“Pleasantly surprised” was the catchphrase repeated by exhibitors showing at Accessorie Circuit and AccessoriestheShow, which took place over three days last week at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York.
While the shows appeared sleepy — having been placed directly after the new year — vendors were pleased by the amount of business they were writing, and that while the number of buyers were few, those who came were placing orders.
“Surprisingly it’s been a great show, we’re seeing a lot of new people, and they’re buying,” said Roxanne Assoulin, creative director at Lee Angel. “We’re seeing our regular big customers and meeting a lot of new ones. Stores aren’t buying from as many vendors, so you want to be one of those vendors.”
While the mood was better than expected, the rawness left by 2008 was still in the air. Assoulin reworked her spring collection just weeks before the show to keep prices in check so as to be “in sync” with her buyers.
“It’s about responsibility,” she said. “It’s not just about us trying to make a living and not caring about our stores. We have to keep the wheels turning because the economy affects all of us.”
Renée Rivera, a San Francisco-based hair accessories designer, said she was expecting a completely different attitude from the shows, but instead everyone seemed happy to be there.
“No one is walking around lamenting, no one is bringing it all up, we’re moving forward,” Rivera said. “I think people are ready to move on, and I think that’s why buyers want fun, colorful accessories. My stores are leaning toward my brights rather than basics. Everyone is ready for color.”
The San Diego-based Gustto handbag brand showed clutches and totes in an array of hues for spring, including fuchsia, mustard yellow, orange and green.
“Even though we are experiencing a difficult moment and traffic was definitely diminished, the reaction to our collection was quite positive and clients informed us that first spring deliveries of our Fabulous Classics collection are selling well,” said designer Agathe Planchon Gustto.
Sheila Dardashti, co-owner and co-designer of Treesje handbags, had a similar experience.
“Given the current state of the economy and the retail industry, and the fact that buyer attendance was significantly down, the show definitely went better than expected,” Dardashti said. “It was great to see all of our customers returning and buying.”
Jeanine Fromm, owner of Fromm’s in Lee, Mass., said she was focused on finding colorful bags at modest prices.
“I am feeling good about 2009, but I am also playing it safe,” Fromm said. “I think the new government will have good plans on how to fix the economy, and we’re all going to start looking up in the coming months.”
At Sondra Roberts, owner Robert Camache reported having a strong show, citing colorful clutches at $12 wholesale as a draw for buyers.
“Ninety-nine percent of the people coming here are placing orders,” Camache said. “I was very nervous coming to this show, but we are price-point conscious and stores react well to that right now. They want fun pick-me-ups in bright colors. It really changes the mood.”
Ann Watson, vice president and fashion director at Henri Bendel, also pointed to color as a key trend for spring, as well as fringe and Native American-inspired jewelry.
“When you can translate this Navajo theme into jewelry, it makes the look fun and playful,” said Watson, who also noted fringe bags were going to be a hot pick for spring.
Brands that opted for fringe included Linea Pelle and Susan Farber. Mercedes Salazar, an accessories designer from Bogota, Colombia, showed tribal-inspired cuffs and necklaces.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye