NEW YORK — Retailers and vendors were focused on strategies for coping with the economic slump at the three-day Nouveau Collective trade show.
And again, value and newness dominated the conversations at the event that wrapped up Aug. 5 at the New Yorker hotel.
Neko Mitsunaka, who has owned the Sakura boutique at 3 East 44th Street in Manhattan for 32 years, said, “People are definitely concerned about the economy. We have to have the best prices.”
She has noticed that business travelers are not making multiple purchases and shoppers are spending an average of $300, compared with $400 two years ago.
With prices for European goods up about 20 percent because of the weakness of the dollar, Mitsunaka said she was looking for more affordable domestic ready-to-wear resources. “If I find something new, I will buy a bunch; if not, I won’t,” she said.
Amy Short, owner of Christian’s Boutique in New Port Richey, Fla., acknowledged that business is off. “People are not throwing away their money like they used to. Even my really good customers who normally spend tons of money are not spending as much. I’m sure it will turn around. The summer is always slow. Now we’re talking summer on top of the economy.”
In response, Short reduced her purchases 50 percent but placed orders at UBU Clothing and Suzanne/Stillman Studio. To try to appeal to a wide audience, she offers items in the $29 to $429 price range. She is in search of “really awesome clothes” like tops, jackets and jeans, she said. “We’re only buying what we really love.”
Dee Gratz-Jones, sales director of StyleMax, a show in Chicago this week, said consumers are being a lot more selective. Many stores are banking on better accessories to help carry the business, she said. Gratz-Jones said more vendors are offering immediate deliveries to try to accommodate stores that are shopping closer to need. She expects retailers to attend more regional trade shows to reduce travel expenses.
Jenny Narvaez, an image consultant who also sells clothes in her home in Puerto Rico, said her customers are mostly working women with little time to shop. Many use both of her services, and the “person-to-person” aspect “really is the difference,” she said. “When I buy for a client, they know it is exactly what they want.”
Checking out Raiment Fashions’ tops and skirts, she said, “The prices are good and I know what I want.”
Roxana Monge, sales rep for Magdalena, a five-year-old sportswear resource that wholesales between $17 and $54, picked up a handful of new accounts at the show. “We’re still growing because our prices are really low,” she said.
Taffeta knit separates, which wholesale between $34 and $55, were key items at the show. The fact that the entire Magdalena collection is made in the U.S. could be helpful should there be a backlash to foreign-made goods because of increasing import fees and shipping costs. “People don’t want to spend those high prices,” Monge said. “We are hopeful that they will come back to us in the U.S.”
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@badgalriri’s @fentybeauty launch in September was a massive success on social media, powering $72.9 million of earned media value, according to Tribe Dynamics. The brand’s foundation offering sparked conversations about diversity in beauty, launching the growth of emerging influencers and propelling the brand’s support on social media. Today, #fentybeauty won Launch of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📷: Chema Moya/EPE-EFE)
@marianna_hewitt has become one of the most influential content creators in the beauty space, with almost 800,000 Instagram followers and a newly launched skin care line called @SummerFridays. Today, she was awarded Influencer of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📸: @sophiachabbott )
As shopping behaviors evolve, the retail experience must follow. Head over to retail experts @colliersinternational’s Knowledge Leader series to read more about the shift in our shopping era. #colliersretail #lovecolliers
@prada opened a pop-up club, called Prada Double Club, in collaboration with German artist Cartsen Höller at @artbasel Miami. Last night, guests – including @youngparis, @ritaora and even Miuccia Prada herself – gathered in a former ice factory where the pop-up is housed for a performance from @wyclefjean. Go to WWD.com for full coverage on all the exhibits, parties and more at #ArtBaselMiami. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@louboutinworld and @disney are making magic once again, creating a set of shoe designs for the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Louboutin designed a pair of shoes for each of the film’s four female leads: Rey (@daisyridrey), Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (@lauradern), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Rose Tico (@kellymarietran). The shoes will debut on Saturday at the L.A. premiere of the latest episode. #wwdfashion
Today at the #BeautyIncAwards 2017, WWD will be joined by beauty leaders from around the world as we honor this year's most innovative people, products, brands and places. Follow along here and on Twitter for live coverage from the exclusive event. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Exclusive: Beauty superinfluencer @marianna_hewitt is launching her first-ever skin care brand with her business partner @laurengores. Their new line Summer Fridays, which will be sold exclusively at summerfridays.com starting in January, is launching with just one product – a hydrating cream Jet Lag Mask. “We wanted to focus on one product that was amazing,” said Hewitt. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Michelin star-rated chef PJ Calapa marks his first solo endeavor with today’s opening of @scampinyc –– the new Southern Italian restaurant located in Manhattans’ Flatiron District. The upscale yet welcoming environment matches the menu, which includes two types of scampi: traditional Italian langoustines in butter and the Americanized version with shrimp over pasta 🍤 - pictured here. #wwdeye (📷: George Chinsee)