Bright Colors Stand Out for Buyers at FIG

November 2009
Bright Colors Stand Out for Buyers at FIG

by Holly Haber



DALLAS - Fresh energy flowed through Fashion Industry Gallery's latest edition, as buyers sought new labels and looks, especially bright colors and relaxed lifestyle clothing.

Buyer attendance at the three-day show that ended Oct. 24 was the best its been all year and matched October 2008, said Bekah

McKee, marketing coordinator. "Many stores outside of our typical

Southwest region were at this show, including a handful of stores from Colorado, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio, Florida and Kansas," McKee said.

Retailers wrote orders for immediate to restock their shelves and were open to testing new resources than have been since the recession hit, representatives said.

"October was my best market this year," Suzanne Collier, owner of the S. Collier showroom. "Customers were noticeably positive. It's still not easy, after the we've had. We are all working harder we ever have, but it is paying off and are seeing a turnaround." Miriam Garvey, owner of her namesake in Fairway, Kan., said, "September and October have been amazing. I'm ready write orders on things I took notes on at last show."

She stopped at Isabella Fiore to review the designer's metal-mesh handbags

with leather handles, which she had liked in August. "I have the order and I'll send it in," she told the sales rep.

Bob Brennan, accessories buyer, chose a mosaic embroidered leather clutch from Fiore, colorful chunky necklaces by Gerard Yosca and sterling and turquoise jewelry for Tres Mariposas in El Paso, Tex.

"There is a lot of detail in handbags," he said. "The jewelry business has been strong even in a down economy because it's a way to make an outfit look new."

FIG specializes in contemporary styles and some buyers were pleased to see a bigger selection of hip looks that don't require

the perfect body.

"Everything is not so young, which is a good thing because they don't have the money," said Todd Weinhaus, as he reviewed Splendid with his mother, Bunne, for their Pulse boutique in St. Louis. There also were plenty of sleek styles. Sharise Neil, co-owner of the Pink Polka Dot brand, introduced a line of teeny bikinis called Kandy Wrappers wholesaling from $29 to $49. FIG featured the line Friday evening at a cocktail party

in its lobby. "We're doing economy friendly," said Neil, as a model posed in a ruffled hot pink number. "We're doing very well this year. We got some big accounts like Bloomingdale's to float us through. Some of the little stores

have had trouble paying."

Kandy Wrappers Swimwear Launched at FIG