Immediates Get Most Attention at Dallas FIG

September 2008
Immediates Get Most Attention at Dallas FIG

By Rusty Williamson


DALLAS – Buyers stuck close to the season and focused on late summer, early fall and a touch of holiday at the Fashion Industry Gallery market here.


Long skirts, bright jewel tones, Middle Eastern tile prints and animal prints, along with fashion items such as longer shaped jackets worn over romantic tops with delicate and subtle embroidery, beading and lace, got the most attention at the show, which ended a four-day run August 17th.


“We were pleased with attendance and the significant traffic from new buyers at FIG,” said Shelli Mers, director of FIG, who did not provide attendance figures. “We saw an increase in children’s stores buying in our building, as our showrooms have continued to add more children’s lines. Eco-friendly lines continue to generate buzz and market traffic, as a growing number of buyers are coming in looking only for eco-friendly lines for their stores.”


New lines exhibited at FIG’s SHOP temporary area on the second level, including leather accessories designer Tom Horn, who has design studios in Austin Tex., and Mexico City. His line is called Tom Horn Collection, and buyers such as Chicago women’s and men’s accessories retailer Kevin Quinn responded to the detailing and rich colors.


“We were here for immediates,” said Quinn, whose accessories store, Styled Life, includes a wardrobing service called Styled Look. “We’re not really thinking too far ahead because concsumers aren’t buying very far ahead and we have to keep a close watch on inventories and balance that with new deliveries.”


Quinn, who visited FIG for the first time, said, “Accessories have never been more important and we continually educated our shoppers about the versatility of accessories.”


He bought delicate and larger geometric shapes of fashion jewelry from Cheryl Dufault, and larger statement pieces from designers such as Sarah Briggs and Andrew Hamilton Crawford.


Marta Bragg, owner of The Villa, a specialty store in Mandeville, La., shopped with an even budget focused on late summer immediates, early fall, holiday and a small amount of early spring.


“It’s a delicate balancing act, but also a very positive challenge to get the buy and merchandise mix just right. But we’re having a good summer and are planning for a good fall and holiday,” said Bragg, who bought mainly jewel-tone lifestyle and party dresses and more body-conscious styles from Parameter, Laila, Sine and Jon, usually with easy touches of embellishment.


She also bought mostly fall and holiday tops from Michael Stars at $20 to $30 wholesale, and fall and holiday T-shirts and dresses from Three Dots from $20 to $80 wholesale, respectively.


Sana Siddiqui, owner of two-unit women’s specialty business Naaz in the Uptown neighborhood of New Orleans, said “We were impressed with the mix of New York- and Los Angeles- based contemporary brands and used this trip to buy, but also to get familiar with FIG. We will be back.”


Siddiqui bought immediates, fall and early spring styles, including Hanky Panky innerwear and some sportswear such as $8 tops and $80 jackets wholesale.


“We bought more Hanky Panky underwear and intimates, and also bought black and color-blocked dresses that will appeal to a broad range of women from Nancy Rose and raffia handbags in several shapes from Lorelei,” she said.


Patti Hoffpauer, owner of The Garden Room in Austin, used her flat budget to order Renfrew’s resort and early spring orange-and strawberry-tone sports wear including longer jackets and novelty photo-print dresses, tops and pants from Poleci and Jon.

“The Texas economy has not been as badly affected as the rest of the nation,” said Hoffpauer. “My accountant called me and said we’re ahead for summer. I’m very thankful for that.”