By  on August 22, 2011

LOS ANGELES — When WWDMAGIC opens its doors today to thousands of buyers shopping in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North and Central Halls, designers and manufacturers must manage a complicated balancing act. The challenge? Figuring out how to raise their profile while dealing with higher costs amid demands from retailers and consumers for better margins and fair pricing.

“We have ups and downs,” said Nally Park, designer and co-owner of contemporary label Nally & Millie, echoing the sentiments of many exhibitors. The Los Angeles-based company is now on the upswing, emerging from the verge of bankruptcy two years ago when it had sales of $2.5 million. Tallying annual sales of $10 million, which are projected to double next year with the introduction of woven bottoms like Bermuda shorts and capris wholesaling for $44, Nally & Millie is grappling with a 20 percent surge in costs for everything from fabrics and washes to ink for sublimation printing and the sewing and cutting it does in Los Angeles.

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