Retailers Scour Intermezzo for Summer Hits

With the holiday season behind them, retailers shopping for summer merchandise at the Intermezzo show here were highly selective.

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NEW YORK — With the holiday season behind them, retailers shopping for summer merchandise at the Intermezzo show here were highly selective.

Erin Crandall, head buyer at, said she liked a lot of what she saw at the show, which ended its three-day run at Piers 92 and 94 on Wednesday and featured about 560 exhibitors.

"We saw some cute embroidered boho tops from a few vendors that we think will be good for summer, very in line with the hippie chic look we've been seeing everywhere," she said. "Juicy has a strong summer delivery, as does Vince. In denim, we liked the high-waisted shorts that 18th Amendment was showing.''

Ann Watson, fashion director at Henri Bendel, found pieces from Los Angeles-based 291, a new label that she said "addressed the summer lifestyle very well." Watson loved the soft, tiered dresses and tops in appealing colors, such as yellow, green and purple.

"There were voids; for instance, I would have liked to find more easy, pretty dresses that were not in jersey fabrics and I was hoping to see more prints," she said. "Overall, I thought the accessories at Intermezzo were much stronger than the apparel."

For Stacy Pecor, owner of the four Olive & Bette's boutiques here, business is up 17 percent this month compared with last January. Although other businesses were challenged, Pecor said she had a stellar holiday season, with sales 9 percent higher than December 2006.

"It hasn't been my best year ever, but it certainly was my best December ever," she said, taking a break on Wednesday. "I think it worked out so well because we brought in a lot of new vendors and we brought in product late in the season."

Pecor said that overall she finds she has to work harder to get what she wants for her stores. With the economy struggling, Pecor said she needs to give her customers enhanced reasons to shop. She has found success in buying closer to the season and offering new designers that her customers haven't seen. Previously, she ordered a lot from Splendid and Michael Stars. While she still makes substantial buys from them, Pecor has added more from designers like Zooey, James Perse, Rebecca Beeson and Ode, a new T-shirt collection.
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