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NEW YORK — It won’t be easy, but it can be done.
This story first appeared in the June 18, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Organizers of New York trade shows say that retail has been challenging in the first half, so they’re pulling out all the stops for the second half to give buyers a reason to spend and generate interest with consumers.
A case in point is BJI Fashion Group, which organizes such shows as FAME, Moda Manhattan and AccessoriesTheShow. It is launching Stitch, a women’s apparel trade show in Las Vegas, in New York this September, as well as bringing back the premium luxury show Edit for a second edition. At AccessoriesTheShow, there will also be a noticeable international flavor. ProExport Colombia is returning with nine accessories designers, while Euro Bijoux will feature more than 10 designers from the Pan European Association of Accessory Designers.
“What we are planning for, and our expectation is, that business will perhaps be marginally better in the second half, but I think we will probably continue to see slow growth,” said Britton Jones, president and chief executive officer of BJI Fashion Group. “We started to see some lift in the open-to-buy in the May show and we think that will continue.”
Sharon Enright, BJI’s vice president, added, “All the weather challenges across the country had an impact across the board for retailers in terms of consumers across the board. That funneled into every aspect of the business.”
BJI continues to elevate the visitor experience. The company is upping its digital media efforts through its mobile app that “allows buyers and exhibitors to talk through the social media component of it and it also facilitates finding resources on floor,” Enright said. “One of the things we will be doing is helping with categories — Vegan, Fair Trade, Made in America.…We will highlight those things so that we can help facilitate their discovery. It is really up to us to make that experience as efficient as possible. We will do more of an effort to bring that to the forefront.”
ENK International, which produces Coterie, Intermezzo, Accessorie Circuit and Children’s Club, sees a pickup coming in the second half.
“The first half of the year was a bit fickle for retailers,” said Joanne Mohr, executive vice president of ENK International. “However, business seems to be on the up and up and the forecast for the second half of the year seems to be bright. From the event in May, the buyers were enthusiastic and eager and we have built the momentum for a positive outlook in August and September.”
Coterie is scheduled for Sept. 14 to 16 — a few days earlier than usual and “right after fashion week to make it easier for the buyers traveling during fashion week,” Mohr added. The trade show, Mohr noted, is also “enhancing its offerings to buyers to not only include [ready-to-wear], accessories and footwear, but also for objects such as specialty perfume, gift items hand selected by Jonathan Adler and the nail trends to coordinate with the spring-summer trends.”
Ed Mandelbaum, who produces Designers & Agents with Barbara Kramer, called the outlook “positive.”
“The September market, which is historically the strongest, is on track to be a sold-out show,” Mandelbaum said. “The level of the selection at D&A keeps going higher and getting deeper. There is a strong representation of both the international and domestic marketplace. D&A has always enjoyed a significant participation from European brands and most recently there has been an increase of notable brands from Japan.”
At the Sept. 13 to 15 edition, D&A will also be collaborating with Paris-based Trend Union, founded by Li Edelkoort, to bring visually inspiring trend information to visitors.
Kramer added that the show will continue to demonstrate its “long-standing commitment to sustainable, ethical and fair trade design practices” with its Green programs, which provide support and exposure with brands that meet the show’s criteria.
Other New York shows this second half include Atelier Designers at the Doubletree Guest Suites Times Square and Nouveau Collective, which was confirming its venue at press time.
Project New York is moving to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center for its July 20 to 22 edition. At the show, Shop the Floor will host a photo studio to shoot product on models, and the Blogger Project by Marcus Troy returns this season. The show organizers are also launching Pooltradeshow alongside Project. The new addition focuses on art- and design-driven up-and-coming brands.
Edina Sultanik, who cofounded Capsule with Deirdre Maloney and Minya Quirk, said, “We’re expecting a very strong show season. Applications to our shows have been up and buyer preregistration has been very strong.”
Capsule will feature an “elevated look and feel” via new fixturing and updated decor elements, she added, and more international resources, from Seoul, Tokyo, Copenhagen, London, New York, Oslo, Paris and Berlin.
“What’s new now is that the global progressive contemporary men’s wear market has come into its own,” said Sultanik. “At our women’s show, we’re working closely with the governments of Sweden and Germany to help introduce some of their best independent designers to the U.S. market. Additionally, there will be a strong emphasis on craft and makers, as we expand our curation of artisanal, small-batch designers and feature a handful of craftspeople, as well.”
New York will also be the focus of the textile and sourcing world next month, when a handful of shows are staged.
Spinexpo kicks things off with a three-day run at the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street on July 15. It’s the sixth annual New York edition of the international fair, which showcases exhibitors of yarns, fibers, knitted fabrics and knitwear with a global representation.
On July 22, Texworld USA and the colocated International Apparel Sourcing Show take up shop at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center for three days with an array of textile, manufacturing and sourcing exhibitors. The show features a comprehensive seminar series run in conjunction with Lenzing Fibers.
Première Vision New York heads to new digs this season at Pier 92 on July 22 and 23 for its fall 2015 edition, departing the Metropolitan Pavilion for larger and more open space down by the Hudson River. The sister show Modamont will bring its accessories and trimming specialty along, adding another new dimension to the European fabric firms that highlight their collections to the North American market.
The same two days, denim specialist Kingpins New York also has a new home, moving to Skylight Clarkson Sq, at 550 Washington Street, in SoHo.