Whether it's in the frills, like the margarita lounges, or the basics, like having top-notch security on-site, the jewelry and accessories trade show is increasingly becoming a necessity on the trade fair landscape.
Reflecting the opinion that it's often hard to get a real sense of the details on a leather purse or a diamond brooch from a company's Web site or its look books, organizers of New York accessories shows say numbers are up for both exhibitors and visitors.
"I'd imagine that it's the same as in accessories, but with fine jewelry, trade shows are critical," said Dave Bonaparte, group vice president of JCK Events in Norwalk, Conn., which organizes the JCK Show in Las Vegas and JCK Invitational in New York, which both showcase fine jewelry.
"In fine jewelry, and certainly for one-of a-kind pieces, seeing it on the Web or in magazines doesn't do it justice. And then there is the security aspect: The traveling salesman is becoming obsolete in jewelry, and the trade show environment is safe and secure. Those two factors alone contribute to the success of a well-run and well-represented jewelry event," he said.
For 2008, the company is focusing its efforts on JCK Vegas, and has elected not to have the JCK Invitational in New York.
"There are a fair amount of shows serving the marketplace [in New York] so we are looking for other opportunities to take the JCK brand internationally, or to other parts of the country," said Bonaparte, who added JCK Invitational may return to New York in the future.
The industry appears to be buoyant across all sectors, including general accessories. Britton Jones, president and chief executive officer of Business Journals Inc., the Norwalk-based company that organizes AccessoriesTheShow in New York, said the 2008 event is sold out. The show, which will take place Jan. 6 to 8 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, will boast approximately 1,900 exhibitors — up about 200 from last year — and some 15,000 visitors.
"The waiting list keeps on getting longer and longer," said Jones. "It's quite substantial at this point."
He attributes that partly to what he describes as "the vibrancy of the market that we've created at the show. "It's clearly become the world's largest and most dynamic marketplace of the accessories industry," he said. "We've had a hard time adding to the overall show floor. We keep trying to find new layouts to improve traffic flow while still allowing more people to participate."Brands scheduled to be showcased include Steven by Steve Madden, Jaded, Lacoste, StockinGirl Legwear and Tano.
Jones said a big draw for visitors was the fact that the event offers one of the largest selections in the world of juried and edited accessories.
"It's a source of newness and the best place to find trends. So people come with a lot of open-to-buy and excitement."
Increased international participation is being cultivated, with more emphasis on bringing in retailers from Western Europe, Mexico, Japan and Canada.
"Keeping our show fresh is the mantra around here," he said. "Each season we totally redesign the show from head to toe, from the cafe to the public spaces, reflecting colors and trends."
Sharon Enright, general manager for the Tradeshow Division of Business Journals Inc., said the venue in 2008 would be revamped to show the influence in accessories of bold colors and prints.
"Accessories are being further embellished again and are more flamboyant in every category. We will take that and present an environment at the show that is very dramatic."
New sponsors include tequila maker Jose Cuervo, which will host a margarita lounge, as well as Dasani water and Celestial Seasonings teas. Celebrity chef and author Sandra Lee has also signed up to lend her services.
"We always mix it up, and make sure everyone can partake of the special events," said Enright, adding another highlight of the season would be the seasonal tote bag, in keeping with the major accessory trends of the season, that will be offered to visitors.
While Las Vegas is as important a show venue, Jones said the New York event tends to draw more of a strong international business.
"For us, our shows are larger in New York," he said. "It's our original base of business. Sometimes our exhibitors overlap, but there are also a lot of unique exhibitors in each market."
International participation is also a big factor at the JA New York shows, fairs for fine jewelry vendors that take place three times a year. The next one, JA New York Winter, is slated for March 9 to 11 at the Javits Center."We will have [myriad] international pavilions — Hong Kong, Italy, Brazil — and more than 800 companies presenting altogether," said Drew Lawsky, group show director of the JA New York shows. "And we cover the gamut from couture and higher-end jewelry to loose gemstones, offering different price points and categories."
The winter show is geared toward retailers shopping for spring, and those especially keen to restock after the holidays. Lawsky said the shows remained active, even if the jewelry market has slowed down somewhat.
"The market is somewhat soft, there's no question about it," he said. "But we're being successful because New York is such an important venue. It's the jewelry capital of the world."
Security is an important factor, he said.
"What better way to show your wares than in front of a guaranteed audience?" he asked, referring to the more than 8,000 retailers expected to attend. "If somebody can afford to do a trade show, it's a great vehicle in terms of networking opportunities, new business to be written, old customers to see."
Highlights of the show include a bridal pavilion, which began at the summer show earlier this year, as well as cutting-edge seminar programs.
"We are continuing to make the experience for buyers as good as it can be," he said. "There's a smoother registration process. Trade shows shouldn't have to be that complicated and the easier you can make it on a retailer to come in and see who they want to see on a well-laid-out floor plan, the happier everyone is. It's the little things that add up to a great experience."
Also on the calendar is Accessorie Circuit, which will run from Jan. 7 to 9 at the Show Piers in New York. Trends on view will include brightly colored patent leathers, cuff bracelets, large statement rings, bold necklaces and lots of bright enamels.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews