NEW YORK — At the Intermezzo Collections trade show, contemporary vendors shared a common sentiment: So far, so good.
“It’s been steady and consistent for us,” said Ellen Kinney, sales director for Rebecca Taylor, the contemporary brand here, which had wares from its resort collection on display. “This is not such an important delivery, but it’s very item-driven and very novelty.”
Kinney said pieces like dainty cotton camisoles and hand-painted cotton skirts were attracting attention from specialty boutiques. “At a time when everyone’s on sale, you see that it’s a very impulse-driven delivery,” she added.
Intermezzo, produced by ENK International, opened Tuesday and runs through today at the Show Piers here. It showcased record numbers — 592 exhibitors and 7,600 visitors here in the first two days, as compared with the last show, when there were 7,500 over three days.
Kinney added the Fashion Coterie in September, also produced by ENK, was where the brand did most of its business. “We’ve seen all the big names here so far, but we’ll wait for Coterie [to do more business]. Now it’s about maintaining what [retailers] already have,” she said. The wholesale price range of the Rebecca Taylor collection is $99 to $179.
Sari Sloane, vice president of fashion merchandising for Intermix, the nine-unit women’s specialty store based here, thought the show was crowded, and that show organizers were smart to start the show on a Tuesday instead of a Sunday as they had in past installments.
“The shows are becoming very close together,” she said, noting that Coterie was just a month away. “You have to look a lot harder to find standouts, but there was some newness.”
Sloane said she noticed a lot of Victorian-inspired wares and black-hued jewelry. “We picked up a few new collections,” she said, but declined to divulge the names of the brands.
Gary Rosenblum, national sales manager for Parameter, a contemporary brand here, said he was happy with the turnout thus far. “We’ve been busy,” Rosenblum said in his booth at Pier 92. “I thought there weren’t going to be a lot of people in town, but I’m pumped about the turnout.”
The wholesale price range of the Parameter collection is between $69 and $139. Rosenblum said it offers “sophisticated contemporary” pieces. “We’re bringing the Balenciaga and Prada [looks] to the contemporary consumer,” he said. “We’re offering more refined tops you can wear with jeans.”
Rosenblum said most retailers were looking to buy for immediate delivery. “I’ve seen the smaller specialty boutiques, but not many of the major, bigger retailers,” he said. “I’m sure they’ll do Coterie.” Rosenblum said most retailers appeared to be hunting for cleaner silhouettes and dressier, more ladylike tops.
Jason Cauchi, design director at Nikka, a contemporary company based here, said he was worried buyers were going to dive into the black-is-back trend and not respond well to his tops in a range of vibrant hues. “I was concerned,” he said, “but that doesn’t seem to be happening. We’re not really looking at trends, we’re doing what we like.” Tops in the Nikka collection wholesale from $90 to $98; dresses wholesale for $170.
Richard Rosenthal, president of Tailor New York, a contemporary firm, has opened four freestanding Tailor New York stores over the past year and was using Intermezzo as a way to boost the company’s wholesale business.
As he opened more stores, Rosenthal said he began to realize how young his consumer really was, so the brand will target college towns for his next run of new stores. “We’ll go to preppy, college towns like Princeton and Georgetown,” he said. The plan is to add two stores per year to total between eight and 12. The wholesale price range of the Tailor New York collection is between $39 and $118.
Rosenthal said Tuesday the Intermezzo show had lived up to his expectations. “Usually during Coterie, we’ll do between $200,000 and $300,000 in wholesale business and add about 20 percent new business. During Intermezzo, we’ll probably do between $150,000 and $200,000 in wholesale business.”
Rosenthal said stores from Florida and the Southwest had been especially receptive at the show.
“We’ve been very busy here,” he said, looking over his shoulder into the Tailor New York booth, where retailers were crunching numbers with sales representatives. “We’ve got both the new customer and the tried-and-true customers.”
Get With It
Shuffling through the endless aisles at Intermezzo is a major feat. Here, a cheat sheet to the hottest resort and pre-spring trends at the show.
- Tonal embellishments
- Eyelet and ruffled blouses
- Printed dresses
- Nautical-inspired tops and jackets
- Bermuda shorts
- Slouchy, relaxed-fit trousers and jeans
- Jeweled chic