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DALLAS — Colorful and romantic tops and dresses were prime targets at the three-day spring-summer market ended Jan. 24 at Fashion Industry Gallery here.
Bright fuchsia, teal, yellow, coral and blue led bookings, as well as floral, stripe and zigzag prints and combinations of black and white. Immediate deliveries of spring jewelry were a high priority, including pendant and initial necklaces, layered chains, beaded and leather bracelets, and bold rings plus skinny, stackable styles. Pleated and shimmering fabrics and cream lace were popular, along with pale and distressed denim.
“It’s been quiet, but I’ve seen quality stores and the orders are deeper,” said Eddie Nelson Barnett, owner of Eddie’s multiline showroom, who represents jewelry and contemporary lines, including silk dresses wholesaling for less than $80 by Cindy and Johnny, a line new to Dallas, and her own collection, Eddie That Girl.
Tammy Ravenstein, accessories and jewelry buyer for Maison Weiss in Jackson, Miss., concentrated on spring jewelry for deliveries through March. She praised PuJu leather pendant necklaces, a new line from Los Angeles, and planned to see jewelry by Theia, Chan Luu and Tai.
“I’m increasing [my budget] for sure,” she said. “Our jewelry is really on fire and we are adding more fine jewelry.”
The budget was up 20 percent for Sherry Leeper, owner of LeeLee in San Antonio. An established shoe store, her business improved after she moved it in 2012 to the Pearl Brewery complex, and she began offering clothing and jewelry.
Leeper found a new jewelry collection called Coordinates that offers rings inscribed with San Antonio’s latitude and longitude, and shopped “tried and true” lines including Wilt, Current/Elliott, Heather, Level 99 and Sam & Lavi.
Mary “Pinky” Towner perused May and June deliveries for Pinky’s, her dressy-casual “classic and bohemian” shop in San Antonio. She found “beautiful” tops at Chan Luu, draped tops at Bella Dahl and soft, neutral lace dresses by Acrobat. Tower kept her buy even with last year because shoppers are “still a little bit cautious” despite a healthy local economy.
“I try to keep prices between $90 and $300,” she said. “I want people to buy more than one or two pieces.” Holly Immel picked up a stack of Sisco Berluti’s semiprecious bead bracelets for Turquoise Firefly, which opened last year in Celina, a far northern suburb of Dallas. Foot traffic has been challenging in the small but growing town, so Immel is developing an e-commerce site.
“I’m buying heavily in accessories,” she said. “That business seems to be better for me.”
Lotta Stensson showed her breezy silk tops and dresses in exclusive prints at FIG for the first time.
“A lot of new stores are opening, and we’ve seen lots of accounts from Florida, Los Angeles and Memphis,” she said.
Among those who wrote orders for her designs were Debbie Tobias and Lauran Weiner. They operate TrendZen boutique in a truck that travels one to four times a week to spas, country clubs and friends’ homes in tony neighborhoods around Dallas. They concentrate on activewear and narrowly distributed fashions, all made in the U.S.
“We’re buying immediates through March, but we may not buy summer at all because our clients are out of town and it’s tough in the heat in the truck,” Weiner noted.
Cassie Ebner, West Coast account executive for Butik accessories showroom in Los Angeles, fretted about slow traffic in the Shop temporary show.
“It’s an excellently curated show with a beautiful aesthetic and I have to come to see my Texas accounts, but I will have to start supplementing with road work,” she said. “People don’t want to make appointments anymore. They don’t want to be pinned down.”
New York designer Diana Warner presented her namesake crystal jewelry and leather footwear in her corporate showroom.
“We picked up a lot of new accounts, which was good, but I feel like the market was kind of fair,” Warner added.
“January market was a great start to 2014 and our 10th anniversary,” said Emma Greathouse, FIG director. “We continue to bring in fresh product for our buyers, as well as the big names in the contemporary fashion industry. The buyers have responded well to this strategy.”