ATLANTA — Men’s retailers scoured the Cobb Show here for fresh product that didn’t skimp on design.
Buyers arrived at the show, held Oct. 4 and 5 at the Cobb Galleria, with budgets reduced by as much as half and focused mostly on immediate deliveries. Exhibitors reported steady traffic, especially the first day, and said retailers were looking for bargains.
The number of exhibitors decreased from 586 at the August show to 569, said Deborah Green, marketing manager.
Trends mostly ran parallel to those at the August show, reflecting a continued departure from a season-specific trade show format. Denim had a significant presence on the floor and styles played with wash, rinse and detailing, particularly on pockets.
In sportswear, exhibitors showed plenty of casual looks, including printed and plain T-shirts in bright colors, woven tops and lots of stitching and embroidery. Although there was no shortage of visual interest, looks featured decidedly less bling.
The six-year-old show, which is produced by Atlanta Apparel Exhibition Group, has raised its premium denim and sportswear quotient in recent editions, partly because of a strong presence from manufacturers Ed Hardy and Christian Audigier, whose offerings were housed in Velocity, a high-end contemporary section.
Sales reps for the two brands reported positive buyer response from both urban and high-end retailers, especially with rhinestone looks, patch details and embroidery.
Ruben Campos, founder of denim line Rivet de Cru that sells to about 300 U.S. doors, said first-day traffic at the show was “amazing,” adding the quality of buyers at the show has improved.
Campos recently reduced wholesale price points by about 20 percent to $35 for most styles, citing economic pressures and reluctance from buyers to merchandise denim for more than $100 at retail.
“The way we do business has changed and I don’t see [economic conditions] getting better anytime soon,” said Campos, adding that he’s cutting costs by being more selective with trade shows. “Thinking about 2010 is scary, but if I can just sell enough to pay bills, even if we don’t make any money, we’ll be OK.”
Campos and other manufacturers expressed concern about production in China amid rising costs and trade relation woes, and several reported cost-cutting elsewhere to hedge expenses overseas.
“Everybody I’ve seen at this show wants a deal,” Campos said. “Whether it’s a discount or a closeout, they’ll take it.”
The next Cobb Show is scheduled for Jan. 10 and 11.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast