DALLAS — Contemporary retailers targeted unusual, distinctive styles and statement jewelry for fall and holiday as they shopped Fashion Industry Gallery here.


Although business improved at the show, which ended its three-day run on June 5, many merchants said they were still concerned about price.


Greg Mider, owner of Mider Group showroom, said the show was better than he anticipated.


“We had really good stores in,” he said. “A lot of them are still buying fall and holiday, and I have a strong reorder business in spring goods, like shorts by AKA Woman. My lines that are made domestically are a real advantage for me because I can reorder.”


Bekah McKee, FIG marketing coordinator, said the venue saw more than 70 retailers that had never before shopped it, including some from outside the traditional territory of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.


“Things that are less commercial are selling for me,” said Julie Hall, a longtime representative of better accessories. Angelique Short, owner of Angelique in New Orleans and co-owner of Angelique & Victoria’s in Baton Rouge, La., shopped for a new shoe and accessories shop that she plans to open in August on Magazine Street in New Orleans.


“Sometimes people don’t want to spend $700 for a pair of shoes, so we are looking for shoes that retail from $200 to $500,” she said, noting she had found shoes by Kelsi Dagger as well as jewelry by House of Harlow and Low Luv by Erin Wasson.


Business has been good, she noted, partly helped by the number of films being shot in New Orleans. Though Short has customers in the shrimp industry who are affected by the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, she was not cutting back her buy.


“We’re trying to find better price points,” she said.


Connie Sigel, owner of the Elements contemporary-to-designer store in Dallas, said business was “a lot better…we’re back to 2007 levels.”


The key has been clothing for “hip moms” that wasn’t too young but still had a funky edge, she said.


Sigel selected styles by Poleci, including a black crepe dress accented with pintucked flowers and a black lace dress with a nude lining.”


Sigel also picked up sweaters by Shae, leather jackets by Ilia and sportswear by Geren Ford.


Susan Hancock, owner of Collections II contemporary store in Abiline, Tex., selected a variety of leather wrap bracelets and cross pendant necklaces by Chan Luu. She also shopped Trina Turk, Lacoste, CP Shades, Milly and Joie with a flat budget.


“My customers would rather buy one nice piece that they can carry through instead of a bunch of stuff,” she noted. “If people see the value in it, then they don’t mind spending the money.”


Victoria Varney was touting $60 men’s selvage denim jeans by Kensie Denim and Shoes for Lovely People, which average $60 wholesale, at her third market in FIG’s temporary Shop show. Business is building slowly, she said.


“I would love to see more lines at my price point here in the building because I think some people are scared they can’t afford [FIG],” Varney said. “I go to a lot of trade shows and there’s no other building that feels as comfortable and relaxed as this. It even has natural light.”

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