COLOR WAS A MAJOR SELLING POINT at the recent trade shows in Los Angeles, and accessories enjoyed the strongest buyer attention of any category on display. This was not the strongest market we’ve seen in recent times, with only fair attendance, and equally sluggish ordering activity.
But accessories held on stronger than any other category, with jewelry and handbags stirring enough interest to spark a somewhat rare ray of optimism.
LEADING THE COLOR panorama for spring and summer jewelry were bright colors. Blues, yellows, corals, reds, and greens. In the handbag category, major colors were tan, black, purple and brown. Smaller bags, such as clutches, showed some strength in “pop” colors, such as bright yellow and green.
You can key in on jewelry with bright color excitement. Look for:
- A cut glass pendant falling off a fringe of loose hanging beads in mixed shapes. In brilliant red, green, blue and yellow. Fabulous!
A multi-strand necklace of wood beading, reconstituted turquoise, and faux citrine. More vivid color!
ONE EXHIBITOR NOTED that attendees were expressing a more careful buying attitude, not wanting to go overboard on items that might not be selling next year. Consequently, while trend items remained in, super-trendy items, were out.
“It is a matter of drawing the line at things too new, too uncertain,” another manufacturer stated.
Gold Heats Up
AN INTERESTING POINT on the “what’s selling, what’s not” platform: Gold is getting very hot, with rose gold especially popular. The apparent idea: People see gold as an investment, and that is giving it strong market impetus.
At the same time, pricing was a strong selling point, perhaps the major one, at this west coast bazaar. “People come to our booth saying I want X price point,” noted one handbag resource.
Major manufacturers, across the board, felt the price crunch, many dropping their top wholesale prices to appeal to the tight market consciousness. $200 was more or less the price ceiling on clutch handbags, with many selling at $90 to $180.
Still, accessories held the spotlight at most of the trade shows here, with one resource pointing out that “little add-ons” tend to be more resilient in a recession market. He noted that consumers are looking for inexpensive ways to spruce up their existing wardrobes and accessories fit the bill. Another source concurred, enthusiastically saying that,
“It’s a great opportunity for accessories.”
COCKTAIL RINGS WERE ONE of the big numbers at the LA markets, especially real-looking pieces with large stones and plenty of flash. Long, long necklaces wearable in multiples were also big. Swarovski crystals were about as hot as this market could get.
If you like to wear different rings with different costumes, these rings are for you:
- CZ with large center stone surrounded by a rich collection of smaller stones in silver tone;
- Silver plated nugget ring
- Murano style glass rings in a variety of colors.
Multipurpose bags saw a considerable amount of buyer interest, along with totes, satchels and clutch bags. Here, again, the interest was somewhat conservative, with medium sizes outweighing all others.
The big material was microfiber, no doubt because of its inexpensive advantage at the medium price point level. Also important were metallic embellishments, such as copper and silver.