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  • Writer's pictureJamie Irwin

Things I Learned at Market: February Apparel

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

The fashion and gift industries, like everything else in our post-pandemic landscape, are trying to find their “new normal.” Now that we are all out of our houses and moving about the world again, what is it that people want to buy? Well, from what I see, the future is bright, and quite literally so!

Bright colors reign and fun, novel accessories are making a comeback.

During the last few years, some of our top customers at Total Accessories struggled to sell things like evening bags because people were not going out as much. The good news is, all the merriment is back, with handbags to match!

Mary Frances Accessories released a Spring/Resort line that we displayed during February Apparel, and it was one of our hottest collections. True to form, Mary Frances gave us bags in funky shapes like a kiwi, strawberry, and pineapple bag. Nothing says “spring” like ripe fruit. The collection also boasts a brand-new guitar bag – a Mariachi guitar for the first time, which merchandises perfectly with the margarita-shaped coin purse and “Salt on the Rim” beaded shoulder bag.

Many customers were drawn like bees to a field of flowers to Top It Off’s gorgeous new patterns and colors. Their ever-popular skorts, Ava wraps, and Katie keyhole wraps are all coming in Magenta, Spearmint, Orange Sherbet, and Golden Yellow as the new colorways. Patterns in the sized dresses range from a green damask for the classy lady to pink coral for the beachy mamas.

Just in case you thought she left the scene, Oprah and her team named two standouts from our lines for their O List!

  1. Maya J had their second show with us during this Apparel market and continued to rock with their O List pick of Bracelet Hair Ties. A strong trend are multifaceted items that can hold several purposes; wear this hair tie on your wrist and you’re not announcing to everyone that today is a gym day and that hair needs to be in a ponytail later.

  2. Top It Off’s Dawn gloves in six different colors of plaid are also on the O List and available to order for fall.

Fall is also popping in the Apparel world and many brands have already released fall collections for preorder. Coco+Carmen is showing FW 23 right now and we learned that customers are absolutely loving outerwear like wraps and cardigans, as well as those classic OMG Jeans. Put on your “hard pants,” ladies, because loungewear is out.

Customers were snagging MeMoi’s shapewear because, of course, everyone has an event to attend. We recently learned that MeMoi boasts one of the few shapewear lines here at the Apparel Mart, so buyers are landing in the showroom that we have never seen before!

The breadth of new customers is exciting, and what we ultimately learned from the Apparel show is that you too will be finding new customers this year in 2023. After all, the future is bright.

- Jamie Irwin | The Link Companies, Showroom Manager (Total Accessories)


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