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DALLAS — Wholesalers have fairly reserved expectations for the upcoming fashion market Jan. 24 to 27 at the Dallas Market Center, but accessories vendors are hopeful they will pick up business at the eight-day Total Home & Gift Show that starts today at the complex.

This story first appeared in the January 16, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The January apparel show is typically one of the smallest, and some sales representatives are concerned they’ll have incomplete sample lines due to simultaneous markets at AmericasMart in Atlanta and StyleMax in Chicago. Others say the overlap will have minimal effect.

“It’s a question of whether you have the right product and where your customers are,” said Rosanne Saginaw, whose namesake DMC accessories showroom marks its 30th anniversary this year. “If it performed, then [buyers] will come back, but introducing a new product right now is very difficult. People in the oil patch are doing better than folks on the East or West Coasts.”

“We anticipate January market will produce the same result as last year,” said Michael Singer, a partner in Brad Hughes & Associates, which reps 50 fashion and accessory lines. “Last year, we had a political election distraction. This year it may be the fiscal cliff or something else.” Brad Hughes hopes to add sales by showing some of its top jewelry lines, like Claudia Lobao, Gypsy, Konplott and Bella Rose, plus Spanx, in booths at the massive gift show, which the DMC says attracts 50,000 people.

Combined bookings at last year’s two major gift shows equaled those of an apparel market for Julie Hall & Associates accessories showroom, noted owner Julie Hall, who noted, “Good gift stores can do a huge business.”

She is introducing several lines with crossover appeal: Gaia cuffs, bags and table linens made from repurposed fabrics; Leigh & Luca printed scarves; Footzyfolds rollable flats and sandals, and jewelry by Bloom, Lovely B and Les Amis.

Among bestsellers are Emi-Jay hair ties retailing around $7 and Deux Lux $100 handbags.

Saginaw also expects to see buyers during the gift market. “Retailers don’t have a lot of time to shop all the markets, so in some cases apparel stores come to gift shows,” she noted. “The gift market itself is big, healthy and it’s definitely a factor.”

“It’s been a big benefit for us to have the gift and apparel shows back-to-back in January,” affirmed Cindy Morris, chief operating officer of the DMC. “[At] the gift show, people are looking for apparel exhibitors.”

The DMC also has expanded its Wi-Fi network and upgraded its mobile app, and AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have beefed up mobile phone service to the complex, said Morris. “The app has a new improved look, a better interface for iPad, real-time updates, faster searches, better maps that you can pinch and expand, a calendar, social media integration, DART [public transit] information and shuttle information.”

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