Now that the NY Womens June shows are over, buyers are busy poring through their notes, invoice copies and camera reels to plan their next season. Editors are doing the same (minus the invoices) and here’s a compilation of the booths, brands and products that stuck in our mind. Most were targeting the Holiday season, and we’re more ready for cold weather to roll around now more than ever!
BEST IMMERSIVE MOMENTS: THE COTERIE EXPERIENCE
The Coterie Experience, which made its debut in February, returned with a creative vengeance. Five hand-painted teepees stationed in a lounge invited buyers to step inside each one and experience merchandise in a whole new way.
“The future of retail is all about the experience. Not just an incredible aesthetic, but the whole environment,” says retail design expert Valentino Vettori, who created the setup. “We want this trade show to not be just about the booth, but a whole experience. We want retailers to leave with ideas they can create in their stores or windows.”
Those basic black-and-quite square QR codes are soooo yesteryear. With this set up, buyers could scan the framed butterflies to see brand look books for a more extensive product experience. The Moroccan-themed light fixtures were also a hit, offering retailers display ideas as well.
Nothing makes someone grab their phone camera like accessories propped up against an infinity mirror.
Accessories stationed in individual vitrines mixed with moody florals created a fashionable ‘Cabinet of Curiosities.’ Again, butterflies let visitors experience an augmented reality experience.
Dripping foliage with a mirrored floor was another hot selfie moment, even for the furry friends at the show.
BEST TREND SPOTTING: TREND BOARDS AT ATS
Accessories Magazine once again partnered with AccessoriesTheShow to produce 8 Fall/Winter 18 trend boards featuring show exhibitors and allowing retailers to see and shop the trends. You can see all the boards and brands featured here.
MOST UPSTAGING PERSON: IRIS APFEL
No one can upstage a bunch of fashionistas and even cause 20somethings to get tongue tied like the 96-year-old Iris Apfel. I swung by Iris Apfel’s booth at Vintage@Coterie to buy a signed copy of her new book “Accidental Icon” and do an interview with the 96-year-old fashionista. You can read the article here. What I learned from this very outspoken nonagenerian? I wear way too much black and not enough bold jewelry.
Iris’ favorite quote? “More is more and less is a bore.”
BEST FEEL-GOOD MOMENT: THE INDEPENDENT HANDBAG DESIGNER AWARDS DISPLAY
Accessories Magazine ran the Audience Fan Favorite Award for the 12th Independent Handbag Designer Awards this year, and we were thrilled to do our part to help indie designers get noticed. To let buyers touch and feel the 45 finalists, we also set up a display at AccessoriesTheShow with iPads for on-the-spot voting. Nuciano was the winner (the orange bag on the second row from bottom), and stay tuned for a Q&A with designer Joy Egbejimba.
We also gave a show tour to some of the finalists, many of whom had flown in from overseas and never attended a trade show before. As the next generation of handbag designers, they were thrilled to see this side of the industry, and we hope to see them at the shows soon!
BEST (ACCIDENTAL?) PRIDE MOMENT: RAINBOWS
June is LGBTQ Pride month, and indeed there are rainbows all over the city, our Instagram feed and in our hearts. While rainbows are super trendy now and not all iterations are Pride-directed, we were still feeling the love every step of the way.
Mas Amor, which features woven bags from Mexico, captured the Pride mood and the colorful Mexican spirit with these rainbow-striped totes hand-made in the local tradition.
INZI by High Fashion mixed rainbows with the also popular sequin/stripe trend for a more tactile experience. Brush them up and down and they become an adult “fidget” accessory!
BEST WANDERLUST-INSPIRING BOOTH
From overseas flights to meandering road trips, brands used creative ways to promote their travel-themed merchandise. This included heavy themed booth displays and carding. Each one giving us a heavy dose of wanderlust.
At AccessoriesTheShow, Brighton set up a Departures travel board to draw attention to its line of wheeled and carry-on luggage. A mannequin sitting on a travel dolly (complete with bags hanging from the top) was the finishing touch. It’s helpful for buyers to see merchandise in its final destination to fully wrap their heads around the product and also get some great display ideas. Well done.
After my friends quit their jobs, rented an RV and spent 9 months traveling around the country, they became the heroes of our group. So we were particularly drawn to the jewelry by Be the Good, showing at AccessoriesTheShow’s new Feature cash-and carry area. The VW shown actually belongs to the owner, and she took her first road trip in it. So if you’re planning a trip this summer, make sure to gift this to everyone along for the ride.
BEST HAPPY COLOR: YELLOW
Millennial Pink has yielded to Gen-Y Yellow, a mustard-y shade that just makes us feel happy (no wonder, it’s the same color as smiley emojis!). Dimensional flowers are key this season, and we especially love these yellow ones from Mishky. In fact, we’re going to plant some yellow flowers in our garden this weekend!
BEST INNOVATION: BUREL
Just when we thought we’ve seen everything, this boiled wool backpack hoodie from Burel Mountain Originals comes along at Circuit@Coterie (bonus: it was yellow). We lots of positive feedback from our followers on Instagram with the kicker “When backpack met hoodie.” Stay tuned for the sequel!
BEST FLOATY ACCESSORY: FEATHERS
Tassels have evolved into feathers in many cases, and they’re being shown in a variety of ways. Updated with clear crystals, beads and chains, they go from boho to glam, but no matter how they’re designed, they’re always light as a feather.
BEST BUGS: YOCHI NEW YORK
While any sort of (non computer-related) bugs inside will send any true New Yorker running for the exits, we love these designs from Yochi New York, seen at AccessoriesTheShow. Positioned as singles on bold cuffs or as multiples on narrower, stackables, these items have fashion power without the sting.
BEST NEW USE OF FAUX FUR: NEW PLUSH SHAPES
Fur handbags are nothing new, but what IS new is that they’re getting softer and plusher, and a lot less constructed. The newest shape is the slip-through pouch, done by Italian brand Alex Max in a variety of mixed colors. We’re ready to take these on a plane trip and double them up as a pillow!
MOST EYE-CATCHING BRAND DISPLAY: NEON
It takes some ingenuity to stand out at a busy trade show, and cell phone case company Casery did just that at AccessoriesTheShow by putting its brand name in lights. Pink lights, to be exact… the perfect coordinating color for its Protect the One You Love protective packaging.
BEST MID-SHOW BREAK: IMMERSIVE INFINITY MIRRORS
While a break from walking the aisles usually involved a food stop, a step outside or a lobby visit, Grey@Coterie had the perfect solution: immersive infinity mirrors. Snapping selfies and seeing yourself transported into infinite parts was trippy…and rather transcendent. Highly recommended.
See you at the next round of New York shows, UBM Fashion’s Dual Gender Market, NY Men’s and Women’s, held July 22-24! Expect the unexpected!
Photos by Jenna Bascom and Lauren Parker