Strong design coupled with finely tuned prices was a winning combination for accessories designers at last week’s trade shows.
Retailers shopped cautiously at New York’s AccessoriesTheShow and Accessorie Circuit, looking for inspiring, feel-good items.
“We do a lot of business with smaller boutiques as well as with the majors, and from what we could tell during presale, we are moving forward with the right price points,” said Erin Biggers, head of sales for Lockheart handbags, which wholesale from $118 to $258.
Basia Polowska, designer of Basia, a jewelry line that offers oversize silver and brass neck chains and bracelets, said buyers were focused on the bigger and the brighter side of her collection.
“My regular buyers are coming back, and they want what is most distinct and most fashion-forward,” Polowska said. “People today want the big necklace, they want to feel happy, unique — and buy pieces that are versatile and fun.”
The “bigger is better” notion also applies to belts. Kari Woodruff, sales director at Streets Ahead, a belt company based in Vernon, Calif., said buyers have not been showing any price resistance to her on-trend oversize belts, which can reach $160 at wholesale.
“Many buyers aren’t sure where to go or what to buy, so it’s hard, but this is the time where accessories pick up,” said Woodruff. “People want a ‘wow’ belt that makes a statement.”
Janna Zee, owner of the Janna boutique in Pittsburgh, said she was looking for “high-design-worthy” pieces made of semiprecious stones from the likes of Lee Angel or Alexis Bittar.
“I want the strong fashion focus at attractive prices,” Kay said. “I am my own customer, and we all want to follow the trends we see in the magazines. One thing the recession has done is provide an opportunity for designers to create really exciting collections using the limited resources they have.”
Some smaller-scale accessories designers showcased this year at the Box, a trendy trade show that originated in Paris and came to New York for the first time as part of the Train apparel show. The Box spotlighted 100 exhibitors with businesses based all over the world, specifically Europe, who are trying to reach the American market.
“We are focusing on high-fantasy designers, and I think there is a new generation of those designers with high-quality and attractive price points and we thought it was time to develop that market,” said Muriel Piaser, director at the Box.
Sisters Claudia and Catalina Pieschacon showed their fashion-jewelry line Cleo & Cat, based in Parkland, Fla. Their cuffs brushed with gold plating, semiprecious stones and oversize pendants in black clay and leather treatments wholesale for $45 to $245.
“We’re doing better than we expected,” said Claudia Pieschacon. “I think because people aren’t buying fine, they’re looking for a lot of fashion and an affordable price.”
At AccessoriestheShow, hair-accessories designer Dora Marra of Head Dress NY said her business has been doing well.
“When people have no money, they want to put some color in their hair,” said Donna Saslove, owner of Original, a boutique in Toronto that has been carrying Head Dress NY for years.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion