Women’s Shopping Guide: By the Budget

Women’s styles are leaning toward unique looks with everything from exciting color pops to Western detailing to ornamentation — all at an affordable price.

LINUS, Dallas
Kristen Radakovich,
Store count:
1 (800 sq. ft.)
Open since:

Buying plan: “I look for brands that aren’t already in the Dallas area and that will stand the test of time.”

Hunting for: “Unique brands; fashion-forward but not trendy styles.”

Strategy shift:
“I’m not doing anything different as far as the shoes I buy, but I try to have at least one or two new designers every season.”

Lesson learned from holiday ’08: “We’re all concerned about the economy, which is why I bought conservatively for the spring, and I’ll do that for fall as well.”

Current bestsellers:
LD Tuttle, Barbara Bui

Spring ’09 forecast: “It’s going to be a challenge. I’m going to try to do a few more events to get people in.”

Hottest new brands:
“I have two new people coming in for spring: Diana Broussard and Gigi Favela. I also like Rupert Sanderson.”

Next big thing: “Women have really embraced the platform.”

MISS MEERS, Eugene, Ore.
Meera Willis-Majors,
Store count:
3 (ave. 1,200 sq. ft.)
Open since:

Buying plan: “We tend to focus on well-known brands because of quality. I find that if I go with lesser-known brands, there are a lot of sizing issues, for example.”

Hunting for: “More ankle boots in a variety of heel heights, such as the lower-heeled ankle boots. We’re also looking for the classic pointy toe boots, as well as equestrian-style, flat riding boots and anything Frye.”

Strategy shift: “I’m definitely thinking more about orders, and I probably won’t write quite as much at the shows. I’m just not as carefree.”

Current bestseller: Frye

Spring ’09 forecast:
“I certainly don’t want to go so far as to say that it will be better than last year, but I don’t think it’s going to be absolutely dreadful either.”

Hottest new brand: Poetic Licence. “We actually reordered the two styles we brought in, which is always a good sign.”

Next big thing:
“It’s a mix of heavy with soft.”

On the way out: “Anything with a square toe.”

Eddie Cuevas,
Store count:
3 (ave. 2,000 sq. ft.)
Open since:

Buying plan: “We’re looking for trends. We try to mix it up, with 80 percent  fashion and 20 percent comfort, because we understand there’s a nice balance between them.”

Hunting for: “We’re going to pay a lot of attention to the price point this season. We want to keep it fresh and want our customer to look different, but we understand that we have to keep it where our customer can afford to buy.”

Strategy shift: “Paying attention to the final price the customer is going to pay. Over the past couple of years, we’ve been trying to upgrade, but now we’re trying to keep it at a moderate rate for 2009.”

Lesson learned from holiday ’08: “There wasn’t anything fresh and there wasn’t anything they wanted except for Ugg, and we don’t carry that.”

Current bestsellers: “Booties were amazing, especially in the beginning of the season, and over-the-knee boots.”

Spring ’09 forecast:
“I expect anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent down from last year. It’s all going to be about colors. In the past couple of years, it’s been really basic, dull, keeping it simple with earth tones and black.”

Hottest new brands: Jeffrey Campbell, Navid O Nadia

Next big thing:
“Mid-heel sandals should be great for spring.”

On the way out: “Whatever is boring.”

Rachel Funk,
Open since:

Buying plan: “To provide a variety of brands for our customer for every activity.”

Hunting for: “We’re excited about the menswear trend, including oxfords with perforated detailing, plaids and tweeds. We’re also looking to expand our boot category, with Western stitching and detailing as well as shearling or faux fur.”

Strategy shift:
“We’re opening kids’ for spring ’09.”

Current bestsellers:
“A lot of flat boots. We had a flat, gray suede riding boot from Steve Madden that we had to keep reordering.”

Spring ’09 forecast:
“We’re looking for business to maintain flat. We know this next year is going to be hard. We’re still going to offer a great assortment, but we’re defi nitely looking at it from a perspective of value to our customers.”

Hottest new brand:

Next big thing: “The bird-cage feel on a boot or a sandal, as well as more perforated detail and pinking.”

On the way out: “The all-over, loud metallics.”


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