For Coterie-bound brands, exposure is nearly as important as sales — especially for labels just breaking into the market.
The first question buyers ask when you're just starting out in business is, "Do you do Coterie?" said Michael Suozzi, vice president and co-founder of FRx, a premium denim brand. "Exposure is the benefit of doing a show like Coterie."
FRx has been at Coterie since the line began three years ago. As a denim brand, Suozzi said, trade shows are crucial. "Jeans are not seasonal. It's all about what you bring to market each season. You have to give retailers a new reason to buy," he said.
Guy Kinberg, president and co-founder of FRx, said at trade shows, such as Intermezzo, also produced by ENK International, he typically opens roughly 40 new accounts. At Coterie, the number is closer to 50. "The traffic at Coterie is double anywhere else," he added, referencing trade shows that aren't produced by ENK International.
FRx will show styles available for both immediate deliveries and for spring. "You end up doing more immediate business than spring business, but the reaction you get for spring gives you an indication of what you should be working on. It's twofold," Suozzi said.
Among the styles on hand, FRx will feature its Perfection Jean. This particular style has a nylon and Lycra spandex insert sewn into the jeans that runs from the waist to about midthigh. It lifts, separates and rounds out the behind. In order to give potential buyers a sense of the jeans, women will be encouraged to try them on in a dressing room located in the FRx booth and will have their photographs taken so they can view their images from the back in their own jeans and the Perfection Jean for comparison.
"Most people don't have any idea what their butt looks like straight on," Suozzi said.
Over the three-day period at Coterie, Kinberg expects to do roughly $250,000 in wholesale volume. "That doesn't include the major department stores," he added. "They come to look but will place orders later."
Craig Taylor, owner of the New York-based shirt brand named after him, said Coterie was especially important for making connections with specialty boutiques. This September marks the second season Taylor is showing at Coterie; he expects this show to be as successful as the last.
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