Fringe, leather trim and bright colors — but not neons – were some of the trendier looks buyers were shopping for at the Moda Manhattan and Fame shows this week.
The Moda and Fame trade shows from BJI Fashion Group were held here at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center beginning Sunday and ending Tuesday. Moda features lifestyle and contemporary brands; Fame is focused on junior and young contemporary lines.
Also showing at Javits was FWD, the juniors and young contemporary show from UBM Advanstar. Usually all UBM shows — including the higher-end contemporary show Intermezzo and Children’s Club — are under one roof, but this time Intermezzo and Children’s Club were held at Pier 94. A walk around the convention center revealed boats still waiting to be moved out after the end of the New York Boat Show on Sunday, a possible reason for the split in UBM’s locations. In previous January shows at Javits, the start date had been later in the week, making it a one-stop shopping mecca for retail buyers.
In past years, buyers told WWD they would head to Intermezzo to see what the designer lines were showing, then head to Moda or Fame to find moderately priced comparable pieces reflecting those trends.
Sallyann Russo, a buyer for boutique specialty store Towne, which has a location in Brooklyn and one in Huntington on Long Island, said her store sells private-label brands in the contemporary space. “Fringe is still important; leather trim is still important for early spring,” she said, noting she was also looking for color, but not neons. Russo was searching for items that “pop,” and was making buying decisions for the store’s entire inventory. While eyeing selections from Sugar + Lips at Fame, she said the brands she saw at the show were doing a good job at getting their inspiration from the higher-end lines.
Over at Mystree, also showing at Fame, national sales manager Jae Lee said traffic was comparable to a year ago. Most of Mystree’s line focused on tops in basic neutral tones, with average wholesale price points from the high-teens to mid-20s. Fabrication consisted mostly of cotton and rayon blends.
At She + Sky, Patty Sasher, buyer for Minnesota-based Geyermans, was targeting solid colored tops. She said she was finding what she was looking for — “more solids than prints, and a few unique embellished tops.” Average price points at She + Sky for tops, tunics and long voile dresses were wholesaling between $13.75 to $15.75.
She + Sky’s Destini Beauregard said, “Traffic has been good. We were busy on Sunday, which was a surprise because it was raining all day.” She said buyers who stopped by the booth were “actually putting in orders, not just looking [at the product].” She added that the top pieces they were ordering included items in navy, floral prints and high-neck chiffon tops, and bell-bottom pants.
At Ina, a dress company, sales rep Rennan Goo said buyers were ordering dresses in solid colors and in lace patterns. Most looks were wholesaling for $18. Cotton and rayon blends were typical of many style options, and those that were fully lined ranged from $16.75 to $20.75.
At Moda, the Eva Varro line was all about color, and it attracted buyers searching for tops in abstract prints in orange, yellow and blue. Longer tops were priced at $46, while dresses with linings were listed at $76. Even the small selection of polyester-spandex leggings, priced at $42 each, wholesale, featured abstract patterns.
Janine Weil, the L.A.-based designer of the Eva Varro line, said, “For our customer, color is happy. It is emotional — it makes people feel good.” Her line showcased traditional black jackets alongside off-the-shoulder looks, for the “sex-kitten” customer, she said, noting that the trend is still longer tops over jogging pants and leggings. Also new for spring is fringe, reworked on a cropped vest or jacket with bracelet-length sleeves with extralong fringes. The addition of grommets along the border added edginess, and buyers can choose from among several grommet looks, Weil said.
At Veeca and Nicole Sabatini, Joel Rappaport, who represents both lines, said traffic was “very good” on Sunday, and “consistent” Monday morning. Veeca specializes in crinkle-cut, micro-pleating chiffon-polyester blend dresses — wholesaling for $55 — and Nicole Sabatini provided jacket options wholesaling at $40.
Over at FWD, traffic was sparse, giving rise to speculation that its location upstairs at the far end of the Center at the River Pavilion was the cause. Listing just 24 young contemporary brands, the show didn’t have many buyers walking the floor and reaction from the exhibitors was mixed.
Tommy Choi of L’artiste said, “For this show we expected a little more traffic. The location is new for New York and it will take time for buyers to find us. If we can move to a better location downstairs, maybe it might be better.” L’artiste is an apparel line of mostly tops, bottoms and dresses in polyester-cotton-rayon blends, wholesaling from prices in the low 20s to high 30s.
At POL Clothing Line, Anton Oh, the brand’s rep, said, “Traffic was not the best.” Price points for the line, mostly tops and bottoms, were between $10 and $20.
Kelsey Panicco, a buyer for Macy’s Inc. who was shopping for the retailer’s unique Millennial floor, said, “We just started. What we’ve seen has been cute so far.”
And Christina Martin, founder and owner of the Lilys and Lace Boutique in Mount Joy, Penn., said, “I like how small it is [because] you can get a little bit more attention when it is not so busy.” She’s interested in dresses, tops and cover-ups for spring.