A slew of vendors at the Fashion Coterie Show said sales were back to 2007 levels. But many said that to make their numbers, they have to work harder than ever, taking into account a host of industry issues, from the need for more versatile pricing strategies to adjusting delivery cycles and the quest to grow international sales to be less reliant on the still-volatile U.S. market.
Stacey Pecor, owner of Olive & Bette’s, said she went to Coterie against the backdrop of a 46 percent increase in sales over the past year.
“I love all the corals, the naturals and the white for spring,” Pecor said.
Pecor opened the fourth Olive & Bette’s store in August at 1249 Third Avenue and 72nd Street in Manhattan. She noted that she is still looking to place orders as close to the season as possible to gauge the economy’s direction.
“There is such uncertainty with unemployment being so high, and even though business is good, it gives you a reason to pause,” she said. “What we are doing mostly is to get an overview, go home and look at all the pictures we took. That’s when we determine which items we really like and customers will ultimately love.”
She added that delivery schedules continue to be a main concern.
“In these times, the customers are coming in to buy-now, wear-now,” she said. “It concerns me because it seems that fall is getting shorter and shorter.”
Fashion Coterie, which ended its three-day run at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Sept. 23, had the usual mix of contemporary designer lines and a few TV personalities — Whitney Port among them — on hand to sell their designer efforts. Model and actress Molly Sims showcased her Grayce by Molly Sims jewelry collection, offering her high-end costume pieces at wholesale prices of $58 to $345.
“I think of jewelry as something to build my wardrobe around,” Sims said.
Many of the pieces in the collection had a vintage feel and Sims was one of the exhibitors who were following the “old-is-new” mantra. AG Adriano Goldschmied launched the limited edition AG-ed Reserve collection, which features pieces treated to look like they have been well worn. The capsule collection for men and women features a 10-karat yellow gold “49” button, and will be sold at retail for about $495 to $545. Pencey designer Christina Minasian introduced Pencey Standard, featuring basics like T-shirts, tank tops and shorts in jersey and fleece. On average, the line wholesales from $29 to $56.
Nathan Jenden, who was Diane von Furstenberg’s creative director until earlier this year but left to focus on his own line, brought his eponymous collection to Coterie. The contemporary line, from $52 to $450 wholesale, offered many Americana-inspired pieces, from gingham minidresses to polo dresses. Bestsellers included a black tuxedo jacket with a button detail for $316 wholesale and a red jersey polo dress for $81 wholesale.
“With the new accounts, there was a little bit of price consciousness, but if it was special, with details or a unique fabric, there was no issue with the price,” said Emmelle founder and designer Mi Jong Lee.
Alberta Ferretti's "Rainbow Week" sweaters are back. The designer closed her #MFW show with a few day-of-the-week sweaters, which first debuted on the catwalk last January as part of the pre-fall 2017 collection. #wwdfashion (📷: @delphineachard)