Dallas Market Center Steps Up Contemporary Drive

One Showroom of Los Angeles makes its debut next week at the DMC’s fall and holiday market.

DALLAS — One Showroom of Los Angeles makes its debut next week at the Dallas Market Center’s fall and holiday market, May 30 through June 2. It’s the first step in a drive to extend the District 15 area of contemporary showrooms, along the western perimeter of the venue’s 15th floor, according to Robbin Wells, executive vice president of leasing at the campus.

This story first appeared in the May 22, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Located behind Johnny Was and BCBG showrooms, One Showroom will serve as an anchor as the DMC courts other agents and brands for about a dozen empty showrooms on the aisle, which runs toward the back of the building. Most of the spaces are small, averaging 350 to 400 square feet. The bulk of District 15 showrooms are on the front of the 15th floor, where 70 showrooms covering 100,000 square feet display about 400 resources.

“Some showrooms that are based in California are looking to branch back out,” Wells observed. “They pulled back three or four years ago, regrouped and cut fixed costs, and now are looking for new markets and expanding again.”

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In addition, the number of young contemporary exhibitors has grown 25 percent over the previous year. Most of them show in temporary booths on the 12th floor.

One Showroom owner, Kristen Aguilera, tested the DMC market in March and has exhibited at Fashion Industry Gallery.

“Business in the Texas territory in general has been fairly consistent for the most part over the years,” she said. “It’s a loyal territory, very easy to work with. It’s definitely growing.”

In business six years, Aguilera represents Blank NYC fashion denim, Katherine Feiner dresses, Lafine sportswear, Mr. Kate jewelry and accessories, and newcomer Ruby Starling rock-inspired T-shirts, shorts and jackets. She recently picked up Harper Ave., a collection of stylish patent leather backpacks engineered to carry hefty weight.

Retailers have been requesting lower price points, she said, noting her biggest brand is Blank NYC jeans retailing under $100.

Elsewhere at DMC, Scott Harner & Co. has landed Butterflyzebra, an easy-care knit contemporary dress line that’s made in Los Angeles and retails under $200.

Pam Kramer, who has a namesake showroom at DMC, expects traffic to be about the same as last year, based on her appointments so far.

“People are buying more immediates, so that will factor into it,” she said. “There are still fall dollars out there that haven’t been placed yet. Spring [business] started late because the weather was colder.”

Special fashion presentations slated for May 31 include an accessories fashion show at 3:30 p.m. in the Scene show, and cocktails and informal modeling of bridge and contemporary looks at 5:30 p.m. in the District15 lounge.