Planning for healthier times seems to be the mantra for many vendors as they head into Coterie with renewed enthusiasm for business growth.
This story first appeared in the February 19, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Such widespread sentiment starts right at the top, at show organizer ENK International.
“Retailer preregistration is tracking in a positive direction,” said ENK International president Tom Nastos. “We anticipate international buyer attendance to increase this coming Coterie. On the exhibitor side, we have quite a number of new and noteworthy brands. So for both sides, there is the potential of opening up new business. Overall, the mood is optimistic and we have implemented a few ‘added value’ programs to ensure attendees can make the most of their buying trip.”
Among the programs is a special area that allows VIP attendees to accelerate the check-in, as well as a VIP Cafe. Other elements such as cell phone chargers and laptops on the show floors are being introduced “to encourage the social conversation,” according to Nastos.
“The rise of interactive and social aspects of information sharing is influencing buying behaviors more than ever,” he said. “We find bloggers and consumers utilizing social information channels to exchange product excitement on the fly fascinating. Hence, we will show that conversation live at our events to inspire and excite retailers.”
Set for Sunday through Tuesday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, the show will feature almost 150 Coterie newcomers, including Marchesa Voyage, Pam & Gela, Tumi Outerwear, Nili Lotan, Hotel Particulier, Italia Independent and Rodebjer.
Though not a Coterie first-timer, White + Warren is evolving in a new direction, led by head designer Amanda Ferrer, a recent hire, and her creative team.
“We will offer twice as many novelty styles as in the past — details include leather, multistitch patchwork and high-contrast chevron fur,” said White + Warren founder Susan White. “A capsule of men’s cashmere will be introduced at Coterie for the first time. Finally, everyone will be able to buy these tried-and-true [White+Warren] styles, which have been successful on our site for years.”
As for trends, pattern work will play a key role for many exhibitors. Spanish brand Lavand, for example, will feature a series of exclusive prints, “each embodying the story of the Lavand woman through patterns displaying bold florals, intricate brocades and supple knits,” said Lavand’s U.S. managing director, Katie Hurley.
“We look forward to Coterie as another step in our launch initiative for the U.S.,” Hurley added. “This season showcases elevated and sophisticated dresses, coats, jumpers, skirts, trousers and accessories that are elegantly wearable.”
Meanwhile, designer Yoana Baraschi’s key looks include oversize statement jackets and coats, and sweatshirt-and-track-pants combinations that are rendered in tech knits or printed Neoprene.
Baraschi, who is looking to boost her international and digital presence at Coterie, is focusing on a “more sporty and luxe approach with lots of two-piece looks inspired by athleticwear and rendered in…combinations of jacquard stretch knits, which were developed exclusively for us in France.”
Rokhsan Enanoria, creative director at premium denim brand Level 99, said high-tech fabrics are a focus for fall.
“Tailored trousers, precision-cut moto pants and slouchy skinny fits in denim are big focuses for us this season,” Enanoria said. “Digitally printed suede and beading also make an important presence in our collection.”
The Junk Food label is continuing its brand relaunch at Coterie. To do so, designer Hillary Justin is homing in on two themes for fall: Luxe Grunge and Neon Punk.
“Our Luxe Grunge collection is a juxtaposition of dark fabrics and color moods with matte metallics and embellishments,” she said. “Our Neon Punk collection is characterized by bold, unapologetic punk colors and hits of neon. Large-scale prints, printing over seams, stencils and offset print layers compose the graphics, which are influenced by authentic vintage punk band Ts that were printed by hand.”
A few key vendors are making changes to their presentation at the show, including Mackage.
“We recently remodeled our SoHo store and wanted to incorporate some of the new design elements we used at the store into the new booth concept,” said Elisa Dahan, who cofounded and designs the brand with Eran Elfassy.
Tadashi Shoji is introducing New Order, which, the designer said, “simplifies and streamlines the ordering process. Everything will be taken digitally on an iPad versus handwritten orders. We also have a bigger space this season, which will lend itself nicely to the presentation.”
California lines are coming to Coterie with new brand extensions. Sanctuary Clothing, of Burbank, Calif., is unveiling dove-gray backpacks, crimson clutches, houndstooth handbags and other accessories for fall, produced under license by Traveler’s Choice. Retail prices run from $98 to $328. Meanwhile, Garden Grove, Calif.-based Three Dots is updating its contemporary basics with surreal nature prints created by New York designer Timo Weiland. The 10-piece collection, including knit Ts and chiffon dresses, is retailing for $158 to $348.
Expect all these developments to take place to a lively soundtrack, since ENK is readying the launch of the Coterie Music Channel.
“A CD will be handed out to retailers at the show with a 24-song sampling of the music we play at Coterie,” Nastos said. “Within that CD, users will also find a Web link to tune in to our Coterie Music Channel via our Shop the Floor platform. It is a growing project and this is the launch.”
Shop the Floor is a digital platform in which brands create a virtual showroom for year-round interaction with buyers; at the show, it allows for a digital ordering solution and a vehicle for buyers to search for products by name or category.
Coterie will once again run concurrently with offshoot TMRW, which is touted as “a showcase of tomorrow’s premier brands, highlighting fresh talent and exceptional quality,” as well as Sole Commerce, dedicated to upscale footwear and handbags.
AT A GLANCE
What: Coterie, with TMRW and Sole Commerce
Where: The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 11th Avenue and West 37th Street
Dates: Feb. 23 to 25
Time: Sunday and Monday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.