Dallas FIG's New Space Draws Buyers

November 2013
Dallas FIG's New Space Draws Buyers

By Holly Haber

DALLAS — Fashion Industry Gallery introduced an expanded temporary show at its spring market that ended its three-day run Oct. 25.

The venue added 5,000 square feet of space to the second-floor Shop show that featured 65 booths showing about 500 lines, including newcomers Diane von Furstenberg, Rachel Zoe, Marchesa Voyage and Calvin Rucker.

“We have a lot of accounts in Texas and the Midwest, and it’s a good way to build relationships,” said Christian Oliver, account executive with DVF. “We had a lot of appointments booked.”

Downstairs in her namesake permanent showroom, Laurie Hasson said the market “feels better than it’s felt in a long time. People are open to new collections and are buying more than in the past.”

Whitney Port, designer of Whitney Eve sportswear, presented her collection to buyers in Hasson’s showroom. She lowered wholesale prices two seasons ago to make the goods more affordable.

“This market is competing with Zara and H&M, who can get you what’s on the runway in a month,” she noted. “I think women want bold pieces that they can wear over and over, and style with things in their own wardrobe.”

Paul Simeon, co-owner of Level showroom, said business was good, especially on the show’s opening day.

“With these regional markets, it all depends on the brands,” he said. “If you have the brands, you’re busy.”

Melanie Ramon, owner of Melanie Gayle in Dallas, was one of the buyers who picked up some of Port’s designs, including a denim skirt with pleather trim and tops in two abstract prints. Her sales have run up 12 percent this year through September, and she increased her spring budget 2 percent.

Debbie Downs last summer moved My Secret Closet to a bigger, 3,000 square-foot spot in north Dallas.

“Business is great,” she said. “My budget is up 20 percent and Chan Luu is up 40 percent. I’m trying to find something real hip for women 40 and up. DL 1961 is the best. We just picked it up and already reordered.”

Sisters Laura McDaniel and Robin Smith selected cut crystal rings, bangles and inscribed disk pendants by Diana Warner for Macy Taylor’s, their seven-year-old boutique in Brookhaven, Miss. “We buy really classic pieces that you can continue to wear,” McDaniel said, citing layering tops by BB Dakota and Articles of Society denim.

“We’re starting an online store hopefully by next week since our kids who go off to college have been shopping by Instagram and Facebook or things we send on approval,” Smith added. “It’s a whole new world of advertising and outreach for us.”

FIG management said retail attendance was up for the show, and all permanent showroom space was occupied.

Women's Wear Daily - Wednesday, November 13, 2013