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Dresses continued their hot streak — this time in narrower silhouettes and bright colors and prints — at the shows, held simultaneously Jan. 6 to 8 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here.
"I found some great stuff and left a lot of paper, buying more than I normally would," said Lisa Schroeder, owner of a boutique catering to women in their 30s and 40s in Saratoga, N.Y. "Dresses were strong again, in bright yellows and greens and corals, plus fun prints with geometric shapes and influences from the Seventies, which I know my customers will love."
The tough retail conditions have encouraged buyers to order closer to delivery dates, as to better gauge the state of their business and which trends have taken hold.
"A lot of retailers waited quite late to place orders because they weren't sure how sales would be, so vendors are very happy because people have been leaving orders for immediate delivery and spring," said Ann Caruso-Marsh, director of sales for Moda Manhattan.
Caruso-Marsh, who identifies trends for buyers, said in addition to cheery print dresses, other clear trends for spring included cropped jackets, tribal prints and textured fabrics like seersucker.
"We find a lot of buyers have put off their spring buys, so we've been selling [for Jan. 30 deliveries]," said Patric Kilcullen, whose New York showroom represents Luii Jacket, which showed at Moda. The line's designer-inspired item jackets, which wholesale from $22 to $45, sold strongly in bright turquoise and berry, as well as white and khaki.
Anna Maria Bishop, account executive at New York-based dress resource Donna Morgan — whose dresses wholesale from $59 to $79 — said 90 percent of the buyers who visited placed orders at Moda.
"Color is what is driving sales — yellow, orange, pink, then a whole brown story and tribal prints," said Bishop.
Janette Richards, a sales representative for the Los Angeles line Lapis, said that of 50 buyers who visited her Moda booth, 48 left orders, mostly for March and earlier, for the line, which wholesales from $24 to $44. Dresses in bright prints, eyelet or brightly colored solids with embellishments were hits.