ST. MAARTEN USA, Room 4G76 SP & Co.


St. Maarten this month is debuting Spanish sportswear label SP & Co. and French blousemaker Missary for the first time in the U.S., and the launch includes representation at the Mart.

SP & Co. — short for Spaghetti & Company — is a moderate-priced collection sold in Spain in 64 stores under the Spaghetti moniker. The line includes 150 pieces, including blouses, pants, skirts and jackets. Wholesale prices range from approximately $20 for a top to $90 for a jacket. The sole difference between the European line and the U.S. line is sizing.

“It’s quite diverse, with a lot of attention to detail,” said Marty Fishman, president and chief executive offer of St. Maarten, which imports several lines from Europe. “It is a collection of women’s clothing that can be worn to go to a comfortable dinner or to a business meeting.”

Paris-based Missary is a 40-piece line of solid-color blouses, available in cotton, viscose and various blends. Missary is known in France for its unusual blouses with special detailing, including French cuffs, covered buttons and embroidery.

“Missary is a good line for a retailer to purchase a special item to update a collection she already has,” said Fishman.

Wholesale price points range from approximately $45 to $90 and sizes range from 2 to 14.


Laura Clark Designs

Laura Clark had eight years of experience under her belt working as a designer under Kathleen Sommers in San Antonio, Tex., when her belt size changed for a few months, and she had her first child in June 1999.

Wanting a flexible schedule that would give her more time with her baby, she started to design her own line. That desire gave birth to Laura Clark Designs, a line of retro-inspired women’s dresses with a relaxed silhouette to fit today’s woman.

“I researched vintage clothing Web sites and stores — anywhere I could find a detail that could be used today to give a piece a really nice vintage feel,” said Clark. “The results are translated into pretty dresses for real people. That doesn’t mean large people. It means you can carry your two-year-old around on your hip in one of these dresses and be comfortable and look great.”

Clark has focused the line on pebble crepes, retro vintage prints and unique button detailing. Her most popular style is a dress with flounce detailing down the front and on the sleeves. Sizes run from extra-small to extra-extra-large, which can fit a size 18. Wholesale prices range from $62 to $89.

GAVIN, Room 4G22

Elizabeth Brady Jewelry

Elizabeth Brady started designing jewelry in 1998 when she was living in England. She began designing pieces with semiprecious stones and pearls, and then expanded into shells coupled with stones. Today, her business, Elizabeth Brady Jewelry, is based in Jacksonville, Fla.

All pieces are set in sterling silver or 24-karat gold. Necklaces are the focal point of her collection, but she also produces coordinating bracelets and earrings. Colorful shells and stones are still the cornerstones of her line, but mother- of-pearl and coral have now been incorporated into the grouping for spring.

“The color of coral is so important this spring for ready-to-wear,” said Mikey Edgerton, sales and publicity director for Elizabeth Brady Jewelry.

Also new for spring is a wire grouping in floral shapes. Wholesale prices range from $135 to $550 for necklaces, $85 to $150 for earrings and $90 to $180 for bracelets.


Ellen Tracy Belts

Cynthia, a jewelry line by Cynthia Clark, debuted at Kathy Flahavin in November. The line consists entirely of angels and crosses.

“I’m very drawn to both those images,” said Clark. “I feel like it’s very timely right now with all the turmoil in the world. People want to be safe and want their angels with them. After Sept. 11, I sold more in a week than in the last five years. They’re very successful right now.”

Pins are her biggest seller, but she also produces matching earrings and necklaces, as well as bracelets. The line’s pieces include semiprecious stones and fire-polished glass beads from all over the world set in sterling silver or 10-karat gold. Clark said she works hard to put all kinds of different elements together to provide texture and variety. Wholesale prices range from $17 to $70 for pins and earrings and $75 to $275 for necklaces.

Ellen Tracy Belts will also show at Gavin in January. The collection’s belts are available in three widths (1 1/2 inches, two inches, and 2 1/2 inches) and in several colors, including apple green, white, chestnut, butterscotch and gray. Some belts include saddle stitching and silver closures in various equestrian shapes. Wholesale prices range from $17 to $57.


Only You

Two lines — one from Germany, the other from Florida — will debut this month at Chambers & Associates.

Vanilia, headquartered in Neuss, Germany, is a bottoms-only line, including pants and denim jeans, geared for sale to better specialty stores.

“It’s the number-one selling pant line in Germany,” said showroom owner Doug Chambers. “It offers excellent style and fit with premium quality.” Wholesale price points range from $49 to $54.

Miami, Fla.-based Only You is a line of dresses and two-piece dressing made of 100 percent prewashed Belgian linen. Pieces come in solids and embroidered fabrics and for spring include mauve, green, yellow, blue and copper. The line is available in misses and women’s sizes and wholesale prices range from $30 to $80.


Endearrings in Spanish
Diego on My Mind
Second Time Around Wedding Ring Collection

Dallas jeweler Dian Malouf is on a roll this month, debuting several new lines. Endearrings in Spanish is a line of rings targeted at Latinos.

“The number of Hispanics living in Texas is really growing,” said Malouf. “The market should reflect that there are people who live in this state who don’t just speak English.” All of the line’s rings have a term of endearment on them, such as Bonita (pretty), Chula (cute) and Madre (mother). All of the pieces are sterling silver and wholesale for $19.95.

Diego on My Mind is a jewelry line inspired by the art of Frida Kahlo. The jewelry, including rings, pins, necklaces, crosses and earrings, features items inspired by Kahlo’s works: Calla lilies, skulls and parrots.

“Frida Kahlo was one of Mexico’s folk heroines and continues after her death to be as famous, if not more so, than her husband, Diego Rivera,” said Malouf. “I have a feeling that the movie that is being made about her right now is going to set off a rash of fashion statements because of the way she dressed.” Wholesale prices range from $150 to $2,000.

Another new line from Malouf is Shellegance, launched after Malouf’s home town of Santa Fe, N.M., experienced a water crisis.

“I was concerned because we ran out of water, and our water tables in this country are being severely depleted because of overpopulation,” said Malouf. “With the Shellegance line comes the story of our up-and-coming water shortages.”

Each piece comes with a container holding a drop of water with advice on what the shopper can do to conserve water. The line includes pins, earrings, stack rings and bracelets, all of which feature a sea-related design, including corals, sea urchins and sea shells. Pieces are made of sterling silver, 14-karat gold and gemstones. Wholesale price points range from $75 to $1,000.

Second Time Around is a new wedding ring collection designed with the second marriage in mind. Malouf said she had noticed a demand for unusual wedding rings that make a big, bold statement and that are very different from traditional wedding ring sets. Most of her wedding rings are square and include detailed carving and unusual stones. Pieces are made from 14-karat gold, 18-karat gold and platinum and wholesale from $210 to $3,750.


Lee Angel by Roxanne Assoulin
Paige Roberts
Sparkling Sage
Julie Hoss

Julie Hall has picked up Lee Angel by Roxanne Assoulin, a trendy New York line of costume and sterling jewelry. The line includes crosses, hearts, horseshoes, sterling and leather equestrian cuffs, hearts and stars.

Showroom owner Julie Hall Biegel said the line’s “strongest pieces right now are her equestrian designs.” Wholesale prices range from $10 to $52.

Also new at Julie Hall is Paige Roberts, a line of fashion-forward jewelry, including elasticized bracelets, initials, Zodiac signs, vintage necklaces on leather and picture-frame necklaces. Pieces are made from a variety of metals, leather and semiprecious stones. Wholesale prices range from $15 to $39.

Sparkling Sage is a trendy jewelry line featuring hand-painted shells dangling from leather cords, cameo and crosses on organza ribbon, fringed suede belts, and wrist cuffs with emphasis on the hippie chic look. Wholesale prices range from approximately $15 to $40.

Another line debuting at Julie Hall this month is Julie Hoss. This line offers satin decorative pillows named after celebrities, including Britney Spears, Marilyn Monroe, Kate Spade, Audrey Hepburn, Julia Roberts, Coco Channel, Yves Saint Laurent and Mia Farrow. Each pillow has a fabric applique on it depicting something that person is known for. Kate, named for Kate Spade, features a handbag; Julia, named for Julia Roberts, bears a copy of a dress she wore in one of her movies. Wholesale prices are $37.50 for small pillows and $57.50 for their larger counterpart.

OLSEN, Room 4B47

German better-to-bridge-priced line Olsen in October expanded its Stateside presence with the opening of a second corporate U.S. showroom, located at the Dallas International Apparel Mart. The line, which includes sportswear, career wear and outerwear, will continue to be represented by Donald Reeves.

“Donald is still our agent, but we opened up a separate showroom in order to be able to show the line better,” said Lyn Baskett, Olsen’s vice president for merchandise and marketing. “We believe that there are two reasons why stores buy lines of clothing — either because they like an agent and they will go in and see whatever that agent has to sell+or because it’s a line that they have to have, and they search it out.

We want to be unique and tie together the two. We think we have an agent that everybody likes and want to tie in with relationships he has with his customers, which are very strong.

“Dallas is important because it’s the largest regional market in the United States,” she said. “Because of that, people come from all over the U.S. to go there. We have a corporate showroom in New York, and we want to be able to service customers in the Dallas showroom just as we do in New York.”

Olsen this month plans to show fall 2002, focusing on vintage looks, business looks with a casual style, military influences, as well as western/native/frontier inspirations. The color palette will include neutrals, olive, terra-cotta, navy and ice blue. Wholesale prices range from $40 to $129 for sweaters, $125 to $199 for jackets, $69 to $129 for pants and skirts, $59 to $99 for blouses and $159 to $700 for coats.


Luxury Accessories International

LAI will show this month in Dallas for the first time at Carol Quist. LAI is a two-year-old accessories company that specializes in high-end men’s and women’s accessories. For women, the company produces handbags, small leather goods, belts and gift items. Sixty percent of the company’s items are manufactured from exotic animal skins, including alligator, ostrich, crocodile, karung (snakeskin) and lizard. The rest are made of calfskin, which comes in 12 colors. The collection’s handbags are made in Italy and belts are made in the U.S.

The spring line features bright red, yellow, orange and blue, with many items featuring contrast-colored stitching. The belts are wide, with a wide variety of hardware. Wholesale prices range from $30 to $165 for belts and $105 to $1,860 for handbags.

RETTA J. WOLFF, Room 4819

She always has new handbags in her showroom, but what’s just as new and exciting is Retta J. Wolff’s designation as accessories “designer of the year” at the DIVA 2001 Fashion Awards, presented in Atlanta in October.

“For once in my life I was speechless,” said Wolff. “It was such a tremendous honor just to be nominated, but to win was validation that our creations are appreciated by a wide audience of buyers from across the country and our fellow exhibitors.”

Wolff marketed her first collection of seven handbags in 1993. Her line today includes 168 styles of handbags, luggage and other leather goods. The collection includes bags and accessories handcrafted in Italy from Ligator, a skin blending crocodile skins with Italian leathers, which are then hand-dyed, embossed and cut. Other materials used in the collection include ostrich, linen and silk.

Wolff said she enjoys livening up the line with different colors, including purple, pink, cobalt blue, yellow and green. “Brilliant color is our trademark,” Wolff said, “but we also offer the classic, timeless pieces in basic black and other neutrals designed for timeless elegance.”