To that end, UBM Fashion‘s three-day event, slated for Sunday to Tuesday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, will feature a flurry of new initiatives on and off site for buyers and exhibitors.
“We’re being forward-thinking about what we can do other than just sell product by creating more of an experience,” said Danielle Licata, Coterie’s vice president and general manager.
An example is a lobby installation organized by Hudson Jeans that will feature three days of live DJs; a coffee bar with Intelligentsia, and performances from a hip-hop theatric show featuring Daveed Diggs, the Tony Award-winning “Hamilton” star, as well as live music by Jon Batiste, the jazz musician and bandleader for “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and its band, Stay Human.
The interactive spectacle is meant to give visitors, especially out-of-towners, a taste of the arts scene in New York, and 10 percent of Hudson Jeans’ profits from the show will benefit arts charities.
Another added value at this season’s Coterie show is the launch of an on-site content studio, the result of a partnership between UBM Fashion and WWD. The initiative will involve WWD Content Studios generating video for WWD.com on select brands and designers, which the brands can, if they wish, then push out on their social channels or web sites.
Coterie executives are also attempting to take the trade show experience outside of the Javits Center for the first time with two off-site events.
The first, an “NYFW service lounge,” which buyers pre-registered to attend, was held earlier this week in a hotel room at The Mercer Hotel, and served as a place for buyers to lounge between shows, where they could enjoy food, drinks, complementary manicures and complementary transportation to shows.
“The intention is to extend Coterie outward into New York Fashion Week and engage a new group of people,” Licata said.
The second event will take place Thursday night, as New York Fashion Week concludes, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the World of Mcintosh town house at 214 Lafayette Street. Sponsored by Pryma, a brand of headphones showing at Coterie for the first time this season, the invite-only event for buyers and editors is a press preview of 50 of Coterie’s top brands.
“Buyers and editors who might leave for London can come and preview all of our top picks in one setting,” Licata said, noting that brands such as Zadig & Voltaire, French Connection, Frame Denim and Mother Denim will be included.
In terms of fashion trends, newness across Coterie, TMRW and Sole Commerce remains as important as ever.
“People are looking to the shows to find and discover new product. It’s about mixing big brands with small brands, and our curated sections are getting stronger,” Licata said.
New contemporary brands this season include Cacharel, Halston Heritage, Skin, Majorelle, Organic by John Patrick, Urban Zen, Steele and AMUR, and Kendra Scott, Il Bisonte and Eponym in accessories.
Coterie has also partnered with Tomorrow London Ltd. showroom, which will have a dedicated, stylized space on the floor to showcase 20 labels from around the world.
“Coterie is a great platform in the U.S. for connecting international designers with the market, and we’re happy to make this great project together,” said Alfredo Canducci, the showroom’s sales director. “We’re bringing all of our really cool designers in the advanced contemporary and contemporary space.”
Those will include Nicopanda, Steve J & Yoni P, SJYP, Markus Lupfer, Anna K and Jourden.
Halston Heritage, which sat out Coterie for several years, is returning in hopes to grow its specialty store business and international accounts.
“Coterie is the best platform to be able to interact with a blend of customers. They can see our product in person through a customized experience and that’s the strength of Coterie,” said Andrea Scoli, the brand’s senior vice president of sales.
Halston Heritage will be showing its spring collection of evening and ready-to-wear, including several slipdress styles — a best-selling silhouette for the brand.
“The thing about our line is that season after season, we always infuse each collection with the brand’s trademarks — high slits, jumpsuits, shirtdresses,” Scoli said. “And we’re seeing a lot of success with metallics. But the slipdress is really the exciting one this season.”
Also in the special occasion realm is the New York-based label Likely, the Jaya Apparel Group-owned contemporary brand helmed by Crystal Slattery, president of Jaya’s contemporary division. At Coterie, Likely will introduce an evening collection featuring gowns with cutouts, cutaway hemlines and fishtail silhouettes that range from $350 to $450. Every dress in the collection is offered in a range of colors, making it a prime choice for wedding parties.
Cacharel, which will also make its debut at Coterie, has had a busy year — in June, the brand opened a Paris flagship in the heart of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district.
“We are on schedule to open six additional boutiques in French city centers before the year ends,” said Jean Bousquet, the brand’s founder and president.
The decision to bring the label to Coterie — and open a new showroom in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood — is part of a bigger plan to reestablish the brand’s presence in the U.S.
“Our main goal is to find selective retailers outside the New York Tristate area — California and Texas, for example,” Bousquet said. “We feel confident that the brand’s newly refined aesthetic and competitive contemporary price point will entice those key retailers we are targeting.”
Susan Beischel, president and creative director of Skin, said the New York-based brand is eager to get in front of a new audience and expand its customer base globally.
“We’ll be showing a soft, knit-based collection for women on the go — packable, fluid dresses, tops, jackets and pants that are worked into our daily lives,” Beischel said, emphasizing that the brand suits a grab-and-go lifestyle. “Five years ago, we were only a lingerie and lounge brand, and now we have sportswear, sleepwear, lingerie, loungewear and daywear. Customers come to us for comfort and style, so we have options to dress them inside and out.”
For other brands, the decision to show at Coterie is all about timing.
A case in point is Los Angeles-based Stone Cold Fox, known for its collection of sexy, relaxed, bohemian dresses.
“We feel the brand is at a level where it’s ready for Coterie and can really shine and add a refreshing element to the show,” said Dallas Wand, who co-owns and designs the brand with Cydney Morris. “We want to be more elevated and open more doors. You can’t find Stone Cold Fox everywhere and we want to change that but still stay selective.”
The brand will be showing its spring collection inspired by Italy and containing silk, flowy dresses with hand-designed prints.
For designer John Patrick of Organic by John Patrick, debuting his label at Coterie was more about following his own intuition.
“We’d like to broaden our client base and Coterie is the spot, right?” Patrick said.
The brand will show its slips, T-shirts and sweaters and introduce a small group of printed dresses.
“We don’t do trends, we do classics,” he continued. “Organic is a commercial collection. Clothes need to be worn.”
AT A GLANCE
What: UBM Fashion’s Coterie, with TMRW and Sole Commerce.
Where: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 11th Avenue and West 37th Street, New York.
When: Sunday and Monday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Tuesday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.