeans.
Retail Prices: $95 for the T-shirt, $328 for the jeans.
The Appeal: “The Alexander Wang T-shirt is the latest look,” said Julia Hurst, divisional director, contemporary women’s wear for Holt Renfrew. “It can be worn more edgy or casual and goes from work to play. The boyfriend jean is one of the newer denim silhouettes that reminds us of wearing our boyfriend’s clothes. These jeans can go from a sexy evening out to a comfy weekend at home in a heartbeat.”

Store: Olive & Bette’s
Locations: Four in Manhattan.
Bestsellers: AG’s cropped boyfriend jeans, Joie’s blouses.
Retail Prices: $245 for the jeans, between $140 and $196 for the blouses.
The Appeal: “Despite the challenges right now, the most expensive jean is also the bestseller,” said store owner Stacey Pecor. “We’ve sold over 400 pairs of AG’s boyfriend jeans because women don’t [already] own them. It’s as simple as that. Every single Joie blouse has performed well. We had an 88 percent sell-through the first week. And because they’re in stock, we can get back into the best-selling styles quickly. Nowadays, being nimble and reacting to what’s selling is more important than ever.”

Store: Rapunzel’s Closet
Locations: Three stores in Palm Beach, Fla. and
Bestsellers: Minnie Rose’s Summer Lovin’ shawl and Top Secret’s Sexy Back bra.
Retail Prices: $158 for the shawl, $40 forthe bra.
The Appeal: “The shawl comes in great colors, a great price, lightweight feel and one size fits all,” said owner Randi Siegel. “The bra has a great fit and is perfect with racer-back tanks, which are very in right now.”

Store: Eryn Brinie
Location: One store in Manhattan.
Bestsellers: The Essential T-shirt and Brushstroke skirt.
Retail Prices: $30 for the shirt, $95 for the skirt.
The Appeal: “Customers buy the T in multiple colorways, as its rolled sleeves and wide V-neck provide a fashionable update to the classic T-shirt,” said Tara Mulhare, retail director. “The Brushstroke skirt’s versatility is key, as our customers like to wear their staples in a variety of ways, each time creating a new look. Our customers note that the skirt may be dressed up or worn more casually, and the skirt’s pleating and pockets create a unique silhouette that complements the bold pattern.”

Store: Searle
Locations: Four Manhattan stores.
Bestsellers: Walter’s silk button-front dress and Magaschoni’s zip cardigan.
Retail Prices: $238 for the dress, $288 for the cardigan.
The Appeal: “The Walter dress is in a happy print, it’s hip and has a great fit that works for all body types,” said Rick Weinstein, director of sales and marketing for the store. “We could not get enough of the Magaschoni cardigans. They are in a chunky cotton, expressive collar and sleeve, bright colors and a great price.”

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