Hoping to help simplify the hectic pace of the Paris shows, Mariel Gamboa is launching MeMy, a gathering of international designers that will be staged at the Ritz Paris from March 5 to 8.
This story first appeared in the January 26, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Halston, Chris Benz, Nicole Farhi, Lutz + Patmos and Isabella Tonchi will be among the participants interspersed throughout the hotel to welcome buyers. Having started the Tranoï Salon in 1991, Gamboa said several retailers had indicated a need for this type of show and “it just seemed like the right thing to do.”
“In the end, I wanted to make life easier for designers and buyers. Paris is a week where everything is full-on. This will be a way for them to see people they would like to see all in one place and maybe find something new which they are always looking for,” she said. “The lives of buyers who come to Paris are so hectic. Some have said they go to the big fairs and only buy two or three out of the 300 lines.”
In addition to founding the show, Gamboa will showcase Leny, a label she started that focuses on limited edition projects that supports Al Gore’s Climate Project, and Yvonne S., a brand she manages. While MeMy will consist of designers from different countries, European retailers are keen for American designers partially due to the weakness of the dollar, Gamboa said. “Creatively American designers are right on. They are doing much more interesting things than what is coming out of here,” she said.
On another front, Gamboa is finalizing plans to open a five-week pop-up shop in Miami that will bow during this year’s Art Basel Miami. “With all the evolution in fashion, we all have to find new ways to get out there and sell directly [to the consumer] as well,” she said.