Come 2010, organizers of Chicago’s Stylemax will make room for the kids — kids’ clothing, that is.
Starting in January, Chicago’s Stylemax, the Midwest’s largest women’s apparel market, will add a children’s component called Kidz at Stylemax, which is scheduled for Jan. 30 to Feb. 2 at the city’s Merchandise Mart.
Expected to involve about 100 booths, representing several hundred lines, the Kidz at Stylemax section on the Mart’s seventh floor will feature resources including clothing and accessories for babies to tweens.
“The Midwest has been underserved in children’s wear,” said Susan McCullough, senior vice president of apparel at Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. “This was something that needed to be done. We just kept getting phone calls about people who wanted to show here.”
McCullough noted some children’s resources have been available in sixth-floor showrooms across the street from the Merchandise Mart at Chicago’s Apparel Center. “We just started paying attention and adding up the number of inquiries we’ve been receiving.”
And the January show — the first Stylemax of the year, which acts as a summer and fall preview — seemed the right opportunity to launch the concept. “It will be a new year and it was just time,” McCullough said. “We were shaking up the floor plan anyway.”
Stylemax, which runs four times a year — January, March, August and October — typically spans 100,000 square feet and features about 4,000 resources.
In January, organizers will be moving and expanding the Stylemax accessories component. The section of jewelry, handbags, footwear and other items will grow to one-third of the market space from one-fourth, and move to the northwest side of the floor from the northeast side.
“It’s such an important category now,” McCullough said, noting how prominent scarves and handbags have been in past seasons. “We thought it [accessories] needed a new look. It needs to be fresh and hopefully this will give us the opportunity to show new lines and attract more lines.”
In these troubled economic times, accessories have been a key part of business for retailers. “It’s been a go-to category for people who can’t or don’t want to redo their wardrobes,” she said.
McCullough said she hopes to attract 50 to 60 new accessories lines to the market. New confirmed vendors include Dian Malouf, Cataluna de la Torre, Leather Impressions, Vieta Handbags and Dallas Maynard.
Besides offering expanded accessories and children’s sections, Stylemax will also take place at the same time as the men’s market, Chicago Collective, staged on the Mart’s eighth floor from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.
Organizers said they decided to overlap the markets in response to the growing number of retailers carrying men’s and women’s fashions, allowing buyers to shop both markets.
Special events at January’s Stylemax include “Stylewatch,” models walking around the seventh-floor Stylemax Cafe from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on Jan. 30, 31 and Feb. 1, and the “Accessorywatch” fashion show at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 31, following a continental breakfast at 8 a.m. at the seventh-floor special events area.
Markets also will collide in March when Stylemax, running March 20 to 23, coincides with the National Bridal Market, set for March 21 to 23.
The National Bridal Market, which organizers claim is the nation’s largest and longest-running bridal trade fair, features moderate and designer bridal gowns, bridesmaid, flower girl and mother-of-the-bride dresses along with accessories, prom, quinceañera and special occasion resources. Highlights of the market include a 6:30 p.m. “Best of Bridal” fashion show on March 21, and an 8:15 a.m. seminar and 6 p.m. market party on March 22. The seminar presentation, in which the topic has yet to be determined, will follow an 8 a.m. continental breakfast at the eighth-floor special events atrium.
On the seventh floor, Stylemax is expected to showcase a larger contemporary section and a larger Kidz at Stylemax area focused on back-to-school fashions and accessories. Special events include the “The Collections” fashion show, featuring bridge and designer clothing, at 6:30 p.m. on March 20, at the eighth-floor special events atrium after a 6 p.m. cocktail party. The “Montreal Collections” fashion show, sponsored by the Quebec Delegation Chicago, will highlight Canadian resources at 8:30 a.m. on March 21, in the eighth-floor special events atrium following an 8 a.m. breakfast.
In June, Chicago hosts its showroom-based event, the Women’s and Children’s Apparel Market, from June 8 to 10 at the city’s Apparel Center.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye