By  on February 28, 2006

MIAMI — Atlanta's Trafik trade show took a road trip in February as organizers expanded their concept of women's and men's contemporary sportswear and premium denim at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Miami's climate, cosmopolitan edge and party atmosphere drew international vendors and national retailers, including Patricia Field, Fred Segal and Kitson.

"Atlanta is a regional show that attracts small boutique buyers, whereas Miami is international," said show director James Costa, noting that even New York Fashion Week didn't deter participants. "We're definitely going to need a translator next year."

The event, which had been expected to draw 500 people, hit that mark by noon on the second day of the three-day show that ended Feb. 8; more than 600 attended overall. The venue featured 175 booths with 220 brands, compared with about 300 people and 125 exhibitors at Atlanta's October event. Costa said a second Miami show is set for August.

Samantha Turner, account executive for Earnest Sewn, New York, said it was the line's first regional show and she opened 10 new accounts, including Miami boutiques Ios and On My Own-Sylvia's Place. Buyers ordered dark, clean washes in stretch or rigid denim averaging $90 wholesale. A cigarette-pants style, the company's top performer, was sold out through May.

Mark Meyers, Fornarina's Southeast sales agent, said he was pleased with results "across the board." He opened around eight new doors, met with established accounts like Atlanta-based Bill Hallman and pioneered new territory in Latin America and the Caribbean.

"Miami is an ideal location for a trade show because it's untapped," said Meyers, adding second-day traffic was slightly slower because of the temptations of South Beach. "The fashion industry has overlooked all the culture and style here. We were slammed the first day, but the second day is evidence that people partied a little too much last night."

When buyers did surface, they ordered bomber jackets in washed lamb leather with shearling linings and trim for $182 wholesale, and tweed Bermuda shorts in an oversize houndstooth for $55.

Hallman said the niche format, pleasant setting and modern amenities, like a hip lounge and computer stations, allowed him to discover new lines."It's more like shopping showrooms than a trade show," he said. "It's boutique-y and personal, which reflects my store."

Karen Meena, vice president and fashion director for Fred Segal, was glad she didn't have to take a taxi to the convention center from her nearby hotel and that collections were neatly displayed.

Meena favored loungewear and boxer shorts by Harajuku Lovers, soft T-shirts with enzyme washes, subtle embroidery and unusual pastels by Post Vegas, and T-shirts with worn treatments and cargoes by Z Brand.

"This show really gives me the chance to view lines and work," she said.

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