Designer Sam Paik has shown at Fame, which was held at the Jacob K. Javits Center earlier this month, since first launching his Paper Crane line of apparel five years ago. Since then, Paper Crane has served as “parent division” with other labels that include Ethereal and Lazy Sunday.
This year, Paik used Fame to launch an ath-leisure line called Hologram. Here, Paik discusses the importance of the show and what’s driving fashion trends, among other topics.
WWD: How long have you been showing at Fame?
Sam Paik: I’ve been at Fame since we launched the brand five years ago, so it’s been a great show for us too, to be a part of. We get great customers who are looking for item-driven pieces, and we make sure that all of our labels that are carry the different look for all of our customers.
So we have Ethereal, which is more for our casual work girl. Paper Crane, which is a festival girl. And Lazy Sunday, which is more comfort, casual. And then we have our new Hologram line, which is ath-leisure.
WWD: With the ath-leisure, what’s driving this business for you?
S.P.: I think it’s a lifestyle. I think it’s that girl who wants to go out and wear something casual to go to the market, to go shopping, to go pick up their kids. It’s been a growing industry that we’ve seen. It’s really apart from activewear, and what we see in the whole yogawear segment. But we want to create something that’s more lifestyle-driven. It is “casual easy,” and has great fabrication. We’re bringing in a lot of the activewear detailing into fashion ath-leisure.
WWD: What are consumers looking for? Especially Millennials, which is driving a lot of the sales in these collections?
S.P.: I think the customers are looking for value. It is not about just brands anymore. It’s about quality. It’s about fashion. It’s about trend. And really, they want to be able to wear the pieces that they buy, and they want to know that they can go back and keep it in their closet and not have to throw it away.
But they also want to be fashion and trend right. So I think people want to see pictures of lifestyle images on editorial shots. Instagram has been a big way for us to communicate what we are about. Web sites have also been a great way to put our message out there as well.
WWD: Why do you think trade events like Fame are important?
S.P.: So we’ve seen big growth in our wholesale and line business, but we always want to be a part of the show, because that’s where we get information. Customers give us information on what’s working. They want to know what we’re about, and what we’re doing next.
And I think no matter how big the fashion industry gets in the e-commerce and wholesale side, people want to touch, feel and see the product. And they want to know who is behind it, and what we’re all about every season — because it’s always changing.
WWD: Would you agree that the influence of social media and the growth of technology and e-commerce is making the world smaller, so to speak?
S.P.: Oh, it is definitely getting smaller, but it’s also getting faster in terms of how fast trends are moving. So people have a lot more access to information. We’re seeing people, a blogger wearing something one day, and all of a sudden that’s the item to have.
For example, we’re seeing that the off-shoulder look was a big statement this spring. It sort of started with some bloggers and celebrities wearing it, and then it became the biggest thing. I think with us, we’ve been able to turn quick. We carry inventory, so a lot of what you see here at Fame is the manufacturers are having to do better research, be plugged in and take the risk to carry inventory, so that our retailers can chase the business when you see the trends are hitting. We got to just have the right product at the right time.