ATLANTA — Retailers were betting on a range of trends — fake and real fur, prints and layering — for fall, as they shopped the Atlanta Apparel Market from March 19 to 23.
Annika Sandstrom, owner of Olivia boutique in Sarasota, Fla., said, “Gas prices are down and the economy is better.”
Lori Lecker, owner of Lori + Lulu in Amelia Island, Fla., said, “It’s fur and fringe for fall.”
Faux and real fur were being used in jackets, vests and as trim. Slim silhouettes are dominating in pants, she said, but there’s a trend for wider legs.
Jewelry trends include Baroque and bohemian, layered looks, classic and reversible.
The March date is new, said Mary Sullivan Harper, senior vice president of leasing for AmericasMart, and about three weeks earlier.
“We got feedback from exhibitors and did a survey about a year ago on the date pattern,” she said. “Some felt April was too late and that retailers didn’t have enough money left.”
Caron Stover, managing director of temporary exhibits at the mart, said 20 percent of temporary exhibitors were new, including Dubarry of Ireland and Vince Camuto.
Visiting designer and fashion celebrity Whitney Port shared tips for business success and presented her top fashion picks from exhibitors at the show and posted them on social media.
Jennifer Harrington, divisional merchandise manager for ladies’ and children’s at Hamrick’s, Gaffney, S.C., shopped primarily for spring and summer, but also started fall for the 19-unit retailer. Her immediate buys included crochet, vests, fringe and printed tunic tops, as well as dresses in bright tribal and chevron prints. For fall, she bought suede jackets, skirts with fringe, handbags and vests, and faux fur, while expanding her tribal prints buy.
Harrington said Hamrick’s business is growing and expanding more into fashion to attract a younger demographic, while not cutting basics.
Lori + Lulu’s Lecker booked summer dresses and also started fall buying from her core vendors for her three stores. Lace continues to be a “huge” trend for her customers, as well as Baroque and bohemian looks in jewelry.
“We just had our best month [February] in our history,” she said. “I feel very positive about summer and fall.”
Kimberly Lewis, co-owner of Emerson Grace in Nashville, also reported increased sales in February, even though her store closed for two ice storms.
“I think fall will be great,” she said.
Shopping for fall, Lewis booked flared denim, suede jackets, fringed jackets and handbags, refined paisley, animal and floral prints, and fur in coats, vests and scarves. Her brands included Citizens of Humanity, Sanctuary, Young Fabulous & Broke and Feel the Piece.
Olivia’s Sandstrom reordered short and maxidresses and tops in solids and florals, abstract and Aztec prints. She started fall buying, as well, ordering denim jeans from Not Your Daughter’s Jeans and sweaters from Lilla P.
The show also attracted retailers shopping for homecoming next fall. Nadalie Brattlof, owner of CC’s Boutique in St. Petersburg, Fla., booked short dresses from the likes of Sherri Hill, Jovani, Blush, La Femme, Mori Lee, Dave & Johnny and Tony Bowls. Trends are straight and tight silhouettes in tulle or jersey knits with lace.