SUMMER BOOKINGS BUOY MAKERS
Byline: Alice Welsh
NEW YORK — Junior manufacturers enjoyed a busy January market last week, reporting crowded showrooms, strong interest in summer deliveries and reorders on spring test items.
Knits were one of the best categories for summer, especially in terry cloth and piqué. The baby T-shirt, little boy tee and knit miniskirts continued to book. Denim items, big for fall 1994 and spring 1995, showed no sign of slowing down for summer.
On the more novel side, styles that sold well included vinyl miniskirts and embroidered satin HotPants. The best color palettes were pastels, red, white and navy, khaki and black.
Here’s what vendors said were the best-booked items.
At Capacity Juniors here, piqué and french terry looks were the big hits, including a crewneck or polo style piqué top in bright colors and stripes for $8.50 to $9. In french terry, styles with plaid appliqués and logo embroideries, such as a hooded sweatshirt and boxer shorts, ranging from $8.50 to $12.50 were strong, according to Denise Minotti, sales executive. At Capacity, novelty denim styles were big reorder items, including a two-pocket sleeveless jacket with frayed trim for $8.50 and a tie-front printed denim shirt for $9.
Denim also was key at Jou Jou here. Two styles, denim skorts at $12.50 to $14.40 and a new category, a mini apron skirt for $14.50, were strong sellers, said Bob Acampora, executive vice president of sales. Terry cloth was a winner as well, especially T-shirt styles with poodle appliqués and shorts with a satin drawstring in powder blue, pink and white for $8 to $9.50, according to Acampora.
Jou Jou had spring reorders on novelty denim shorts, embroidered baby T-shirts and ramie and cotton and linen shortalls, shorts and vests.
“Screen-printed baby and boy-style T-shirts were the number one booking items, with various characters, graphics and animals, for $5 to $7,” said Richard Clareman, president of Jazz Sport, a division of Vernon, Calif.-based Chorus Line. “This item has become so price-point driven,” said Clareman. “Last year, styles retailed between $16.99 and $24.99, but this year, the key price points are $9.99 to $14.99. Clareman said the company had booked about 500,000 T-shirts in the last two weeks. “The key is to keep them looking fresh and new.” Also doing a big baby T-shirt business was Coolwear here.
“Both white and brights sold well with various printed logos and embroideries,” said Patricia Lucas, designer for the company.
The shirts ranged from $3.85 to $7.50. Another popular style was a key hole, Johnny collar, belted ribbed cotton top for $10.
The number one style at Anxiety here was a double-knit, two pocket jumper in argyle or gingham, which booked 25,000 units at $13.50, according to Michael Lever, an owner and sales manager. Anxiety also scored with black or gingham vinyl short skirts for $16 and a matching corset for $14, booking 9,400 units. XOXO, here, was getting big reorders on wide polyester pants for $16.50. The wrap pleated tennis skirt was also being reordered at $16, according to Laura Mazur, merchandiser for the line. Last week, buyers showed a lot of interest in XOXO’s embroidered satin group in ivory, light blue, pink and sage, ranging from $17.50 for a straight miniskirt to $18.50 for high waisted, belted HotPants.
At Design 90 here, a notch-collar rayon shaker knit top in khaki, white, black or pink for $11 continues to be strong.
Marvin Newman, president, said that Contempo Casuals had placed a 20,000-piece reorder on one style and had ordered 30,000 additional units in other styles. “Anything denim,” was booking at Esprit de Corp., according to Wendy Yamamura, East Coast regional sales manager. Denim dresses for $23.50, shortalls for $18.50, skirts for $16 and shorts for $12.50 to $14.50 were all strong categories. Logo T-shirts from $9 to $9.50 are always top summer items, said Yamamura. Dresses across the board were particularly big this market as well, she said.
At My Michelle, a division of Fritzi California, based in San Francisco, the terry cloth category was strong, including polo shirts and shorts, ranging from $7 to $15 in white, red and navy, according to Melanie Rosen, account executive. Little skirts in black, white and red polyester for $10 to $12, worn with appliquéd T-shirts for $8.50 were top-booking styles.
Knits were the strongest category at Jalate, a Los Angeles-based firm. Top-booking styles included a black and white flared knit dress with collar and cuffs for $21.75 and screened-printed baby T-shirts with teddy bear and tic-tac-toe motifs for $8, according to Ted Cooper, chief operating officer.
The Booking Looks:
Baby T-shirts — still going.
Novelty denim styles.
Jumper and apron dresses.
Anything terry cloth.
Skinny belted knit tops and dresses.