Upswing at Dallas FIG

June 2009
Upswing at Dallas FIG

By Holly Haber


DALLAS - Business picked up at Fashion Industry Gallery's three-day market here that ended June 6, as buyers concentrated on dresses, tops, jewelry and accessories for immediate delivery through holiday.


"The overall energy of June market was clearly raised from what we experienced in March," said Shelli Mers, director of FIG. "Retailers were in better spirits and were looking to fill their stores with goods. Exhibitors were receiving orders that they had anticipated in March, as well as an overwhelming number of immediate orders."


Gary Rosenblum, sales manager for the Parameter, Sine and Laila contemporary labels, said, "It feels like it's starting to come back." He observed that buyers were "zeroed in on what does best for them," adding "dresses and tops are still selling and skirts are coming back."


Connie Sigel, owner of Elements and Elle boutiques in Dallas, looked for quality merchandise with good markup poiential. She was enthusiastic about Shae, a new sweater line for its good pricing and forward styling. Sigel also

planned to buy items from Plenty by Tracy Reese, Bailey44, Sky, Geren Ford, Elizabeth & James, Tucker and Poleci.


Business has been challenging, she said. "Our customers are no longer label snobs; they just want outstanding product that is not saturated in the marketplace and a great value," she said. "We're selling $10,000 bracelets and $90 tops to the same customer. The new trend is high-low."


Immediate orders of True Religion jeans, crinkle crepe dresses by Michelle Jonas and jewelry were priorities for Stacy Yancey, owner of Abbey Road in The Woodlands suburb of Houston.


"Business is steady," Yancey said. "I'm cautious and I'm a much better buyer. I'm buying one-third to 50 percent less. It's so hard to project four months from now."


Cindy McCain, owner of Uptown Boutique on an historic square in Independence, Mo., selected a short A-line skirt with zipper details from Sine. Even though sales this year are up 12 percent, she cut 20 percent from her fall buy.


"People are buying things they need or want for an event and even then they want to wear it twice," McCain said. "Even though they are being careful, they want fun outfits."


Jewelry designer Deborah Grivas said she's had success by concentrating on unusual looks with-strong value, as well as great basics.


"The middle of the road doesn't sell anymore," she said.