ATLANTA — Retailers at the Atlanta Apparel Market that ended its four-day run June 2 at AmericasMart focused their buying on fall, saying they are still waiting later to book merchandise.
As Mona Ariza, owner of Hand in Pocket in Smyrna, Ga., said, “My customer is buying closer and so am I. You have to have a compelling reason to buy a sweater in July. Also, consumers expect to buy summer merchandise on sale in July, even though they have months to wear it. So, we have a small window to get full price.”
Amy Hill, owner of the Amy J. Hill Showroom, added, “June is always a great market for me because people aren’t ready to commit [to fall] in April. People are buying closer to season than ever.”
AmericasMart focused on Game Day merchandise in recognition of fall sports.
“You’ll see dresses and trends and silhouettes for spring and fall in Game Day [team] colors,” said Morgan Ramage, fashion manager at AmericasMart. “A lot of buyers are looking for that now.”
The Mart also dedicated its Friday evening fashion show to Game Day.
Trends cited by retailers included bohemian looks, distressed jeans, textured fabrics, men’s wear influences and layering. Ramage also noted that the June market is important for buying accessories, which are trending to purses with long fringe, embroidered purses, chokers in leather or metal, and real and faux fur.
The temporary exhibit area was up 14 percent over the June 2015 show, with young contemporary ahead 40 percent, according to Caron Stover, vice president of apparel trade show sales. The Mart also added five new showrooms.
“We’re targeting lines that retailers tell us they want,” said Mary Sullivan Harper, senior vice president of leasing at AmericasMart.
Hand In Pocket’s Ariza booked men’s wear influences, mixed media apparel, textured fabrics, open-shoulder and layering pieces. Her lines include Sanctuary, RD Style and Veronica M.
Loretta Grella, owner of Downtown Divas in Melbourne, Fla., booked holiday and about 30 percent of fall to finish the season. She ordered a few signature coats and jackets, such as leather bombers and cardigan sweater wraps, interesting bras to be worn with tops with scooped backs, maxidresses, lots of scarves, gemstone necklaces and denim in skinny and distressed styles. Her top lines include MuMu, Mink Pink and Free People.
Laura Van Camp, owner of Jean Theory, a denim boutique in Charlottesville, Va., focused on holiday with deliveries mostly in October through December.
“Anything goes with denim now,” she said. “There are lots of bodies and styles. There’s so much available that our customer doesn’t have to fit into a certain trend.”
Her choices included distressed looks, skinny, flared, straight-leg, cropped, ankle, high-rise, low-rise and light and dark washes. She also booked T-shirts, blouses and blazers.
Jill Thornton, owner of Stella Boutique in Birmingham, Ala., booked about half of her fall, as well as holiday, and included Game Day merchandise. Her buys included waffle textures, tie-dyes, plaids, distressed, bohemian, necklaces with tassels and chokers. She cut back on outerwear because of last year’s mild winter.
“I feel the trend is women are enjoying boutique shopping versus big mall stores,” she said. “They get attention and better service…and women want to dress differently from each other.”