NEW YORK — Buyers flocked to Designers & Agents last week buoyed by strong fall sales and found a slate of bohemian-inspired fashions for spring.
The show, which featured 121 booths with about 200 collections, ran Sept. 27-29 at the Starrett-Lehigh Building in Manhattan and drew 2,200 attendees. D&A’s promoters estimated the show produced sales of $20 million for its exhibitors.
“It’s a little bit more bohemian than we thought spring would be,” said Courtney Reynolds, a buyer for Hysteria in Alexandria, Va., of the fashions on display.
The bohemian look — characterized by flowing silhouettes and embellished styles — was a point of interest for several buyers, who said the trend was more prevalent than they expected. Many of the styles had a deconstructed look, such as unfinished edges, as well as vintage-looking fabrics.
“Business has been great,” said Reynolds. “It picked up immediately, as soon as September hit.”
She echoed several other buyers in noting that the show had strong traffic, which bodes well for business overall.
“It’s a lot busier than last year,” said Sofia McDonald, a buyer for Della Moda in Highland Park, Ill.
McDonald was at D&A looking for “easy throw-ons for the spring,” such as simple dresses. The show had lots of yellow and green, and vintage-inspired prints, she said.
“We’re having a great fall season,” said McDonald. “There is so much color out there and everything feels so new and fresh, and different.”
Consultant Pamela Lysohir, who was keeping in touch with trends at the show, said there was a “multinational vibe” with “a lot of different cultural influences, but very modern.” She described the key looks as ornate and eclectic.
“It’s not simple stuff,” said Judy Hazbún, a designer and retailer from Colombia, who was shopping D&A for everything from bags and shoes to shirts and jackets.
“People are making real quality, different, individual looks,” she said. “I like it a lot.”
Still, Hazbún noted, some of the looks were priced too high.
Lynn Ellenberger, owner of Flirt in Chicago, said D&A had styles that weren’t necessarily available at other venues.
“Everything is overembellished,” she said, pointing to the abundance of lace, sequins and embroidery.
She liked skirts that fall just a little below the knee and are flattering on many body types. Ellenberger opened her store in July and said sales have been strong.
All of the buyer traffic seemed to be a boon for the vendors.
Viveka Willner, national sales director for Alvin Valley, said, “I think I booked more new stores than I have in any D&A show. The traffic was amazing.”
Stephanie Larrowe, owner of And Cake, which specializes in shirts with details such as embroidery, said the show was “amazing.” The line put in its best performance in seven or eight seasons at D&A.
“We just keep taking a bigger booth and then just being jammed,” she said. “We had four people working the show and they were basically [working] nonstop. We probably could have used even one more person.”