While shifts in dates and locations of the major trade shows this coming season might seem like a disruption, for some of the events the changes will likely result in more attendee traffic.
Other notable trends on the trade show front include showcasing more sustainable products as well as options such as faux fur. Ath-leisure and activewear are also expected to see more prominence.
For Coterie, which will run Feb. 11 to 13, coinciding with New York Fashion Week, organizers expect to reap some benefits from the new earlier dates.
Global, and sustainable
The new edition of Coterie will feature EDIT, Accessories, Footwear, Vintage, Beauty and TMRW, which this season will focus on new streetwear and advanced collections. They anticipate growing their international brand presence, as well as the outerwear category from fur to eco-friendly faux options and fashion-forward puffers and wool.
Among some of the interesting developments for February are continuing their commitment to Informa’s Good4Fashion initiative, which focuses on a different conscious fashion initiative each season. For February, they will feature brands using recycled and upcycled fabrics. This theme will extend to show bags, which will be made using all of their vinyl signage and banners from last year’s show.
The fair has received multiple retailer requests for product made from recycled fabrics and expect this trend to continue. To acknowledge New York Fashion Week, Coterie is offering select brands the opportunity to stage small model presentations during cocktail hour at Coterie. While several Coterie brands are known for their full-scale runway shows and regular slots on the fashion calendar, these presentations will offer smaller, emerging and international brands the chance to add to their impact on the Coterie show floor.
Coterie will also continue with the second edition of the Coterie awards recognizing excellence in retail evolution as well as stand-out brands.
International also remains a growing focus for Coterie, and each season they select a focus country which they visit, curate and promote. Last season was Korea, and this season will be Turkey. “There are amazing undiscovered brands around the world which we want to bring to our retailer base to help add to their store assortments and experience. International retailers have been about 20 percent of our attendee base, but we expect to see an uptick due to NYFW’s date pattern,” she said.
Coterie will continue to offer a Vintage section with approximately 20 vendors selling to store and direct to consumer as well.
This year, Informa Markets is bringing back Intermezzo, which it phased out, and eliminating Project Womens in New York. Vanessa Vanni who has been running trade events such as Moda and Fame for nine years, will be absorbing responsibility for Intermezzo, overseeing these January/May/August markets. According to the company, Intermezzo better defines the contemporary product offering at the three more immediate product-focused shows in between their two primary markets. At their clients’ request, they also wanted to clear up any confusion with their sister show, Project Womens, on the West Coast.
For Millennials, and upscale tastes
Regarding Fame and Moda, retailers flock to both shows to see apparel from hundreds of manufacturers and private labels. Fame features trend-driven looks for Millennial and Gen Z shoppers, while Moda offers slightly edgy, more upscale ready-to-wear fashions.
Brands such as Beulah Style, Dress Forum, Glam, Lucy Paris and Steve Madden sign up for Fame, and sell to retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Asos, Saks Off 5th and Shopbop.
Meanwhile, buyers from stores like United Arrows, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harvey Nichols, Barbara Jean and Julian Gold, along with indie boutique owners, hit the Moda trade show.
Companies and brands on the hunt for the latest innerwear can head to the Curve and Interfilière trade shows. The latter is a fabric and sourcing trade show for intimates apparel, which includes lingerie, swimwear and activewear. For retailers looking for finished products, more than 250 brands from around the globe will be on display at Curve, which sells lingerie, shapewear, men’s basics, swimwear, resort wear and activewear. In addition, the Curve show is adding one new show this year in Montreal, although the exact date has not yet been released.
“With our new Montreal show, we offer our esteemed Canadian brands and buyers a world class show closer to home, with a special showcase on Canadian-made intimate apparel and swimwear,” Camp continued. “Which is a key growth segment for Canada’s increasingly conscious consumer.”
Meanwhile, Ed Mandelbaum, owner of Designers & Agents, said the shows have been building their independent goods (ig) initiative in both New York and Los Angeles. In New York, Designers & Agents takes place Feb. 9-11, also coinciding with NYFW. In L.A., the dates are Jan. 13-15, March 9-11 and June 15-17.
Independent goods provides selected brands an opportunity to exhibit within the Designers & Agents show in an open concept space. Ig affords participants accessible exposure to the fashion retailers that make up the D&A audience, while introducing buyers to design-driven products. Ig has featured brands from beauty and wellness, as well as a strong group of CBD-based brands and other lifestyle categories that enable their retailers to distinguish their stores.
Also gearing up for the season is the Paris installment of Woman, which expects to showcase 80 different labels while the New York edition will feature 60. The trade show specialist is known for presenting a well-edited, compact assortment that is manageable in terms of navigating. Ath-leisure, ready-to-wear, sportswear, accessories and a little bit of everything will be offered, according to a spokeswoman.
Woman plans to work with an artist to develop a visual campaign that will be on its site and on location at the upcoming shows next year. However, defining the vendor selection may be compared to some of the more sprawling trade shows, Woman has added resources over the past few years. By being more selective, Woman aims to appeal buyers and the media. As was the case in the past, the New York show features an assortment of café options depending on the day. In the past, Woman featured pop-ups from such resources as La Cantine Bushwick and Rice & Miso.
West Coast changes
Among the trade shows in the West, the big change is again with MAGIC, which had to move all of its shows out of the Los Vegas Convention Center for the first half of 2020 due to construction. In February, all MAGIC shows will be held in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Sourcing opens Feb. 4 and all other shows, including Project, WWDMAGIC, FN Platform and Pool, are running the following three days. MAGIC will be back “for good” at the LVCC come August, however, a spokeswoman for the show operator said.
The MAGIC dates this year also land right in the middle of New York Fashion Week, as it did last year. Earlier this year, Tom Nastos, chief commercial officer for Informa Markets Fashion Division, which operates MAGIC, said the shift in venue and dates in February could not be avoided and it will return to its mid-February/mid-August calendar after this season.
The change in venue has also caused some apparent scheduling problems for shows like Agenda. The show still says it will be happening in Las Vegas in February, but with no set dates or venue as of yet. Agenda normally hosts its show in line with MAGIC at Sands Expo Center, but MAGIC’s changes, revealed in February, left Agenda unable to fix its plans. L.A. Majors Market has also yet to set dates for 2020 shows.
There are plenty of other shows not in February, which after New York hosts fashion weeks in London, Paris and Milan. L.A. Market Week starts in January, as does Outdoor Market in Colorado. In March will be Designers & Agents and the L.A. Textile Show and come April, there will be an opportunity to see Bay Area brands at Fashion Market Northern California.
For men’s, a temporary change
And while the men’s shows in New York — Project, MAN and Liberty Fairs — continue to be held at their traditional time in mid-January, the Las Vegas shows the next month will once again present some challenges to retailers and editors.
After a well-publicized move to unite all of its shows — men’s, women’s and footwear — at the Las Vegas Convention Center in August, Project’s owner, Informa Markets, threw a monkey wrench into the works again for February. Construction at the LVCC, a $935 million expansion that will ultimately allow the shows to call that location their permanent home starting next August, is forcing Informa to bring all the shows to Mandalay Bay for what it is saying will be a one-time only relocation.
Not only will the shows be shoehorned into a much smaller venue, one that had housed the men’s shows only until this summer, but the dates were also pushed ahead again. Instead of running around Valentine’s Day, they’ll be Feb. 5-7, which means they’re once coinciding with New York Fashion Week.
This unfortunate situation happened this winter as well, meaning that industry executives who would have liked to attend both had to choose. This time, Informa worked with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to have as little overlap with the men’s shows as possible. NYFW: Men’s is scheduled for Feb. 3 to 5 and the women’s shows are Feb. 7 to 12. Even so, the trade shows will open on the last day of the men’s shows, another unfortunate situation.
Tom Nastos, chief commercial officer for Informa Markets Fashion Division, stressed this is an unavoidable situation and the trade shows at the LVCC will return to a mid-February/mid-August calendar after the February relocation.
For those planning on visiting Project in either New York or Las Vegas, they will see a Wellness in the Tents exhibition of men’s grooming and wellness project, along with a new Digitally Native category to showcase smaller brands and allow them to better access potential wholesale accounts. In addition, N:OW Forum will also return to both cities with trend forecasting agency WGSN and Highsnobiety taking on the issues of what’s new and upcoming in men’s fashion.