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.”
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)