Brisk leasing and rising attendance are fueling an improved outlook at marts in Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago, despite headwinds that slowed spring sales for many retailers.“The results that we’ve seen in the first half are pretty positive, so we are walking into August StyleMax feeling pretty good about everything,” said Susan Glick, vice president of Merchandise Mart Properties in Chicago, which produces the seasonal show. “We’ve expanded contemporary, premium denim and accessories, which seem to be the hot categories.”Resources have swelled by at least 10 percent and span more than 100,000 square feet, she noted, and the show has been updated with fresh displays and events.“Informal modeling during lunch is one of the more successful things we’ve ever done,” Glick said. “Buyers really like to see the merchandise up close. We also did a social media seminar and it went over very well, so we’ll continue with that. Social media is such an important part of what the retailer needs to do business.”StyleMax’s next focal points for leasing are gifts in all categories, including fragrances, and marketing areas such as yoga, spa and activewear.The Dallas Market Center is confident that Texas — the state with the fastest growth in jobs and population — will spur trade at FashionCenterDallas.“With Texas consumer confidence up more than 9 percent since March, it’s natural that retailers in our state are feeling the rise and in turn, showing up ready to buy at market,” said Cindy Morris, chief operating officer. “We see no signs of commerce slowing down. Three of the nation’s five fastest-growing cities and seven of the top 15 are located in Texas.”Buyer attendance rose in March, she said, and the Wednesday-to-Saturday market schedule launched in March is expected to draw retailers who prefer to be home on Sundays.The DMC is rolling out a marketing campaign with the tag line “Dallas Market Center of It All” to play up the vast variety of products and commerce on its campus. Representing the first major update since 2007’s “You Can’t Miss Red” slogan, the update of signage and marketing materials displays a fresh palette of orange, green and gray augmenting existing red and white.Fashion showrooms are 90 percent leased, she noted, and the Scene contemporary show and Strut shoe show consistently sell out. In addition, a bridal, prom and special occasion show introduced in March as “The One — It’s All About the Dress” returns in September for a four-day run, plus a preview day.Keen to keep technologically up to date, the DMC will introduce registration badges with QR codes that retailers can use to retrieve leads to new products, she added.The October lifting of the Wright Amendment, which prohibited Southwest Airlines flights between Dallas Love Field and non-contiguous states, will facilitate more visitors using the nearby airport, she noted. Love is only about five miles from the DMC.Matt Roth, chief executive officer of Fashion Industry Gallery, also expects a boost from Southwest’s addition of nonstop flights to 15 cities nationwide. The boutique venue specializes in contemporary and bridge labels.“We think that will be a real positive,” Roth said. “It’s all about getting the buyers.”Leasing demand has never been stronger, he noted, with the March show presenting the most exhibitors ever and buyer attendance jumping 23 percent. BCBG Max Azria and 10Eleven showroom both expanded in May, and Inge Christopher has leased a room. “Our region is doing well and people want to be here,” he said.Roth plans to celebrate FIG’s 10th anniversary at the October show by featuring a group of visiting designers and giving free valet parking to buyers. He is also working with Austin Fashion Week to produce Fashion X Dallas, a runway event featuring emerging and national designers slated for Nov. 6 to 8.AmericasMart in Atlanta is also enjoying gains, including surges in special-occasion leasing and registration by newly opened stores.“Based on the first half, it’s going to be a really, really good year,” said Lou Ann Thomas, director of marketing. “We have increased quite a bit on both attendance and exhibit space sales and leasing, so we’re ahead of the game right now and we’ve got our power three coming up — August, which includes prom, the bridal market in September, and October is one of our largest markets for spring.”AmericasMart is adding three or four staffers to its retail services program.“They are hunting for buyers who are new to market or have decided not to come for whatever reason, and we’ve got to convince them to come back,” she said.
Exclusive: @longchamp is planning to stage its first official runway show at New York Fashion Week this fall. The French leather goods firm has expanded into ready-to-wear as part of its repositioning as a lifestyle brand. The show, scheduled for September 8, will also cap the brand’s 70th anniversary celebration. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex undertook their first overseas engagement as a married couple in Dublin. The trip included multiple events and outfits changes, including this black dress by @emiliawickstead that Meghan Markle wore for a party at the British Ambassador’s home. #wwdfashion #royals
At 20 years old – and with an estimated net worth of $900 million - @kyliejenner is the youngest person to ever make @forbes’ annual list of America’s Richest #SelfMadeWomen. “It’s incredible to be recognized for something I’m so passionate about, and I’m really grateful for that. I’ve always loved makeup and worked really hard to bring the first lip kit to the market,” said Jenner on founding @kyliecosmetics. See who else is on the list on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @rainerhosch)
“The collection is inspired by Tulum and the Mayan Riviera – its laid-back luxury, life of cabanas, untouched coastline, natural habitats, exotic cocktails and jungle parties with renowned DJs,” said Matteo Maniatty, creative director and cofounder of @descendantofthieves, on the brand’s inspiration for its latest collection. See more designer sketches and inspirations on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #nyfwmens #nyfw
@riccardotisci17 is releasing a limited-edition capsule collection as part of his anticipated runway debut for @burberry in September. Delivered in a series of instant drops, this is the second Burberry capsule collection announced since Friday, when Tisci broke the news on his collaboration with @viviennewestwood. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
“It’s like a Cinderella story. You get a little fake, you get a little real, you put it together and voilà,” said legendary rapper Slick Rick, who helped pioneer the merge of luxury and streetwear. WWD’s @ariahughes spoke to @therulernyc about his jewelry collection, his collaboration with @bally and how the industry has evolved – link in bio. (📷: @kristaschlueter)
@ragandbone and @eminem are teaming up on a special capsule collection of streetwear pieces. Sold at a one-day pop-up in London’s Soho on Friday, the collection features three different T-shirt designs and a hoodie. The capsule is set to kick off the rest of Eminem’s shows in his European Revival Tour, which ends on Sunday. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdfashion