NEW YORK — Items for immediate deliveries and dresses were the main trends at the Moda and Fame trade shows here this week at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
Some exhibitors said traffic was down, attributing it to the long winter that left retailers with a surfeit of cold weather and spring merchandise, while others said the change in dates of the show impacted traffic. Trade-show owner BJI Fashion Group pushed Moda, which targets the modern missy market, and Fame, which represents the junior and young contemporary market, up a week earlier to coincide with ENK’s Accessories Circuit and Intermezzo.
“We found retailers liked the idea of the show held further away from Mother’s Day, and it enabled BJI and ENK an opportunity to run together under one roof,” said Britton Jones, president and chief executive officer of BJI Fashion Group, who added the May market, which is typically held in April, tends to be spottier than other market weeks.
According to Jones, buyers from 45 states and 50 countries attended the show and he was pleased with the turnout. “Monday was an outstanding day for both shows, Tuesday was also good and Wednesday was slower. Retailing continues to be a challenge for all of us,” he said.
Arthur Toth, president of La Grande Dame Inc., a plus-size women’s boutique in Richmond, said the May shows are never key for him. “I’m shopping like it’s a second round for fall. So far I have written some immediates,” he said.
At Fame, vendors previewed immediates along with fall merchandise and some holiday. The bohemian, Seventies-inspired trend prevailed. Suede midiskirts, culottes, long tunics, kimonos, flannel shirts and fringe detail were popular. Colors were mostly subdued, with winter whites and neutrals dominating.
“It’s been very romantic and very flowy. It’s more ladylike,” said Kelly Brown Bogetti, president and ceo of Kelly B., a clothing boutique in Montauk, N.Y. Bogetti was mostly interested in immediates, a category that’s grown over the years as more buyers want wear-now items, she said.
Hanna Park, designer at Lovposh, found that buyers were also interested in winter items, including faux-fur vests, colored faux-fur coats and fuzzy sweaters. “Buyers are gravitating toward warmer and fall stuff because it’s colder. They are committing to fall and winter merchandise more than I was expecting,” said Park. Lovposh faux-fur vests wholesale for $25 to $30.
Hannah Yoon, sales and trade show coordinator at Umgee USA, found that buyers have been more risk-averse and are ordering items that work for a wider range of customers. “Buyers are picking up stuff that targets the daughter, mom and grandmother, too,” said Yoon, who also observed an uptick in her plus-size collection. Yoon said maxidresses, parkas, duster cardigans and flannel shirts did well. Umgee tops wholesale from $8.75 to $11.75, outerwear wholesales for $20.75 and dresses wholesale from $12.75 to $15.75.
Z Supply, which sells basics, did really well, according to Toni Lagasse, the East Coast sales representative at Z Supply Inc. Buyers were interested in easy layering pieces including pocket tees, tanks, and sweat shorts said Lagasse. Z Supply’s collection wholesales from $10 to $17.
Over at Moda, dresses were trending along with cropped jackets and classic white shirts with interesting details such as peplums and back buttons.
A sleeveless printed cotton dress was a hot item at Mata Traders, said founder Maureen Dunn. Although Dunn wasn’t impressed with the traffic, she did acquire 13 new customers. Mata Traders’ cotton dresses, which are handmade by women’s cooperatives and artisan groups in Nepal and India, wholesale from $28 to $38.
Cynthia Amaro, senior account executive for women’s brands Ivy & Blu and Muse Apparel, which are both owned by Maggy London, said buyers were interested in jacquards, pastels, midi-length dresses, lace, and looser-fitting shift and fit-and-flare dresses. Ivy & Blu dresses, which are more contemporary, wholesale for $78, and Muse dresses, which lean more missy, wholesale for $68.
Robin Beitman, president of Karen Harman New York, said a faux-leather tunic and skater skirt did really well, in addition to a ponte knit skirt, a cropped dinner jacket, black tap shorts and a collared white shirt with buttons on the back. Beitman also noticed a decrease in traffic. “Stores have a lot of spring, so they are scared. Our fear is that they are going to come in at the last minute and say ‘we want fall.’ But we are made in the U.S., so we can answer their needs,” she said. The tunic wholesales for $130, the cropped satin jacket wholesales for $158, the tap shorts wholesale for $65 and the faux-leather skater skirt wholesales for $98.