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Dallas FIG Buyers Tap Accessories, Colorful Items

Show timing made for slow traffic.

DALLAS — Buyers shopped with a keen focus on fresh fashion, accessories and color at Fashion Industry Gallery’s trans-seasonal three-day market ended Aug. 18.

“They’re cautious, but they’re maintaining,” said Kaitlin Moore, owner of the Kaitlin + Co. showroom. “Probably half if not more of my business was immediate.”

Sales representatives and organizers agreed that the timing of the show, which started on the same day that fashion market concluded in Los Angeles, affected traffic.

“We’ve had Intermezzo, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Project [markets and trade shows] all within a day of each other or overlapping,”said Gary Rosenblum, national sales manager at Drew sportswear. “It’s ridiculous.”

“We expect our August show will remain softer than our other markets as long as the markets continue to be scheduled on top of each other,” said FIG director Emma Greathouse. “That said, the quality of stores that attended was once again top notch. We saw Neiman Marcus, Cusp, Julian Gold, Elements, Maloufs, among many others.…We are looking forward to a very full house at FIG in October. The October show is our largest of the year.”

After the traditionally slow days of summer, retailers said fall looks were starting to check. Even fur is selling at Elements in Dallas, said owner Connie Sigel.

People really want things they haven’t seen before,” she observed. “We’re picking up new collections and editing out the ones that aren’t so special anymore.”

Sigel’s budget was down slightly as she continues to avoid overstocking, but she found several new looks and labels at the show, including SBJ Austin’s printed rayon draped tops and casual cotton dresses, Campbell’s yellow gold and diamond double ring, Victoria Beckham’s stovepipe jeans, Sachin + Babi’s body-conscious spring dresses, Uwezo haircalf desert boots made in Africa, and Giles & Brother’s black crystal and brass scallop-shell waterfall earrings.

“Summer’s slow, but it’s been picking up,” noted Kathy Hickman, buyer for MW2 Boutique in Oxford, Miss., a branch of Maison Weiss in Jackson. “I’ve been buying what I have a good checkout with.”

Melody Saunders hunted for jewelry for J. Saunders in Fort Worth, placing orders for pearl and gold-plate earrings by Double Happiness and turquoise link necklaces by M. Elizabeth Designs.

“I’m looking for more contemporary styles,” Saunders said. “The young girls want jewelry they can keep longer.”

Her 42-year-old store specializes in prom and has already had girls come in to buy frocks for spring dances.

Adriane Sack, who formerly worked on Wall Street, stocked up on fashion jewelry with an accent on Texas resources for Gemma Collection, the store she plans to open in mid-September in the affluent University Park within Dallas.

“I’ve always loved jewelry and I felt there wasn’t a good store in the middle price point between Charming Charlie and Ylang 23,” Sack said.

Robin Muhlfeld sought clean denim jeans from DL 1961, plus casual sportswear by Michael Stars, Ella Moss, Splendid, James Perse and Joie for The Physical Fit in Austin.

“Business is up and down,” said Muhlfeld, who opened the store 27 years ago. “My buy will have to be lower. I have to test the waters.”

TRENDS

• Philanthropic resources

• Semiprecious, crystal and metal jewelry

• Printed jeans

• Denim jackets

• Silk tops and blouses

• Embellishment

• Sherbert colors

• Stripes