Renewed confidence permeated the halls of 2010’s first Accessorie Circuit and AccessoriesTheShow, which took place last Tuesday through Thursday at New York’s Westside Piers and Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, respectively.
Exhibitors spent the last year working closely with their suppliers on keeping prices down and retailers pleased. In turn, buyers had larger budgets for spring than a year ago and sought well-designed product at a value.
“Designers are really working to bring us terrific price points that will bring a smile to the customer’s face,” said Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director at Neiman Marcus. “The opportunity to find sharp price points has been exciting, and we believe that we are in a moment where women want to buy costume jewelry and pair it with their diamonds. So we are happy to shop this show, and there’s a lot of talent in that segment here.”
Downing focused on tribal motifs for spring, as well as a layered concept with bangles and bracelets. He cited Alexis Bittar as one designer the retailer is supporting for spring.
Bittar reported a 60 percent increase in sales over last year’s January show, claiming retailers — specialty stores in particular — may have underbought out of fear last year, but are more confident moving into 2010.
“Stores reacted so quickly to last year’s fallout and ordered so sparingly that they didn’t buy enough,” Bittar said. “Now they’re realizing that if it’s interesting and good, it will sell. There is a market for unique pieces that are priced well.”
Lee Angel creative director Roxanne Assoulin linked the traffic surrounding her booth to the idea that the firms that survived last year’s climate should profit moving forward.
“In the last year, it’s been almost a case of Darwinism,” Assoulin said. “Many lines didn’t get through, unfortunately, but the strong stayed on. But there is no cutting corners. If we don’t design well, people won’t buy.”
Rebecca Minkoff president Elissa Bromer said the show was going better than expected and reported that “less retailers [were] taking notes and more [were] leaving paper.”
“We feel the worst is over, but there is a heightened awareness to buy smart,” Bromer said. “Great product is going to be the driver in 2010.”
In her second showing at the Accessorie Circuit, designer Kara Ross experienced multiple opportunities to meet with online retailers, where the majority of her growth took place in the last year.
Mary Louise Van Der Wilden, owner of Le Papillon in Rumson, N.J., shopped AccessoriesTheShow for “fashionable but reasonable” accessories. Her store caters to what she describes as classic women seeking classic items, such as scarves by Echo Design and evening bags by Grace Chuang.
“It’s never going to be how it was, but I’m definitely more cautious pricewise about what’s out there,” Van Der Wilden said. “It’s very different from how we used to buy.”
Adrienne Vittadini handbags president Barry Kramer opened 24 to 36 new accounts at the show. He thought it was because of his ability to provide bags at the right price — mostly between $200 to $300 retail — as well as offer quick turnaround times.
“We believe our competitors have fallen victim to the ‘lowest-price-point-wins’ theory,” Kramer said. “Product needs to stand for itself and we’re not going to dumb it down. We feel we’re in the right place at the right time.”
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
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye