CHICAGO — Midwestern retailers bolstered their collections for fall and dabbled in holiday and early resort at the Chicago Apparel Center’s market that ended its four-day run June 9.
“Stores were buying a little of everything. It’s more of filling in and finishing up,” said Susan McCullough, vice president of apparel for the Merchandise Mart Properties. “Attendance was about exactly what it was last year. It was what everyone anticipated.”
Specialty shop owners, meanwhile, scooped up items from their key resources.
“I didn’t want to miss anything,” said Regina Santarelli, owner of Bella Boutique in Springfield, Ill., about her motivation to attend the market. “I wanted to see what was there.”
She ordered wide assortments from Neesh and Yogi. “I was blown over by Neesh,” she said, adding brocade jackets, pink pinstriped blouses and wide-leg cuffed trousers in chocolate and black to her planned fall selection.
Santarelli also expects the loungewear trend to continue, ordering matching hoodies and pants in pastel pink, deep blue and turquoise from Yogi. “I liked the whole line,” she said. Santarelli also plans to introduce the same look from Juicy Couture.
“We tend to be about a year behind,” she said of the trends. “No one else here carries Juicy.”
Santarelli also bought black, white, brocade and pinstriped trousers from Krazy Larry in worsted wool and rayon and wool blends and also picked up holiday attire from Drama.
Julie Clancy, owner and buyer of Jophiel in Fort Wayne, Ind., stocked up on fall accessories, such as scarves, belts, jewelry and handbags, as well as fashions.
She purchased holiday and resort items from Eileen Fisher, including sweaters and coordinating pants in chili red, citron and daisy, as well as casual holiday goods from Isda.
“I sell their T-shirts and pants constantly,” she said of the latter label. “It’s an important part of my business.”
Clancy ordered ISDA cashmere sweaters and coordinating pants in berry red and charcoal gray, as well as cotton blend sweaters in olive green, pewter and ice blue, and black satin cargo pants for holiday. Overall, Clancy was pleased with what she saw for fall, holiday and early spring.
“There’s still a lot of color out there,” she said, noting the icy blue, lavender and butter colors available for resort and early spring.
Allyson Bass, buyer for Frances Heffernan in Winnetka, Ill., said, “It was nice to see the fresh color. We actually did mostly tops, holiday and resort. A lot of our customers travel throughout the year, so the holiday was more cruisewear.
Bass also opted for more casualwear. “Everything had a with a very relaxed attitude,” she said.
She ordered tops from One Girl Who in shades of tangerine, yellow, beige, bluebell, petal pink, and black-and-white in zip-up baseball jackets, short sweatshirt-style cashmere sweaters and sleeveless viscose polo shirts featuring white trim.
“The colors all popped out,” she said. “It made you smile. They were happy sweaters. I liked the texture. Everything was a little closer to the body.”
Bass purchased novelty suede jackets from Sorbe in light blue, khaki and peach; cashmere mix-and-match multicolor casual hoodies, and pants in turquoise with light gray and coral from MAG.