DALLAS — Come January, FashionCenterDallas will boast a room with a view.
A 15th-floor bar with a dramatic skyline vista and a balcony will open Jan. 24, the first day of the women's fashion market.
Called District 15 Lounge, the space is located in a corner of the newly branded contemporary area of FCD, reflecting the Dallas Market Center's commitment to that business.
"We invested in District 15 because we want people to look at it as a destination," said Bill Winsor, chairman and chief executive officer of the DMC. "We have such a strong representation in contemporary, and they really deserve their own environment. We wanted to do something special."
Several showrooms within District 15 have expanded this year, including Johnny Was and BCBG, and new ones have opened, such as Robert Graham and Saltaire.
The concept has earned accolades from exhibitors.
"This branded contemporary area is the best I've ever been in," said Scott Friedland, creative director of Zissou & Spike, a maker of French terry sweats that were introduced to Dallas at the October show. "I'm extremely impressed."
January will bring other changes to the DMC, including an effort to develop closer relationships with independent retailers.
The DMC's retail development team has been researching new stores and developing resources for them. Business tips for independent retailers, such as an industry glossary, advice on planning inventory and strategies for tackling the market, will be archived on the DMC's revamped and expanded Web site (dallasmarketcenter.com), launching in January.
"We see our own growth coming out of new stores," Winsor said. "We want to get information into their hands."
Buyers will also start seeing more e-mails regarding products and events specific to the merchandise they carry.
"We feel strongly about being connected to these stores almost on a personal level," Winsor added.
The strategy reflects the DMC's recognition of the trend toward product customization. The company's executives have all read "The Long Tail" by Chris Anderson and are applying his theory that demand for niche goods and services is increasing.They are working to increase the breadth of merchandise in the World Trade Center, where FCD occupies 1 million square feet on the top floors. Temporary fashion exhibits are up 20 percent this year, according to Cindy Morris, chief operating officer.
"You have to be so broad in categories of product so retailers can come in and buy whatever they want," she said.
Kids World, clustered exhibits of juvenile toys, furnishings and other products, is taking root on the eighth floor of the World Trade Center, where children's apparel was already located. Kids World will make its debut at the gift show Jan. 16 to 22 and the apparel market Jan. 24 to 27.
In addition, the DMC secured a three-year commitment from the Toy Industry Association to hold its annual Fall Toy Preview exhibition at the World Trade Center. The first is set for Oct. 14 to 17.
The DMC campus also houses Western wear, home furnishings, tabletop goods, gifts, gourmet products, decorative items, fake flowers, holiday trim, outdoor and garden merchandise and an extensive array of lighting.
With nearly 7 million square feet of exhibit space, the DMC bills itself as the largest wholesale merchandise mart in the world. Annual wholesale transactions add up to an estimated $7.5 billion.
"Business is cyclical," Winsor said. "We're not overly subscribed in any business. We keep ourselves diversified."
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)