THEY’RE IN IT TOGETHER

Byline: Amanda Meadus

NEW YORK — Accessories designers are looking to stake a bigger claim at the upcoming 7th on Sixth event.
The accessories members of the CFDA are once again going with a high-visibility presentation during Fashion Week.
Last November’s 7th on Sixth was the first time that the group of 30 designers staged a still-life exhibit of their creations within the CFDA headquarters building at 40 West 40th St., just across the street from Bryant Park. Due to the favorable response they received from retailers and the fashion press, they’re doing it again.
“The word is out that this is the premier venue for accessories designers in America,” said Gary Wolkowitz, president of The Hot Sox Co. and one of the organizers of the show.
“Our function is to embellish the ready-to-wear across the street,” Wolkowitz added. “We feel we’re as important as what goes on in the tents.”
The exhibit will be designed, as it was last fall, by Michael Gabellini, the architect who also created the settings in Jil Sander’s Paris boutique and the Linda Dresner store here on Park Avenue. Fall collection merchandise from each designer will be displayed on hanging platforms and illuminated with dramatic lighting.
Those participating in the show run the gamut from shoe companies to hair accessories designers, and the items being shown promise to be just as diverse. A small sampling of what will be displayed includes gemstone-studded fine jewelry pieces by Henry Dunay, plush fake fur wraps from Adrienne Landau, sleek python bags from Carlos Falchi and elaborate jeweled brooches from Gerard Yosca.
“When people see enough accessories collections together, they think of it more as fashion instead of just product that’s put in cases on the main floor of stores,” Gerard Yosca pointed out. “We don’t do an actual runway show because we don’t feel it would be effective, but in a way, this is our answer to doing a runway show.”
Carlos Falchi, who is also an organizer of the event, noted that the exhibit tends to bring out the best in each of those designers participating. “Everyone really wants to show their best work, and I think it’s bringing out a whole creative aspect to what we do that perhaps wasn’t as strong before,” Falchi said. “It’s not a trade show or a showroom, so retailers can come in and actually examine what we do in an artistic setting without having to think about how much they’re going to order and what the prices are and so on.”
Glove designer Carolina Amato said her biggest hope for the show is to stimulate interest in accessories for stores that may not have been emphasizing the category lately.
“Being in the glove business, which has basically become totally driven by things like what the temperature is and what kind of lining is in the glove, I’d like to see some renewal of interest in what the gloves actually look like,” Amato noted. “My ideal wish for the show would be that buyers come in, see what I’ve been doing and say, ‘Those gloves are really beautiful. Let’s get some into the store.”‘

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