Lower travel costs and an updated Web site boost the profile of FCD. DALLAS — Saving money was a big factor in Stephanie Kennedy's decision to shop FashionCenterDallas for the first time last month, and she plans to return in August.
"I can't fork out the money to go to New York five times a year — it's insane," said Kennedy, who owns Nectar contemporary boutique on St. Simons Island, Ga. "It was a fraction of that for me to go to Dallas, and we had such a good time in the showrooms. It's more relaxed, and I found a lot of new lines."
As the cost of travel skyrockets, big D is looking like a better bet to buyers — a point that the Dallas Market Center Co. will play up in the second half of the year.
"I think you'll see more traffic driven into this market," said Bill Winsor, president and chief executive officer of DMC, which operates FashionCenterDallas. "You can find [hotel] rooms here for less than $100 a night."
The low cost of traveling to Dallas coupled with the region's relative economic strength bodes well for the second half, he said.
"[This area] is not immune to what's happening in the economy, but we have outperformed the U.S.," Winsor said. "We have not experienced the housing crash or job losses that you see in other parts of the country. We certainly have seen belt-tightening — the average price of hotel rooms has gone down $20 to $119."
The strong euro was expected to boost international traffic by 70 percent at the Total Home and Gift show June 18 to 24, he said.
"Likewise, we see opportunity to attract more international buyers in apparel, particularly from Hispanic markets in South America," Winsor said.
The DMC will have a new vehicle to tout bargain travel fares when it relaunches its Web site, dallasmarketcenter.com, in early July. The site has had an 18-month overhaul costing several hundred thousand dollars.
"It's cleaner, fresher, easier to navigate and more content-rich," Winsor said. "It was a massive undertaking."Tutorials for retailers in business less than two years and improved line listings are key new features. The Web site will reflect DMC's "You Can't Miss Red" marketing campaign.
The company devoted six months to researching the needs of users by interviewing new and longtime buyers, international retailers, sales representatives and those from the types of stores that shop the complex, such as fashion, floral and home.
"The Web site is a major component of business to make the buyer at ease," Winsor said. "We focused a lot of our attention on creating a navigational scheme to search quickly for products of a similar nature, travel arrangements and to look up events online to see them in a more dynamic way."
The revamped site was supposed to be up in January, but was delayed for additional enhancements, he said.
The new content for freshman buyers augments an effort that began in January to attract these retailers. Using a research firm, the DMC pinpointed 1,000 new contemporary, better and bridge stores in the Midwest, central South and Colorado and called or visited to promote FCD. About 25 to 30 percent have expressed interest in shopping here, noted Amy Harper, director of retail development.
FashionCenterDallas continues to augment its contemporary offerings, which number nearly 300 lines spread over 100,000 square feet on the 15th floor of the World Trade Center. The area is called D15TRICT, pronounced "District One Five," and three new showrooms opened there in May: Launch, HaleMary and CP Shades.
Launch, a multiline Dallas wholesaler that also has a showroom at Fashion Industry Gallery, clinched a prime spot on the atrium next to Johnny Was to showcase labels including Bow & Arrow, Curtsey, Denim of Virtue, Haven, Language Los Angeles, Molly, Nela, Scanty and Ogle.
Owner Allyson Lee Cooke plans to throw a party at the Aug. 16 to 19 show to celebrate. "My business is good," Cooke said. "People say, 'Are you crazy, why are you expanding?' But I'm really excited about it. It's a great location, and it's beautiful."
FashionCenterDallas crowns the top four floors of the 15-story World Trade Center. The DMC campus also features hundreds of wholesale showrooms for home furnishings and tabletop items, gifts, toys, lighting, fine jewelry and fake flowers. KidsWorld, an entire 250,000-square-foot floor dedicated this year to children's fashions, toys and furnishings, is fully leased, Winsor said.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)