There was lots of excitement at the Jacob Javits convention center last week, and not just because New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was there with his golden shovel breaking ground on the space’s $1.5 billion expansion project. The multi-show NY Women’s marketplace (including Coterie, EDIT, Stitch, AccessoriesTheShow, Sole Commerce, fame and Moda) rolled out an ambitious program of speakers and panels, elevated shows, as well as merchandise for immediate Spring/Summer orders and Fall planning. Overarching themes ran the gamut from fun and whimsical to luxe and rich, the two often crossing over in materials and attitude.
“Now that all the shows are under one roof and part of UBM Fashion, it’s a huge benefit for our exhibitors and retail attendees,” says Zoila Benavides, Sales Manager for AccessoriesTheShow. “Everyone saw a lot of crossover traffic among the shows, and exhibitors at AccessoriesTheShow met with more upscale retailers than ever before. The Trend Vignettes, pulled together by Accessories Magazine and featuring brands from the exhibitors, was a huge help to let retailers plan their buys.”
“Everyone saw a lot of crossover traffic among the shows and exhibitors at AccessoriesTheShow met with more upscale retailers than ever before.”
–Zoila Benavides, Sales Manager, ATS
Some highlights and trend spotting:
What’s a fashion trade show without some star power? The designers of Badgley Mischka, Mark Badgley and James Mischka, showed up at EDIT to greet retailers at their ready-to-wear booth. Celine Dion, who just launched a handbag line under license with Canadian manufacturer The Bugatti Group, opted to make her trade show appearance in Las Vegas (not surprising since she was also performing there). However, her line had a strong presence at Coterie. With everything from handbags to small leather accessories to luggage, the line spans a very broad range of price points from accessible to luxury, all to please her very broad fan base. And who can deny celebrity shoe aficionados a peek at what’s coming next season? Huge shoe fan Whoopi Goldberg (she posts about shoes almost daily on her Instagram) came to the February NY shoes, especially to attend Sole Commerce. She’s especially a fan of Irregular Choice for their selection of fun, funky, one-of-a-kind shoes.
THE COTERIE EXPERIENCE
Coterie added an exciting new perspective with its innovative ‘The Coterie Experience,’ an interactive installation that wove together the influence of luxury designer fashion brands and breaking cutting-edge Augmented Reality technology. The new visual component will be merchandised into creative atmospheres from minimalism to boho-chic trends allowing retailers to create a narrative around exhibiting brands collections. Attendees equipped with iPads got an enhanced look at merchandise shown in an immersive environment. This unique discovery tool offered visual content from over 100 brands including Alexis Bittar, Anna Sui, Cauliflower Issy Miyake, Jacquie Aiche, Grey Jason Wu and M Missoni and more.
EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION
In response to today’s tough retail climate, the shows have amped up their educational programs, bringing industry experts in to teach attendees how to better compete. Digital research firm L2 and Accessories Magazine both presented seminars at the three-day event, covering everything from how to survive in an Amazon World to creative retail tips to Fall/Winter 2017 trends to watch.
A look at some of the more notable trends that showed up throughout the various shows and exhibitor booths:
GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS
Butterflies, birds and bugs are joining the pan-seasonal florals trend, showing up on both warm-weather and cold-weather merchandise. More than mere prints, these are all dimensional, touchable and colorful. Some take the form of repeating 3D appliques, while others are embroidered with a central focal point. With the omnipresence of 3D florals, consumers can turn to these motifs as synergistic yet fresh offerings.
THE FUR CONTINUES TO FLY
Fur continued to show up for all seasons, whether as pom-pom accents on shoes, hats and bag charms, or as full-fledged pieces like stoles and wraps. Continuing is the fact that fur doesn’t take itself seriously anymore, and fur is just as apt to have fun sayings and phrases (i.e., “I Kiss Better Than I Cook) as it is to be an elegant trim on a cashmere wrap. A fur wrap from newcomer Blood & Honey at EDIT took a kitschy approach on your grandmother’s stole. Handbag manufacturer Sondra Roberts, which was recently purchased by Capelli New York, rolled out a line of footwear including these popular pom-pom sneakers in rich colors. Meanwhile, fur jewelry from Choyo included rings, cuffs and even chokers, many accented with small crystals.
F IS FOR FUN
Designers continue to keep things lighthearted, possibly in reaction to the tense political climate today. Italian handbag line Braccialini, and newcomer to the EDIT show was all about whimsical appliques and bag charms. This is also popular in the fur world, which has evolved from one of the more classic accessories to one of thee more fun (see above). These fur scarves from Eugenia Kim feature words like REBEL.
Toggling between the Americana and Western and Military trends, stars have emerged as a major motif for 2017. They are shown as prints, appliques, or bejeweled. From the light-and-dark denim pieces from Mystique to Western-inspired jeans belts at Streets Ahead to the neoprene handbags from Love My Bag, it’s clear this trend has broad appeal.
DESIGN YOUR OWN
Riffing off the popularity of bag charms, pins and patches that let consumers customize their apparel and accessories, more brands are popping up that are DIY from the get-go. Brazilian company Ciao Mao features basic shoe silhouettes sold in kits with options that completely transform them with a few snap on options.
Metallics, damask, jacquard, velvet, glitter and the like all add a rich canvas for designers. From the thin metallic leather chokers by A.V. Max to the gold and silver glitter flats from Chiara Ferragni (blogger The Blonde Salad) to rich peep-toe boots from Nine West, it’s clear that basic is all but gone.
See you at the next round of shows!