NEW YORK — Shoppers seem to be loosening their purse strings, putting retailers in a better mood to buy at the Moda Manhattan and D&A Annex trade shows here this week.
Moda, which ended its three-day run Tuesday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, featured about 220 lines, up from about 180 a year ago. Moda is produced by Business Journals Inc. in conjunction with Accessories The Show. Between 7,000 and 8,000 attended those two shows this week.
“You can’t hold a good woman down — a good woman has to shop,” said retailer Pamela Lamoglia of her customers’ recent spending habits.
Lamoglia owns four stores, including the American Sampler in Montclair, N.J. She said her customers have been feeling more confident and business has picked up lately as shoppers have reacted well to vivid colors and ponchos.
Chrissie Daley, owner of Chrissie’s Boutique in Sea Isle City, N.J., who also was shopping Moda, said this has been her best spring during the 20 years she’s been in business. She gave credit, in part, to fashion trends that have shifted from the dominance of capri pants for three years to skirts and dresses.
“There are all new fashions this year,” Daley said. Well, not exactly new. “For the kids, it’s all brand new. My missing link is my older, biggest customer who has the most money to spend. I want to make sure I take care of her.”
Gemma Alben, owner of Gemma’s Uniquities in Queens, N.Y., described business as “pretty good.” Given the right incentive, which for Alben means merchandise her customers don’t see elsewhere, consumers are willing to spend.
“If they like the merchandise, they will buy,” she said.
As for the Moda exhibitors, Terri Kurland, owner of Kiko Comfortable Clothing, a contemporary misses’ vendor, said retailers have followed their customers and gotten over their reluctance to buy.
“We’ve had a great market,” she said. “Women want to be women again. They want to be feminine and updated.”
Tatyana Walker, president and designer of three-year-old contemporary firm Tatyana Burika, based in Eden Prairie, Minn., said, “I started in a bad time, just before Sept. 11 ,” but “slowly, it gets better and better every season.”
D&A Annex, produced by Designers & Agents and held at the Starrett Lehigh Center Saturday through Monday, had 30 booths, some representing multiple lines, up from 24 booths for the January edition. About 750 people attended the show this week, on par with the January show.
Co-founder Ed Mandelbaum said the show experimented with a Saturday start, but indicated the test wouldn’t be repeated for D&A Annex since traffic wasn’t as strong as usual.
Greta Ronningen, president of Miami-based T-shirt marketer B with G, said, “[There hasn’t been] a huge amount of traffic, but I have done wonderful business.”
B with G T-shirts wholesale for about $30.
“People are still writing tightly,” she said, referring to orders left by retailers. “They’re careful, trying to really buy what’s going to move.”
The B, and design side, of B with G is Barbara Hulanicki, who founded Biba, the iconic London store of the Sixties and Seventies.
Lori Schwarz, owner of her eponymous showroom, said, “It’s not as big of a market, but I’m pleased.”
Lee Spielberg, owner of Jazz, which has three stores in New York, said the show was good for finding lines that weren’t on the “main path” of fashion. He described spring so far as “pretty good” and said jeans and looks with bright colors were doing well.