DALLAS — Appearances by Byron Lars and Gerard Yosca headlined the spring market at the Dallas Market Center, where bright colors, black-and-white combinations and metallic gold led fashion bookings.
The well-attended spring market ran Oct. 24 to 27 at the Dallas Market Center. Popular styles included a variety of dresses, leather and pleather trims, moto jackets, leggings, draped tops, cross-body handbags and charm, chain and mineral jewelry.
Lars, whose multitextured looks were spotlighted in a runway show, has increased dresses to 65 percent of his collection.
“I get it,” the designer said. “In this economy and with women being so busy, it’s one and done.”
Tootsies’ dress business is up at least 10 percent for the quarter ended in September, said John Maguire, buyer for the three-unit chain based in Houston.
“It remains to be seen how the rest of the season will be with all the doom and gloom,” Maguire said. “Last spring was mediocre, but I think they’ll come back this spring, so we’re planning it up. I was wowed by Badgley Mischka, which was absolutely stunning — colorful, great silhouettes, patterns and prints.”
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Some buyers expressed concern over spotty fall business, which they blamed on the government shutdown and warm weather, and many said they were holding budgets even with last year.
Nancy Tritt, owner of J.T. Clothiers in Denton, Tex., shopped for “lots of jewelry,” including looks by Gemelli and Streets Ahead, plus sportswear by Johnny Was, XCVI, Sanctuary and Eileen Fisher. She said business was great in September but fell off in October.
“I think the shutdown psychologically affected people,” Tritt said. “My spring budget is staying about the same. We have a really steady clientele.”
Liz Albert, owner of Flirt in Dallas and Fort Worth, said business was “up and down” at her contemporary stores.
“With cooler weather it will pick up,” she predicted. “My spring budget is more conservative because spring was not good this year. It was cold here and online sales put a dent in storefront business.”
Vendors and sales representatives were enthusiastic about the show.
“Business is good here,” said New York jewelry designer Yosca. “People like decorative things, and we have a loyal following.”
Dana Melton, a partner in Lori Veith & Associates, said bookings were ahead of the market last October, especially with “pretty” dresses, PDDK premium denim jeans with a misses’ fit, and lots of accessories, including jewelry, scarves, belts and fall wraps.
“We are very excited to see a strong increase over market last year and our notes are bigger than last year, so I’m encouraged that we’ll see really nice growth,” Melton said.
“It was very heavily trafficked,” said Julie Hall, owner of a namesake jewelry and accessories showroom. “We saw our regular accounts and a lot of people from out of state, and we wrote a lot of new business.”
Two new visitors were Susie Sup, owner of the Hitchin’ Post in Lincoln and Omaha, Neb., and her daughter, Tafe Bergo.
“It’s easy to work here because you get attention from the sales reps,” Bergo said. “We’re buying mainly spring but also filling in fall and buying great accessories and shoes.”
Jerell did a brisk business with SlimSation. Its four-way-stretch pull-on jeans with a misses’ fit wholesale from $29 to $37. Introduced last year, the pants are selling at a rate of 5,000 to 8,000 a day and are set to rack up $6 million at wholesale in 2013, said Ed Vierling, president.
“These pants perform better than anything I’ve ever sold before and I’ve been in the business 39 years,” Vierling added. “We have a whole warehouse dedicated to it.”
“We’re pleased that October market experienced an overall increase in attendance,” said Cindy Morris, DMC chief operating officer, noting that about 350 people attended the Thursday evening runway show highlighting Beauty Mark by Bryon Lars. “Buyers wrote strong orders and there was an optimistic energy, a solid close to 2013.”