By  on January 7, 2014

NEW YORK — Although temperatures hovered in single-digit territory here this week, retailers shopping Intermezzo Collections had warm summer days on their minds. The three-day show, which opened Monday and runs through Wednesday, was produced by ENK and featured more than 300 designers at Piers 92 and 94.

Casual sportswear, ranging from athleisure looks, beach cover-ups and tie-dye tops to maxidresses, crocheted knits and indigo, high-waisted, printed and coated denim, was served up for spring and summer.

“It was better than I expected,” said Susan Greenstadt, who runs a namesake multiline showroom. “I was pleased the weather hasn’t screwed up everybody’s plans. People are leaving paper. It’s such a small season. We’re getting ready for fall, which is going to be huge.”

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Retailers were combing the aisles in search of new and innovative merchandise. Merle Yaguda, owner of Merle’s TNT, a women’s specialty store in Hewlett, N.Y., said she was shopping Intermezzo for “anything fresh and different.” She was very excited about the pants she saw at DWP, the new nondenim venture between Gwen Stefani and Michael Glasser. Yaguda said resources haven’t been showing pants and instead have been offering sexy leggings. These will be a good alternative. Another line she liked at Intermezzo was R&R Surplus. She bought their thermals, sweatshirts and sweatpants.

Sheri Schorr, an owner of Lester’s, which has New York stores in Greenvale, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Rye, said she shopped lines such as J Brand, Feel the Piece, Chaser, Blank NYC and Jet by John Eshaya. At Jet, she bought T-shirts, jackets and jeans, and at J Brand, indigo jeans. Among the trends were crop tops, crocheted shorts and lace.

Trish Gull, owner of Wish, in Long Branch, N.J., and Wysteria, in Westfield, N.J., noted that she bought from lines such as Parker, Hale Bob and Liberty Gardens at the show. “I loved Liberty Gardens. There were some really cool pieces. There were contemporary sweaters and novelty pieces with an edge. I loved the quality and consistency of the fit and style,” she said.

Vendors appeared pleased with the pace of business. Marlo Williams, director of sales at Level 99, said she was selling merchandise for immediate delivery. She was doing well with linen stretch pants with Tencel for summer, as well as light washes. “We’re selling tons of shorts. It’s been busy so far. People are trying to get in and get out before the temperatures plummet,” she said on Monday afternoon. She was selling merchandise for Feb. 28 to May 30 deliveries.

Free People, which had an active booth, was focused on styles such as high-waisted denim and vintage dresses with florals. “We’re all about ivory blouses with high-waisted denim and things tucked in,” said Arielle Lichtenstein, direct manager. She said the style was “moving away from oversized.” She noted that stores were gravitating toward graphic Ts as well. She was selling merchandise for immediate delivery through June 15 delivery.

Jenice Burns, sales manager of NYDJ Apparel, which was recently acquired by Crestview Partners, said she was doing well with distressed jeans and white jeans with two side zippers for spring. “We’re seeing a trend toward indigo driven, not as much as color-driven. Color and print are still relevant, but not as relevant as past seasons,” said Burns.

Minnie Rose’s booth was packed with buyers. “Our business is phenomenal. We’re selling a lot for summer,” said Lisa Shaller-Goldberg, owner of Minnie Rose. She added striped tote bags, accessories and reversible sun hats to her line, which includes silk shorts, striped tops, crocheted knits, nylon jackets, tie-dyed shirts, sarongs and cotton striped tanks. “We’re expanding into the whole lifestyle. The idea is the South of France and Santorini, and that you can pack an entire color story and have a whole wardrobe that works. You can work with seven pieces that mix and match,” said Shaller-Goldberg.

Athletic and bohemian looks were among the top trends at the Place Showroom, which had 10 brands on display. According to owner Leah Oseran, the various collections wholesale from $30 to $210. The brands target the customer who can’t afford Rag & Bone but still wants to follow fashion. “She wants to be wearing the look for less,” she said.

Color was evident in many of the sportswear lines. Booths such as Hale Bob and Parker were overflowing with prints. Printed dresses, rompers and viscose jersey dresses were selling well at Parker, said a representative. At Vince, color was infused in the summer offerings. “For April and May, there’s lots of chambray colors, light blues, pinks and pale rose. Everyone’s loving the color, and we’re very into jumpsuits right now,” said Liz Humphrey, account executive.

Avenue Montaigne was excited about its floral ankle pants, which wholesale for $85 and are new for spring, said Daniele Chemla, owner and designer. She also designed prints in pants and dresses, and added new colors for spring. “We’re having a good show,” said Chemla.

Leather continued to be a strong suit at Bailey44. “Anything with transparencies and perforations was selling well,” said Ruthy Grode, cofounder and chief executive officer of Bailey44. Knee- and tea-length dresses were also being scooped up.

Go by Go Silk, which sells more than 300 specialty stores, was having success with dresses for summer, as well as related separates, “with lots of great details,” jumpsuits and digital printing on silks, said Beth Wolloch, president of Sun On International, which makes the Go by Go Silk collection.

Ethan Rose, partner in Feel the Piece by Terre Jacobs, said the Los Angeles-based line was working with retailers such as Singer 22, Shopbop, National Jean Co., Toby Grey, Tupelo Honey and TNT (from Canada) at Intermezzo. He said his company was doing well with lightweight sweaters, as well as woven and jersey dresses ranging from short to maxi. “Our collection is versatile, it has a great fit and can transition from day to night,” said Rose. The company was also selling screen-printed T-shirts under the Tyler Jacobs label. “Our business is stronger than last year, but we all have to work a little harder,” said Rose.

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