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Dallas FIG Buyers Take Tentative Approach

November 2016
Dallas FIG Buyers Take Tentative Approach

Given what many described as a tough year, merchants bought carefully and close to season.

By Holly Haber

DALLAS — Jumpsuits, rompers and off-the-shoulder necklines continued to hold sway with retailers shopping the spring market at Fashion Industry Gallery.

Popular denim looks included button-fly jeans cut similarly to Levi Strauss’ 501 classic, slim culottes, high rises, distressed jackets and embroidery.

Given what many described as a tough year, merchants bought carefully and close to season.

“It’s been very quiet,” said jewelry designer Cheryl Dufault. “I think until we elect a president” there’s too much uncertainty.

“It’s a very challenging time,” echoed Angela George, founder of Alice & Trixie and the show’s featured guest designer. “The boutiques that are doing well are texting photos to customers and selling through Instagram.”

George did some clientele outreach of her own, taking a whirlwind tour of 25 to 30 specialty stores in Houston, Dallas and Austin, Tex., before arriving at FIG.

“My hope is to travel the whole territory and see stores and have direct contact,” she noted. “Seeing the stores and brand adjacencies, the merchandising and how they buy is helpful.”

Known for dresses and separates in exclusive silk prints, George has added washable polyester crepe, rib knits and touches of embroidery to offer lower prices and more casual looks.

“It’s about price and diversity and staying relevant and current,” she said. “Surface interest and texture are important. It’s exciting to break out of our mold of all the prints.”

Contemporary easy sportswear by Krisa was the top resource at Ocean Showroom.

“Summer was hard for a lot of people,” said Annie Staum, regional sales representative for the showroom. “We over-cut so if they order light, they can reorder.”

Nancy Coleman shopped for immediate delivery sweaters, sweatpants and lifestyle wardrobing to suit the casual clientele at So Shoe Me, her boutique in Midland, Tex. Midland has seen a 45 percent drop in petroleum production over the two-year slump in prices.

“People moved out,” Coleman said, “But with my core clientele, [their spending] hasn’t changed much.”

Coleman picked up colorful printed caftans by Blanc, long beaded bohemian necklaces with pendants by Cheryl Dufault and White & Warren cashmere tops.

“I try to buy as close to delivery as possible,” Coleman noted.

Kara Brodman specializes in luxurious basics and fashion items at Essentials on Park Lane, which she opened two years ago in Kirkland, Wash. She discovered Endless Rose in her hunt for new resources and dresses for spring and holiday.

“It’s well made at an amazing price point – under $100 for sequined holiday dresses,” Brodman noted.

She also picked up Brokedown tank and T-shirts printed with phrases such as “Stuck in the Seventies.”