SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The International Swimwear/Activewear Market showed its product where it is most likely to be used, holding its show for the first time a few blocks from the beach instead of at downtown’s California Market Center,...
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The International Swimwear/Activewear Market showed its product where it is most likely to be used, holding its show for the first time a few blocks from the beach instead of at downtown’s California Market Center, where it has shown for the past two decades.
The show, which ended its three-day run Friday at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and in a tented pavilion in its parking lot, housed 84 companies, on par with last year’s lineup. Summer trends, including natural tones, wooden and crystal embellishments and halters, continued for the cruise season.
Vendors and buyers generally welcomed the new location — and the casual, airy mood that went with it.
"There’s a real positive energy coming from this show and I’m surprised at the turnout," said Manhattan Beachwear’s vice president of sales Alan Schwartz, as the beach breeze and sunshine flooded in through one of several open flaps in the tent.
Some manufacturers had worried last year that the two-day overlap with downtown’s junior sportswear market would mean department store buyers and top execs might skip a beach-bound ISAM. But teams from Macy’s West, Dillard’s, Burdine’s, Proffitt’s and Carson Pirie Scott made the rounds on the swim show’s opening day.
"It tells me that upper management is interested in our industry," said Susan Crank, chief executive of the Anaheim, Calif.-based Lunada Bay.
And on the flip side, Jean Sterman, a buyer for the the Milwaukee-based Carson’s, said coming to the beach had a positive effect: "It’s good to get in that frame of mind when buying swim."
The open, buyer-friendly format was good for mom-and-pop specialty stores as well.
"It’s easy to get to, and parking is easier," said Jayne Braga, owner of 23 West in Newport Beach, Calif. "It’s more relaxed. Plus, everything is in one area instead of on different floors, which makes vendors easier to find and cuts time."
Not everyone was quite as upbeat. "We’re saturated by the Miami and New York markets. I think as those shows grow in importance, there’s less of a need for ISAM as it is now," said Alex Bhathal, executive vice president of Tustin, Calif.,-based Raj Manufacturing. "Coming so late in the season, it has turned into a specialty show for us."As it is, manufacturers and buyers won’t have a chance to get used to ISAM’s new digs. Next year, the show will appear in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, Aug. 25-27, to coincide with WWDMAGIC.
Whether or not an additional October Los Angeles show will take place is yet to be determined by board-member vote, according to show director Barbara Brady.
Still, Raj’s Bhathal added that he’ll likely be in Las Vegas, and wherever ISAM shows next. "An August edition will mean it’s more a preview show than a working show, but if retailers are there, we’ll be there."
Inside the civic auditorium, where the mood was a bit more subdued, Monica McNeel, sales manager of Santa Ana, Calif.,-based L Space, said she’d "prefer to stay in L.A. But if I have to go to Las Vegas, I will. I like the quality of the buyer at this show, but it could be better in Las Vegas."
Lunada’s Crank echoed the sentiment. "I’m happy with the interest here, but going to MAGIC only gives us the opportunity to see more buyers and more management."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast