Count Designers & Agents as the latest trade show to take the virtual plunge.
The company is teaming with Ordre, a leading online fashion wholesale network, to create D&A Digital to connect its exhibitors and retail buyers. It will include virtual showrooms, video options, order building and look book presentations.
“We were attracted to Ordre based on a like-minded sensibility, and point of view, backed up by cutting-edge technology including 360-degree views,” said Ed Mandelbaum, president of Designers & Agents. “The founders of Ordre recognized the challenges created by the changing environment for leading fashion brands in managing their global wholesale networks. Their subsequent vision was to create a channel to facilitate the management of these networks globally through the presentation of seasonal collections through online showrooms and D&A is looking forward to launching this platform to its exhibitors.”
The spring market of the show, which highlights independent and directional women’s brands, was originally slated to be held Sept. 20 to 22 in New York City. The virtual market will kick off the first week of September and run through Sept. 22.
Mandelbaum stressed that Designers & Agents does not envision the digital platform to be a substitute for the physical trade show, but rather as an “enhancement to exhibitors” that will offer retailers a more-streamlined way to merchandise and purchase collections.
D&A is just the latest trade show to cancel in-person events in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Others, including MAGIC, Project, Coterie and Liberty Fairs, have already announced their plans to go virtual for the spring season.