NEW YORK — Retailers happy to be back shopping in real life at the Coterie show here were busy writing orders for immediate delivery and spring 2022 at the three-day show.
Exhibitors said they were pleased with the pace of business and show layout and said traffic on Sept. 19 was very busy and traffic on Sept. 20 picked up considerably in the afternoon. Most people at the show were masked, and the Javits Center required proof of vaccination for admittance. The aisles were wide and booths were spread apart. There was also hand sanitizers readily available.
Courtney Bradarich, vice president of contemporary women’s at Coterie, said the established brands exhibiting this season included Michael Stars, Seven For All Mankind, Johnny Was, DL1961, Faherty, Saylor, Zadig & Voltaire and Ba&sh. In addition, there were newcomers such as Ser.o.ya, Outerknown, Greats and Shani Shemer, among many others. The show drew exhibitors from countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Korea, Spain, Turkey and the U.K.
According to Bradarich, retailers from such stores as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Zappos, Anthropologie, Free People, Julian Gold and Takashimaya were in attendance.
Nicole Cavalier and Courtney Amberg, merchandising strategists at The Doneger Group, the New York-based fashion consulting group, told WWD that the key trends at the show included femininity, floral patterns, bohemian and folkloric looks, as well as bright colors and happy prints. There was some tie-dye still in the market, but it was more in sweater fabrics, as well as washed effects, foil coating and screen verbiage. They also noted denim companies were showing a lot of embroidered looks, such as the embroidered birds at Seven For All Mankind. They were still seeing some destruction, but also wider legs and relaxed silhouettes.
Terri Wolfe, vice president of wholesale at Ba&sh, the Paris-based sportswear company, said business has been really strong, both at wholesale and at their retail stores. “We have very good momentum right now,” she said. At the show she was selling merchandise for February, March and April deliveries. Among the bestsellers were a bright yellow dress, coordinated separates, mixed printed skirts, taping detail on the dresses, and romantic and playful looks.
“Event dressing is something we’re known for as wedding season is in full blast. Customers are starting to come back to us for many events they have,” said Wolfe.
Bella Dahl was selling merchandise for immediate delivery, holiday and spring. The company has been doing well with its dresses and beach-y looks. It also has sold gauzy Italian hemp fabrics in shorts and tops and a front tied top, said Julie Kipta, the Midwestern rep for Bella Dahl. She also sold a lot of silky satin bottoms and noted that pastels are doing well, such as rose petal, soft daisy and sea foam in tops.
Haute Hippie said it was very busy on Sunday and was getting busier on Monday. The brand was selling dresses, particularly an allover white lace dress, as well as an asymmetric cutout floral dress and ruffled tops. “A lot of people are coming in to buy our blouses,” said Helen Soulimiotis, vice president of sales. The blouses wholesale from around $330 to $348. She was also doing well with Ts with embellished sleeves and long-sleeved shirts with tasseled detail.
Walter Baker said the show had been strong for his namesake brand with orders from many specialty stores as well as new accounts. “Since the pandemic, the business has been growing,” said Baker, which he attributed to fewer vendors and designers. “Our product assortment has gotten bigger and better,” he said. Among his leather moto jackets are new colors such as bright pink, key lime, bright blue, coral and bright white. Its number-one selling pant has been a stretch leather style that wholesales for $363. “We’ve been running it for three years and it’s really exploded,” he said.
Rails was doing well with its spring collection. The brand saw an uptick in dresses, and has gotten a good reaction to its new denim line, which launched this fall at retailers such as Shopbop, Neiman Marcus and Intermix. The jeans retail for under $200. Malise Star, an account executive, said it was seeing a lot of accounts, especially local ones. For spring, they are introducing white denim, lighter washes and pastels, as well as a new fit, which is a longer, wider leg. Rails launched denim with the skinny, girlfriend, high-rise boot and mid-rise straight leg this fall. In the shirt category, Rails was selling lightweight styles, as well as some new shapes for spring.
Stacey Downing and Lisa Hurd, owners of Stalise, a 1,600-square-foot boutique in Portsmouth, R.I., were shopping for immediates, as well as special occasion, jeans, T-shirts and cocktail dresses for spring. “We have a tremendous calling for Friday night tops and dresses for occasions,” said Hurd. She was also buying from Joseph Ribkoff, faux-leather fur-trimmed jackets from Dolce Cabo, and tops and dresses from Gretchen Scott. “We do a lot of business [with Gretchen Scott] and were able to reorder,” said Downing.
Hurd and Downing said they were happy to be back at the Coterie, and noted that it was smaller than usual. “I wish there was more [to see],” she said.
Strand, The Boutique opened last September in Duxbury, Mass. Caroline Widman, owner of the 800-square-foot shop, said she was shopping for spring merchandise, and was looking for fun colors and clothing with a positive vibe. “With the vaccines, people are ready to go out more,” she said. Among the brands she was buying were Oliphant dresses and Emerson Fry. From Faherty, she liked their legend sweaters and sweater shirts and pants, as well as their dresses. She was also buying sweats and joggers from Z Supply.
Teri Moore, owner of The Art of Fashion and Moore, a 1,100-square-foot boutique in Fort Myers, Fla., said she came to Coterie looking for more international styles that she can’t find at the Atlanta market. She was seeking unusual jewelry for her boutique, which is across from the Florida Repertory Theatre which attracts arty people. She purchased acrylic accessories from Gissa Bicalho, a Brazilian designer.
Monica Weinberg, a rep for Tractr, said she was having a good show and doing well with straight-leg jeans, novelties and denim jackets. “Sunday was very busy and Monday it got busier later in the day,” she said. For spring, she’s offering plaids and stripes in denim, and the average wholesale price on denim is $34 to $42.
Jocelyn Gordon, who is owner and creative director of Jocelyn, an accessories firm, has been doing well with knits from Italy in bright colors. She also has expanded her bucket hats from seven styles to a full-on hat collection.