Attendees at this season’s Fashion Coterie trade show in New York continued their quest for brightly colored merchandise, low prices and top-notch quality.
The ENK International show, which took place at the Show Piers and the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from Feb. 22 to 24, brought together an array of apparel and accessories labels aiming to entice buyers for fall. While some retailers were happy with what they saw, others were worried the mix of designers showing were not going to bring customers back to their stores.
Viki Burneikis, owner of French Twist in Three Oaks, Mich., said she always enjoys traveling to New York for the Coterie show. She only wishes it wasn’t so large.
“It’s a great show, it’s just spread across too many places,” she said. “I wish there was a way it could all be in one place.”
Overall, she said she found a few things at She’s So, a European sportswear line that usually sells well in her store as well as shoes from Melissa, a Brazilian brand.
“Melissa’s plastic shoes are so great, they will do well for me, I’m sure,” she said. “I think that everyone is worried about business right now, but it should only get better. We have to think positive.”
Others were less upbeat. “I’m walking and walking this show and I’m a little disappointed, to be honest,” said Catherine Kang, co-owner of Valentine II, an online retailer, who said she was on the quest for something “fresh, new and at a good price point.”
Two buyers from Emma Blue in Brooklyn rushed by, saying they were on the hunt for some new eveningwear to fill their store. “This show should really have more for special occasions,” one of the buyers said.
ENK executives declined comment on the show.
Meanwhile, exhibitors at the biannual exhibition were working hard to impress.
At the Los Angeles-based Tt, designer Tiffany Saidnia said she was inspired by the versatility of Parisian style, which compelled her to create a comprehensive collection for fall. Known best for her signature Supima cotton T-shirts, the fall line now includes a full array of contemporary sportswear. The collection wholesales between $34 and $180. Highlights at the Coterie included the “Hutton and Farrah” washable silk jumpers, which wholesale at $128, and the cashmere and merino wool “Madison” sweater for $180.
At the New York-based Globe Showroom section of the show, owner Jeffrey Cayer was selling items from a couple of his newer lines — Barila, which is based in Montreal, and Shyde, out of Paris.
“This is my recession-friendly line,” Cayer said, pointing out some of Shyde’s signature pieces from the silk embroidered tops, a chiffon-trimmed dress with the exposed zipper, rabbit fur peacoat, pleated low-slung pants and flannel shirts. “We need to find ways to help our retailers make more money — it’s the retailers who are really hurting. It’s the first time I have this collection at the show, and it’s doing really, really well for us.”
Shyde wholesales from $25 to $240.
Designer Sabrina Barila was in her booth meeting with retailers who were gravitating toward her rock ’n’ roll-inspired line of leather leggings, knit jersey jumpsuits, funnel-neck knit sweaters and wool chunky-knit capes. Barila wholesales from $90 to $250. “We’ve been getting a really good reaction to the quality and the lower price points,” she said. “It’s been a positive experience for me to be here.”
At Seven For All Mankind, retailers were eyeing the brand’s two new lines — Premiere 7, which is aimed exclusively at specialty stores, and 7*7*7, a limited edition collection of handcrafted, one-of-a-kind jeans.
Premiere 7, a spokeswoman said, was created to “pay homage to those retailers that have helped shape our success.” The collection includes some of the brand’s most popular fits, but with new, edgy washes. That collection wholesales from $79 to $90. The 7*7*7 line wholesales between $125 and $148, and there are only 777 pairs of each style made and numbered on the interior pocket bag.
“We started with our classic fits and applied the ultimate in ingenuity and craftsmanship,” the spokeswoman said. “Each of the 777 pairs of this jean features a unique vintage button closure. The Seven For All Mankind design team has been scouring vintage stores and flea markets all over the world in order to ensure each jean is one-of-a-kind.”