NEW YORK — Elyse N. Kroll, executive director of ENK Shows, has a clear vision for showcasing accessories. So Kroll, in an effort to elevate the trade show experience for retailers and the press, is holding a new accessories exhibition called Clear during New York Fashion Week.
The show will be held from Feb. 6-8 in a booth format at Gotham Hall, 1356 Broadway, close to the tents at Bryant Park. Clear will host 30 cherry-picked up-and-coming designers from the U.S. and abroad.
“It’s a very small show for ENK, but it’s a gem,” said Kroll, who came up with the idea after speaking with retailers who said they wanted to see new accessories and footwear vendors in between runway presentations.
“We focused on undiscovered names, going back to the core of what ENK is about: finding new talent. The value is who we find and put in the face of a retailer so the job is easier.”
Kroll, whose organization produces such trade shows as Accessorie Circuit, Intermezzo and Fashion Coterie, views the relationship with 7th on Sixth as harmonious.
“I’m not trying to create a conflict,” she said. “I’m trying to augment fashion week.”
Sandra Wilson, accessories fashion director of Neiman Marcus, said she plans to attend Clear to check out some new talent.
“We’re all looking for the trends for next season and finding new direction for the next season,” said Wilson. “[Clear] will help shape our season. It’s important to always remain curious about what’s out there and new because fashion is changing faster than ever before. People change their needs so quickly.”
Clear will launch some new talent to the circuit, including Bagteria, Alessia Re and Kenjiikeda, but will also host hot names like jewelry designer Alexis Bittar and handbag maven Carlos Falchi.
“It’s good that [ENK] took the initiative,” said Falchi. “[Accessories designers] can’t show in the tents. It’s very difficult. We need a presence around that area.”
Due to the limited floor space at Clear, Falchi will show an edited selection of his fall collection of exotic skin bags in saturated colors like eggplant, hunter green and caramel.
For Bittar, the incentive to do Clear was its timing.
“On a press level, it’s great,” he said. “You can meet with editors here before Premiere Classe [in late February in Paris], and they have a lot of weight. Time will tell how it transpires and plays out.”
Bittar expanded his collection in recent months to include tabletop items like candlesticks and trays out of his eponymous carved Lucite and for spring he introduced belts.
Cassin, the fur outerwear and accessories firm, is showing items such as salt-and-pepper colored coyote fur trappers, chocolate mink cloches and Bolshevik-style hats for fall.
“It’s great to have a show during fashion week when international and U.S. stores [are in town],” said Sherry Cassin, president and creative director. “It [will be a] wonderful convergence of stores from all over the world.”
Kroll, however, doesn’t want to restrict Clear to accessories and footwear designers.
“We’re branching out. We may have a painter,” she said excitedly, adding that stores are becoming more geared toward lifestyle rather than category. “If I’m going into a store, I want to know its philosophy on women’s, men’s and even furniture. It’s the complete picture.”