When it comes colors that resonate with shoppers, Pantone has the power.
That was one of the themes that emerged from the two midseason accessory trade shows — Accessorie Circuit and AccessoriesTheShow — held in New York earlier this week.
At Accessorie Circuit, which was at Pier 94, both Erickson Beamon and Botkier reported that product fabricated in pastel color ways were receiving unexpected levels of popularity — the byproduct, they said, of Pantone’s newest colors of the year.
“Tons of our accounts are looking for blush, they really listened to the Pantone [colors of the year]. The pantone color for fall was wine, and our wine story was one of our best-selling colors,” said Jillian Cherubino, an account executive with Botkier.
According to Cherubino, between 60 and 70 percent of orders placed at Accessorie Circuit were immediates. “I think with the tough retail environment and the way people were closing out the holiday season, buyers wanted to wait and see their inventories before committing,” Cherubino said. “We’ve seen a lot of boutiques shift towards ‘buy now’ instead of ‘buy ahead.’ I feel like they know they inventories better now and are more conservative when they order.”
Karen Erickson of Erickson Beamon was also seeing an uptick in pastel-driven sales at the show. She pointed out a grouping of pastel stone jewelry and said, “this whole group is doing great – when we had first shown it at Coterie in September no one quite got it, and then [Pantone] came out and said these are the new trendy colors.”
“I guess Pantone is the new authority,” she added. “We had this stuff in September but now all of a sudden it’s like the hot thing.”
In addition to pastels, Erickson said long earrings were performing well. “I think fashion people want to have fun with jewelry again, they are tired of ditzy little personal uncreative jewelry, and when they are ready to be fun and creative they want us,” she said.
In a nearby booth, Alexis Bittar account executive Geena Fancher echoed Botkier’s reports of a spike in immediate orders. “I think that [stores] are sold through right now and need new stuff,” Fancher said. “We haven’t had a delivery in two or three months so they are running pretty dry.” Fancher said between 60 and 70 percent of the brand’s orders at the show were immediates.
At AccessoriesTheShow at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, brands noted a general sense of optimism in the market. Keegan Carroll, an account executive for Steve Madden and Betsey Johnson handbags, said buyers “seem really open.”
“Active bags have been selling really well because of the spring season we are selling for, and it’s been going really well,” Carroll said.
Stephanie Teboul of Privee Showroom noted that “traffic is good, it’s the same traffic as last year.” She said all her categories were on par with last year.
Robin Cohen of Baked Beads by David & Robin was also positive about business. “Stores are really happy, it sounds like a lot of people did last-minute holiday shopping, so we are hearing that a lot of people were cleaned out last-minute and didn’t have time to reorder and are doing that here,” Cohen said. “We had a good 2015 relative to years past, people are either ecstatic about being flat or up a little and we were up a little for the year.”