CHICAGO — Business was bustling at the latest edition of StyleMax.
“The buzz at StyleMax was all about the new brands that buyers were excited about,” said Susan Glick, vice president for women’s apparel at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, where the show takes place and ended its four-day run earlier this month. “Traffic was steady and retailers enthusiastically embraced the daily events including the Montreal Floor Party, all the amenities and the social media seminar. [There were] more lines, more brands, more daily special events than ever. The energy on the trade-show floor reflected the show’s commitment to the total buyer experience.”
More than 350 exhibitors participated in the show, including premium denim lines like J Brand and Frame; jewelry line Soko, founded in Nairobi, Kenya, and Gretchen Scott Designs. Retail traffic was on track, with a slight increase over last year’s show, noted Glick.
“We more than doubled our [fall] business. We were extremely happy with the turnout,” said Judy Walthour, a representative for Dylan, a casual luxury clothing line based in California.
Buyer Lisa Weiss, of Ann Arbor-based Bivouac, said the show setup is designed for an easy shopping experience.
“This show helps me wrap up my fall buys, after attending the larger shows in New York and Vegas,” said Weiss, who frequents Coterie and Project. “The staff is very helpful and catering to buyers. I always find something new, complete questionable orders that I previously took notes on and leave new orders.”
However, the retailer is still struggling with one category: outerwear and cold-weather accessories.
“Winter is so unpredictable,” she noted.