Attendees at last week’s Curvexpo in Manhattan said they were encouraged by the current state of business.
As a sign of the ever-transient world, as soon as visitors entered the Javits Center North show, a booth for Uber was front and center. While the ride-sharing company has a business partnership with the trade show, an assortment of labels were exhibiting there for the first time. Agua de Coco, ANK Swimwear, Ann Chery, Anne Klein, Calvin Klein Underwear, Kate Spade, Lahco of Switzerland and Suki Cohen were among the new resources at the show, which ended its three-day run August 5.
Whether scouting swimwear, loungewear, innerwear or men’s underwear, buyers had specific items in mind for their leading customers. Esther Paquette, owner of the Lyla Collection store in Montreal, said business is being driven by lingerie sales. Empreinte, Cosabella, Hanky Panky and Commando were labels she planned to check out, as well as resources for nightgowns. The addition of an Eres concept store in her boutique has helped to rev up sales this year, she said. Comfort is the first thing shoppers look for, and style preferences vary from “very natural” to sexy, she added. Most shoppers are spending $175 or higher, and they tend to like to replenish their innerwear every six months, Paquette said.
Lisa Mergel, president of Kanvas, a day spa in Tallahassee, Fla., that sells innerwear, lingerie and pajamas, said many people are shopping purely due to necessity. “People are busy shopping and their mood is happy. They’re looking for new things and they have a positive attitude,” she said.
But, she added, shoppers “are looking at price points for sure.” And while they may have bought three or four items during one visit in the past, now they are more inclined to buy one item, with the average purchase being about $80. “They are not wanting to spend a ton of money,” Mergel said.
Barbara Gram, director of sales and marketing at Naked Princess, said buyers were in search of apparel or gift-driven intimate apparel such as her brand’s cashmere wrap sweater, lounge pants and lace bodysuit. Having opened a new boutique on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles in May, the company has benefited from being able to showcase its range of offerings, as well as other brands, she said. Located near Monique Lhuillier and the restaurant Fig & Olive, the store has picked up a fair amount of spillover traffic. “By having a physical store, people understand the scope of what we offer. A retail location is important because they can see for themselves that the product is so elevated,” Gram said.
The brand’s concept is meant to evoke items that one might find in a modern-day boudoir, such as Boudoir Blush body spray and a luxury MicroModal pajama set, said Gram, who picked up four new accounts at the show on one day alone. In general, retailers have specific ideas about what their respective shoppers will want, whether that will be gift-set items or MicroModal styles, she said. The company sells its label online through its Web site as well as other brands, as is the case in its freestanding store.
In other news, organizers will host the first Interfilière New York show on Sept. 23 at the event space 82 Mercer Street. The gathering will bring together North American brands as well as at least 40 international mills.
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