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If They Can Make It Here

A new show and fresh elements at established events keep buyers coming to the big city.

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NEW YORK — A newcomer and a host of novel program elements are spicing up the New York apparel show circuit this fall.

For starters, new to the scene is Londonedge New York, an outgrowth of U.K.-based Londonedge, a platform for alternative and clubwear that also showcases hats, bags, shoes and gift items.

Its New York debut takes place at Pier 92 from July 18 to 20 and will present 300 collections across a 15,000- to 16,000-square-foot floor, a third smaller than its parent show in London. The majority of exhibitors will hail from the U.S., with about 30 percent bringing collections new to the U.S. market from the U.K., Canada, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Carole Hunter, joint president of LENY, described the merchandise as “more authentic” and “a little bit left of center.” It has been organized with the needs of East Coast retailers in mind. Already buyers from the specialty chains Hot Topic, Urban Outfitters and Spencer Gifts have registered.

Hunter said show organizers talked about coming to the U.S. “for ages” before finally doing it. She said they are already planning to make LENY a twice-a-year event.

Connecticut-based Business Journals Inc., owner of Moda Manhattan and FAME, is expecting continued attendance growth. Britton Jones, president and chief executive officer, said that registration for its three concurrent shows — Moda Manhattan, FAME and AccessoriesTheShow — increased 14.4 percent for its May events. That is expected to rise further during its next shows, scheduled for Aug. 5 to 7 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Described as “all-inclusive,” the August shows will present last minute fall-winter items, holiday-resort and a preview of spring, said Jones. “There is a little bit of everything.” One registration permits access to all three shows, which together comprise 150,000 square feet or, said Jones, “What we call ‘five blocks of fashion.'”

FAME has been metamorphosing from a general show into a junior and contemporary show, with that merchandise now representing 60 to 70 percent of the floor in August. That is up from 50 percent in May. FAME also now boasts “Fashion2Go,” an area where retailers can pick up take-home items including scarves, handbags and jewelry. It evolved out of and was expanded from Jewelry-To-Go, which it has replaced.

Moda, a show that offers better to bridge fashion with a strong element of special occasion wear, is expanding its footprint by 30 percent in August. Moda’s New York success has pushed Business Journals to add a Las Vegas edition. Additionally, Moda Manhattan will hold a September show at the Metropolitan Pavilion, to be scheduled during market week.

New York-based Designers & Agents, with an emphasis on better and contemporary, will press on with the green initiatives it announced earlier this year. Upcoming events include a resortwear show from Aug. 4 to 6, followed by a spring show Sept. 15 to 17. Both will be held at the Starrett-Lehigh Building.

In addition to incorporating environmentally friendly practices such as recycling, D&A will highlight designers with fashions that include a high percentage of natural materials. They will be denoted with a green leaf symbol

“We will not sacrifice fashion for ecology, but we are continuously finding great fashion with ecological benefits,” said Ed Mandelbaum, co-founder and co-producer of the show with Barbara Kramer. “We are moving our offices and our show to be as healthy to the world as we can make it.”

The next D&A is expected to contain 400 collections and draw 2,500 to 3,000 retailers. D&A has also firmed up a relationship with a group of Danish designers to exhibit at its upcoming shows.

New York-based ENK International has a roster of women’s apparel events including Intermezzo, a high-end contemporary show slated for Aug. 5 to 7, which is expected to attract 9,000 visitors. That will be followed by Fashion Coterie, an event that contains The Mezzanine, a boutique salon showcasing more high-end designs. Coterie is scheduled for Sept. 18 to 20 and could draw crowds double that of Intermezzo. The event locales are split between the Javits Center and the Show Piers.

To keep the shows fresh, ENK “strives to improve the amenities and decor,” said an ENK spokesman. That includes “food service, show catalogues and flowers.”

Nouveau Collective, with headquarters in Cortland Manor, N.Y., is scaling back its show to become a three-day event, Aug. 4 to 6. The focus is on immediate and resort items. Its spring show will follow, Sept. 16 to 18. Both are to be held at the New Yorker Hotel in midtown Manhattan.

For additional exposure, Nouveau Collective now presents all exhibitors’ collections on its Web site.

“If you have one store in St. Louis and can’t come in to this show, you will be able to view the collections,” explained Joanne Feinstein, director of Nouveau Collective, a format for better collections. For added buyer convenience, the show remains open until 9 p.m. one night during each run.

In keeping with previous events, Feinstein expects buyers from 1,700 stores to view the 420 collections on exhibit.

Meanwhile, sister shows The Train and Platform 2 will run concurrently at the Terminal Stores from Sept. 16 to 18. The Train will present about 100 international designer collections. Platform 2, a ready-to-wear and accessories show, will contain about 60 vendors and is moving to a new corner in the Terminal. The location, dubbed L’Espace, will enable exhibitors to take larger booths and provides an additional entrance on 28th Street.

Atelier Designers of New Mexico is gearing up for its Sept. 16 to 18 show at New York’s Doubletree Guest Suites Hotel. Designed to be an intimate, specialty affair, it will have about 80 collections on display.

“We are not a mass market show. There are no jeans and no T-shirts,” said Susan Summa, show director.

To make its offerings more diverse, Atelier has built the number of international designers to about 20 percent of offerings.

“Retailers are always interested in diversity. It is the lifeblood of their business,” said Summa. She hopes to pique interest with newcomers like Miranda Green, a milliner from Australia, who will be on hand in September.

Project New York, at Javits from July 22 to 24, will take on a Cuban theme in its aisles, entrance and lounge areas. However, the booths themselves will remain simple and uniform, stressed Sam Ben-Avraham, founder and president. “You might see bigger booths for larger companies, but everybody will have the same aesthetic. We are very strict about that.”

Traffic will remain constant at about 6,000 retailers, with exhibitors numbering about 400. Project, while presenting the expected array of denim, is adding newcomers with items that are “very dark, very clean and very fashion-forward,” said Ben-Avraham.

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