INTERMEZZO SHIFTS INTO TREND OVERDRIVE

Byline: Anne D’Innocenzio

NEW YORK — Standing out in a barrage of python and animal prints is going to be a key challenge this fall, according to retail buyers shopping for novelty items for early fall deliveries at the Intermezzo trade show.
Held at the Show Piers on the Hudson, Intermezzo ended its three-day run on Tuesday, attracting 390 exhibitors, about the same as last year, according to Elyse Kroll, president of ENK International, the show’s producer. About 6,000 buyers attended.
“There’s just too much saturation of trends,” said Janice Atia, owner of Janice Resident, a buying office, who was shopping for casual items for her 12 specialty store clients.
“There is so much homogeneity,” said Laurie Biggers, a buyer at Ready to Wear, a store in Amherst, N.H., who had ordered T-shirts from Custo Barcelona and Michael Stars, as well as bustier dresses from Shoshanna.
She added, “You have to do a lot of strategizing. You also have to trust your instincts, and trust the vendors.”
Referring to all the animal prints and bright colors, Andrea Pierce Naymon, buyer at Kilgore Trout, a specialty store in Cleveland, said she is aiming to “tone it all down.”
She ordered novelty sweaters with embroidery and beading from Karen Vallone and brightly colored cashmere sweaters from MAG.
Still, buyers said they had plenty of reason to get excited about fall, which continues with hippie chic, but also embraces serious tailored looks and blouses.
“There’s a lot of excitement out there,” said Nancy Latman, owner of Stuff & Stuff in Baltimore, noting the abundance of color. She had placed orders for light blue metallic suits and red polyester, viscose and Lycra spandex blended pantsuits, both from Margaret M. She also ordered shirts and blouses from Kolsen Apparel.
“Blouses are going to be big for fall,” she added.
“There are a wide range of looks. There’s so much color and leather,” said Joe Vitucci, owner of Curves ‘N Waves, a specialty store that carries swimwear and ready-to-wear.
He had just ordered cotton T-shirts from Juicy Couture and snakeskin print dresses from Bianca Nero.
Heidi Davis, the exclusive sales agent for Follies, a line that is produced in Paris, said she is expecting to book sales of $200,000 this week.
For fall, Follies, which offers sportswear and dresses, is trading up to contemporary from the young contemporary zone, and Davis said that the retail reception has been strong.
Some of the hits at the show were georgette dresses in crocodile geometric prints, printed knits and fur accessories, according to the designer Deanna Fuller. PVC pants were also popular with buyers.
At MAG’s booth, brightly colored cashmere sweaters and stretch tweed wool pants were the big highlights, according to Monica Belag Forman, president of Magaschoni Apparel Group, which produces MAG. She declined to offer sales projections for the show, but she estimated that bookings should be up by 35 percent, compared with the last show, based on traffic and what she believes is a strong fall line.
Louis Moschillo, sales manager at Mica, estimated that he will pull in about $300,000 in sales this week. By Monday afternoon, Mica had already picked up 20 new accounts.
Some of Mica’s most popular looks with buyers were pleather pants and reversible fleece jackets.
Theory was doing well with its blouses and leather pants, according to Eileen Tsuetaki, account sales executive. She added that she expects to book sales of $300,000 this week.