As of Wednesday, September 8, 2021
With a record-setting number of exhibitors, the Dallas Apparel & Accessories Market was buzzing with buyer energy throughout 15 floors of curated lines, products and categories at the Dallas Market Center Aug. 24–27. Focused on contemporary men’s and women’s apparel and fashion accessories, the markets are home to up-and-coming and established brands.
“We’ve been having successful shows the last 18 months here in Dallas,” said Cole Daugherty, senior vice president of market communications for the DMC. “There’s a real desire by the retailers to find product and to find things that are new, and we have more exhibitors than ever here showing the latest products.”
Daugherty said the market had more than 500 temporary booths of women’s brands—a record for the DMC—and thousands of brands inside more than 500 permanent women’s showrooms. The market center also had 600 brands in the Western show across both temporary booths and permanent showrooms.
“We have a record number of new buyers,” Daugherty added. “New buyer applications are up more than 50 percent, so we have a great trajectory here.”
Torrie Burton was one of those new buyers perusing the market for her Gold Soul Co. boutique. Burton opened Gold Soul, located in Stephenville, Texas, just two months ago and carries Aztec jackets, denim, button-downs, hats and turquoise.
“I knew June was going to be a slower month just because it usually is, and now it’s starting to pick back up, and the Western industry has a bunch of big events coming up,” Burton said. “It’s great to have the Western market this week and then be able to go to these Western events after, so it’s been awesome.”
Burton was searching for Western-style apparel, a trend that has recently become more mainstream leading to a variety of options in the normally niche category. She had a wide range of wholesale prices to choose from with as little as $12 for a top to $200–$300 for a jacket.
Olivia Hinton, showroom manager for Pam Martin & Co., worked a busy floor inside the permanent showroom exhibiting more than a dozen brands. Hinton was showing Resort and Spring 2022 with bright florals and plenty of color—a popular request currently—to high-end specialty boutiques with a wholesale price point of $45–$120.
“Everyone seems very excited about the future and is ready to start buying again,” Hinton said. “All of our stuff is selling out so that means the customer’s liking it, which is good.”
Reeves & Company was also a busy destination with buyers shopping 20 different brands in the permanent showroom. Vice President of Reeves & Company Analeise Thomas said they had something for everyone and sold to new stores, old stores, high-end boutiques, low-end boutiques and more.
“Everyone is thriving,” Thomas said. “The stores are doing really, really well. Some stores are telling us they’ve had the best June/July they’ve ever had, and they’re breaking Christmas numbers. They were having a December-type month in July.”
With wholesale price points of $29–$89, Reeves & Company was able to cater to multiple buyers. Thomas said the company is looking forward to the continued upward tick and trend of sales being up and over last year.
“We’re having a record year, record numbers,” Thomas said. “Our stores are having a record year, and I think that’s going to continue into spring 2022.”
Other brands at the apparel and accessories market included entro, Listiele and Fate and Los Angeles brands Easel, Be Cool and Kancan. The brands’ offerings ranged from denim and blouses to jewelry and footwear.
“It’s very exciting because we’re centrally located, we have deep relationships with manufacturers, whether East Coast or West Coast, and then the buzz and the word is out that Dallas is open for business and you can find everything in one location,” Daugherty said.
The Studio 54 Fashion Show marked the end of day one of the market with models walking the runway in eccentric and elegant styles by various designers. The fashion show ended with special guest designer Jaime Glas showcasing her popular new brand Queen of Sparkles.
“This is one of our top lines right now, and it’s really taken the market by storm,” Thomas said. “We have stores from all over the country coming in to buy it.”
Queen of Sparkles launched in March and has seen large demand for its colorful designs and sparkly looks. After the unexpected demand, Glas said she’s working on getting her business organized to ship, create inventory and develop a new line.