DALLAS — Buyers sought premium denim, knitwear, novelty tops and dresses for immediate delivery at the recent Fashion Industry Gallery show.
This story first appeared in the February 3, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“The fourth quarter was better in this territory than most expected, so it seems to be turning around,” said Pam Martin, a sales representative for lines such as Weston Wear and Bordeaux. “Stores were leaving orders — stores that typically don’t. Everyone seems to be filling in their inventory and pushing through.”
The downtown venue, which specializes in contemporary fashion and accessories for men and women, drew more than 50 retailers to the three-day market that ended Jan. 23 who had never shopped the building, said Bekah McKee, marketing coordinator.
“Many new boutiques are opening in this territory,” McKee said. “Many were personally escorted around the venue, introduced to reps, and shown suggested collections that fit within their store demographic and price point.…FIG hopes to grow this aspect of the venue.”
There were also veteran buyers such as Katy and Matthew Culmo, owners of By George, with two upscale stores in Austin, Tex.
“I’ve worked harder than in 30 years, but I was very pleased with 2009,” Katy Culmo said. “I wasn’t down, and this month is looking good.”
Matthew Culmo added, “Somebody just spent $17,000…and we had [individual] sales of $10,000 and $12,000 in December. In ’08, nobody was buying like that.”
With a flat budget, the Culmos shopped for deliveries from February through May from Dosa, Elizabeth & James and Haute Hippie.
Patty Hoffpauir, owner of the Garden Room in Austin, also kept her buy the same as last year.
“We’re buying close to the moment and only what we love, and only what we know we can sell,” she said.
Scouting for dresses for special events like weddings, she said, “Why can’t they do a dress with a sleeve?”
Victoria Jackson, owner of Talula boutique in Dallas, wrote orders for printed dresses and tops by Trina Turk, a taupe skort with a matching top from Liquid and several edgy embroidered silk chiffon tops by Saivana.
“There was not a lot of newness,” Jackson said. “I think business will probably stay the same as last year, so I bought really tight and if we need more goods we can get it pretty easily.”
Tommy Sappington, co-owner of T. Sappington in New Albany, Miss., focused on premium denim from Rock & Republic and Citizens for Humanity for his contemporary store.
“My business is wonderful,” he said. “We had an increase last year. It wasn’t much, it was a few thousand dollars, but we’re not doing huge numbers. You can react quicker when you’re small. It’s easier to get in and out of something if it’s not working.”
He booked skinny and flare-leg jeans by Rock & Republic and Citizens for Humanity for immediate delivery through the end of August.
“Citizens and Rock book way out, and if you don’t buy it, you may not get it,” he said.