ATLANTA — While grabbing colorful looks led by floral and abstract prints, buyers at the Atlanta Apparel Market were also inspired by cool fall weather and looking to replenish hot items, including jackets, leggings and boots.
Buyers shopping AmericasMart for five days ended Monday were also betting on neutral colors, such as taupe, brown, tan and blush. They booked wide-legged pants and jeans, culottes, jumpers and lots of casual dresses. Fringe continues to be a major factor in apparel, jewelry, handbags and shoes.
Julie Lansky, buyer at Lansky Brothers in Memphis, said her sales were up substantially in September and early October, and her jacket business “is on fire,” especially boiled wools, suede and vegan leather. She also filled in on leggings, puffer jackets and sweaters.
Shannon Kotze, owner, president and buyer at The Bilt-House in Atlanta, said, “We’re selling leather jackets, boots, faux leather, leggings, a lot of cashmere and anything with fringe….I think we’ll have great [fall] sales.”
Candace Sansbury, manager and buyer at Cho on Main in Lexington, S.C., said September was the strongest ever, with sales up about 25 percent. The flash floods that hit South Carolina in early October slowed business, but it has picked up since. “We’re looking for a strong fall,” she added.
Melanie Martin, owner of Melanie’s and MII in Orange Beach, Ala., said her apparel sales have grown around 30 percent over the past year, and she is increasing her open-to-buy that much for 2016.
According to Morgan Ramage, fashion manager at AmericasMart, spring trends also include wide-legged denim; relaxed silhouettes as seen in oversize tops, palazzo pants and jumpers; layering of necklaces; textured handbags; fringe and Seventies-inspired looks.
Caron Stover, vice president of apparel trade show sales at AmericasMart, said temporary exhibitors increased 26 percent over the show a year ago, with major category growth in resort, young contemporary and Southern sayings T-shirts.
Kaye Davis, vice president of apparel leasing, said six new showrooms had opened.
“I think this is the best we’ve ever been with the number of exhibitors we have and with buyer registration up for the year,” she said. Mary Sullivan Harper, senior vice president of leasing, added, “We have a lot of new buyers from out-of-territory and international.”
The Bilt-House’s Kotze bought early spring, focusing on dresses in prints and solid colors, especially brights and neons, and on rompers, gaucho pants and shorts.
“Spring is about a lot of floral and abstract prints, and full of color,” she said. Brands she booked included Bailey 44, Julie Brown, Johnny Was and Drew.
Cho on Main’s Sansbury bought neutrals, only touching on floral and abstract prints. She also ordered bohemian looks, corded necklaces, flared denim, bright and neutral colors, suede shorts, rompers and long vests. Her brands included Peace Love World, Sanctuary and Michael Stars.
Lansky booked casual dresses in bright colors, neutrals and prints, preppy shorts from Southern Tide, cut-off shorts, necklaces with fringe and dainty necklaces for layering, fringed suede vests and leather handbags. Her jeans trends were cuffed or rolled up, flared and distressed.
Trends at Melanie’s are “casual and comfortable,” Martin said. She ordered lightweight cashmere sweaters in pastels, drawstring and banded pants, fuller T-shirts, caftans, summer shorts and tops, beachwear and handbags, and focused on pastels and white. Martin said she buys only a few brands, including Bella Dahl, Wilt and Lilla P.