Coterie is expanding its sphere of influence.
For the upcoming show Sept. 17 to 19 at the Jacob Javits Center, Coterie will feature several new sections catering to beauty, wellness and lifestyle retailing. It will also host seminars on improving the retail experience.
Danielle Licata, vice president, general manager of Coterie, said she has developed several new neighborhoods at the show to appeal to the specialty store buyer looking to diversify his or her product assortment. The key initiatives are a beauty area, a wellness lounge and collaborations with Maris Collective and RAC — Random Acts of Creativity.
“For the launch of beauty, we wanted to do it in a small, calculated way with a guest curator, Beau Nelson, who’s a celebrity makeup artist,” Licata said. “We want to connect those stores that are becoming more concept stores, carrying grab ’n go, apothecary, candles and perfume. Even when you go into a store and have a great experience, you’re not necessarily leaving with a piece of apparel,” she said.
Licata said it was important to have a wider range of offerings at the show and “great little items” that stores can expose their clients to that are not large big box-exposed brands. The beauty section, which will be situated in a 900-square-foot area in the lobby, will house 13 to 15 brands. All have a specific niche in the market and fall under the “indie” category. Licata said these are brands shoppers can’t get at large department stores and are not highly promotional. “They’re a great way for specialty stores to differentiate themselves,” she said.
The majority of shoppers at Coterie are specialty retailers. They can range from a spa to a dress or special occasion shop. “People are so used to coming to us for apparel that they don’t often ask for the other categories. But we’ve gotten such a great feedback in our communication about launching the other categories,” she said. Specialty stores have been asking what beauty brands will be shown and how do they learn about these brands, she said. She’s also seen an influx of non-conventional retailers wanting to attend the show.
The beauty brands will be set up like a store environment. “These brands will also be retailing [at the show],” Licata said. In other words, a retailer can purchase a product right on the spot. Among the brands participating are Bon Perfumer, Define Me Fragrance, The Honey Pot, Immunocologie, The Makeup Eraser, Make Beauty, Prismologie, Raw Spirit and Unbelievable Skin Care.
Nelson added, “This is the very first time we’re doing this. Eighty-five percent of the people who attend Coterie have buying power for their stores. We’re finding now that beauty is such a big category and everyone wants to be in the game.” He noted that retailers such as Urban Outfitters and smaller stores are all adding beauty sections.
“We have a mix of perfume, beauty, self-care products, skin-care products and color cosmetics,” he added.
Coterie will offer a wellness lounge situated in the active area. It will have treatments going on during the show, such as reflexology, or learning how to do meditation. It will also have ready-to-wear and treatment lines.
Another big initiative is with Maris Collective, a global lifestyle and luxury fashion destination retailer that has 31 stores in luxury hotels and resorts around the world, with 50 stores planned by year end. Lee Ann Sauter, founder and chief executive officer of Maris Collective, will curate a special area of the show featuring 14 brands including home, jewelry, rtw and accessories.
“It’s really going to feel like a combination of one of our stores. It’s from super casual price points and fun, interactive stuff to luxury first timers at Coterie,” Sauter said.
“Coterie came to us for two things,” she added. “They know we believe in innovation and the evolution of retail. We have so many unique partnerships with people. If retail doesn’t evolve and people don’t start working together creating synergies and efficiencies, how do we operate? How is it a win for the retailer and how do you create an environment that helps people think differently and emotionally?”
The Studio by Maris Collective will be situated in the middle of the Coterie floor in a 15,000-square-foot space. She said it will be modeled after a European beach resort. “Basically, we’ve reshifted everything around on the show floor and tightened some of the areas,” she said.
Among the brands that will be included in the Studio by Maris Collective are Little Market (home), Stoney Clover Lane, Jemma Sands, PatBo, Planet Blue, Figue, Rosa Cha, Sinesia Karol, Amanda Bond, Ariel Gordon and So De Mel.
Sauter will lead programming with sessions entitled: “Making Retail Work,” “Partnerships and Growing Brands,” “The World of Buying: A Dynamic Mix of Art and Science,” “Clients as Designers” and “Visual Merchandising and Creating an Environment.”
“The main idea here is how can we partner with a retailer to teach other retailers what people are doing right now,” Licata said.
Sabrina Burma and Noelle Paradis, co-founders of R.A.C., will be curating a 600-square-foot lounge in six different thematic worlds, along with a mixture of furniture and art. R.A.C. will be styling 30 mannequins to fit the curation, using Coterie brands, some of their own acquired pieces and selected items from brands it typically features in its stores.
R.A.C. launched in December 2015 with pop-up stores. “We have a lot of creative friends who are designers and artists, and we decided to build a platform to showcase all the artists and designers we know, based on themes such as vintage Marie Antoinette vibe or a Mexico-Cartagena world,” Burda said.
For Coterie, the different themes will be London-New York nightclub world, Provence world, Moroccan African world, Bali world, Mexican world and Cartagena, Colombia world. The shops will be styled with their own brands, some 25 to 30 Coterie brands and interesting accents that fit into the different themes.
Another new area of Coterie will feature four or five MFA and BFA graduates from The New School’s Parsons School of Design, who have been out of school a few years. These are graduates who don’t necessarily have businesses but are prepared to take orders.
According to Licata, they are a handful of “amazing, up-and-coming talent that we’d like to expose and promote and we know are ready to come to market.” They may not have showroom representation and are mostly doing the sales themselves. “This way they get the feedback and see what people react to in their lines. It’s a way for them to show their things to the retail community and get that feedback,” Licata said. These four to five emerging designers will be situated in the middle of the TMWR area, which features 70 up-and-coming brands.
The Edit show will also join the Coterie floor and will be a focal part of the exhibition. Edit will spotlight around 85 exhibitors. “It feels like a small, curated community. That’s the direction the show is going to break down to these smaller neighborhoods,” Licata said.
Overall, Coterie will feature 950 exhibitors, which is equal to last year.