Is more actually more, or less? Retailers and vendors will be considering that question this week when they welcome two new trade shows to the biannual New York market. Designer Forum and MR ket NY join the Big Apple’s trade show portfolio, bringing the total number of major men’s wear markets in the city to five including The Collective, Project and Capsule. The launches raise both new and long-standing questions about the increasing diversity of the men’s wear business, the elasticity of the New York marketplace and the competition for lucrative trade show dollars in a retail environment where most everything else — stores, open-to-buys, prices — is contracting. For buyers and vendors, it comes down to whether the New York market is ample enough to support an expanding trade show infrastructure.
If there’s one thing the apparel industry can be relied upon to do, it’s trying something new. And early tallies suggest that all the New York shows, despite recessionary pressures, are receiving significant support. The Collective/Blue will host 140 vendors; Project NY, 106; MR ket NY, 115; Capsule, 75; Designer Forum, 70.
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