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DALLAS — Texture and novelty were key selling points at Fashion Industry Gallery’s three-day market, which ended May 31, where buyers were in an upbeat mood as they wrote orders for wide-ranging seasons at the transitional show, from immediate goods through holiday styles shipping in October.
Fabrics embellished with flocking, grommets, metallic shimmer, perforations, sequins, embossed textures and tie-dye treatments were popular. Bestsellers included shirt jackets, banded tops, tops and jeans in leather mixed with stretch fabrics, and high-low hemlines on tunics, dresses and oversize cardigans. Colorful snakeskin handbags also did well, along with scarves, spiky necklaces and bold crystal jewelry.
Retailers were enthusiastic about spring business and the positive economic vibe of soaring home values.
“Business is very good,” said Patty Hoffpauir, owner of the Garden Room in Austin, Tex.
As she selected pine and purple velvet shirts from C.P. Shades, Hoffpauir noted, “Color has been the big story and I’m continuing with color for fall — rich jewel tones. I’m buying anything easy.”
Houses in Austin are selling fast, restaurants are “packed,” and the opening last fall of a Formula One racetrack is attracting international tourists to the city, she noted.
Betty Reiter stocked up on turquoise, orange and red leather and python handbags by Glen Arthur for her namesake designer boutique in Dallas.
“This was the best spring we’ve ever had,” Reiter said. “I had the right clothes — more casual, lots of color and wearable. I feel good about fall. Generally I find the mood is pretty positive.”
Shopping for October deliveries of Drew sportswear, Dennon Roberts said she’s been “blown away” by how well her contemporary boutique, Lukka, has done since it opened last November in an affluent area of Baton Rouge, La.
“Our economy is really turning around,” she said. “Real estate is at an all-time high. My customers are 30 to 60. I have to find that balance between young and mature [styles].”
Debbie Sanford said she was increasing the stock of fashion jewelry at Carriage Flowers & Gifts, her 34-year-old floral shop in Lake Jackson, Tex., a Dow Chemical company town near Houston. Fashion accessories take up a third of the space but could grow to half, she said.
“You pull them in to buy a $100 floral arrangement and they’ll buy a $300 necklace,” said Dawn Locke, Carriage’s manager, as the duo selected bone necklaces and bracelets by Holly Zaves.
“I want to pick up jewelry that people talk about,” Sanford said, noting she also shopped Virgins, Saints & Angels.
Megan Bullard, retail and marketing manager at FIG, said, “Attendance was in line with growth projections and we continue to welcome new stores to each passing market.…A surprising number of our newly registered stores hail from Oklahoma and Louisiana.”