NY Fashion Week designers bet on bold accessories

Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:18pm EDT
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By Kristina Cooke

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Designers at New York Fashion Week are betting on accessories such as belts, boots, jewelry and even a pearl-studded scrunchy to tempt shoppers during the recession.

It is not just that accessories are a more affordable way for consumers to make a fashion statement, some buyers can also be enticed by one-off investment pieces -- as long as they are unique, experts at New York Fashion Week said.

Accessories sales have held up better than clothing in the worst recession in some 70 years and according to market research company NPD Group they are poised to be one of the earliest fashion areas to recover.

Designers are taking note.

Bold belts, necklaces and bracelets featured prominently on New York Fashion Week runways as designers show collections for spring and summer 2010 and one of the most talked about pieces in Marc Jacob's collection was a pearl-studded hair scrunchy.

"Many stores that focused on clothing are opening up to having bigger displays or bigger buys for accessories and shrinking their buys for clothing. You're just seeing a different kind of market right now and I think designers are recognizing that," said Jodie Snyder, whose DANNIJO jewelry partners with designers such as Carlos Campos and Bensoni.

Luxury brand Henri Bendel has stopped selling clothes at its flagship Fifth Avenue boutique to focus on accessories, gifts and beauty products.

"CONSUMERS ARE KING"   Continued...

<p>A model presents a creation from the Isaac Mizrahi Spring 2010 collection during New York Fashion Week, September 17, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Thayer</p>