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ENKNYC continues to grow this season and will host 254 brands at The Tunnel/La Venue from Jan. 16 to 18, up from 242 in July and 182 the previous season.
This story first appeared in the January 13, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We see some good momentum, and this year got off to a good start at our women’s Accessorie Circuit and Intermezzo shows this week,” said Elyse Kroll, chairman and chief creative officer of ENK International. “We’ve actually been surprised by how busy we’ve been. I think both vendors and buyers are going into this season…incredibly hopeful.”
Like last season, ENKNYC — which emphasizes men’s brands — is divided into four distinct sub-shows, grouping similar brands together. The Designer’s Collective area will be focused on tailored clothing and sportswear collections, such as Ted Baker, Nicole Farhi, Transit Uomo and Orthodox. Blue targets denim and progressive labels, such as Current/Elliott, Vince, Sundek and Boast. The Tomorrow section showcases younger, emerging labels, including Klaxon Howl, Andrew Buckler, Kill City and Barque. Clean offers up grooming ranges, such as Nickel and Costume National fragrances.
This season, the Tomorrow section has been relocated to the main show floor from the upstairs space in which it was situated last season. Brands that show in Tomorrow are given special reduced rates in order to promote new designers.
“We subsidize the brands in Tomorrow — it’s like a scholarship of sorts,” explained Kroll. “We need to do this because, while stores are selling safe brands, I think we need to get them excited about selling new lines and designers. If we are not in the forefront of introducing new lines, then we are not providing as great a service to retailers as we should be.”
ENK introduced a smartphone app this week at its Accessorie Circuit and Intermezzo shows, and will offer a similar app for the ENKNYC show. Visitors will be given a password upon entering the show that will allow them to download interactive show guides and floor maps onto their iPhones, BlackBerrys or Android devices. “It’s a very cool app, and I think it’s taken our shows to the next level,” said Kroll.
Like other shows, ENK is also in the process of building a Web platform for its shows that will allow vendors and buyers to interact online. “We are working on it every single day, but I don’t know that we want to be the first one out of the gate with it. We’re thinking long and hard about what we want to create online. But it will be a tool that allows you to work together when you are away from the actual show,” said Kroll.