Yesterday was one of my quick turnaround trips to NY for ENK Shows Accessories Circuit/Intermezzo Collections Market at the Javits Convention Center. This particular show is focused on Resort Wear and Early Spring as well as some accessories for the holiday period. It was the smallest of the shows I have attended thus far in NY, with all of the vendors located in the Convention Center (rather than split between multiple locations such as Pier 92/94).
Next month is the BIG spring show - Coterie. I'm very excited to attend because it will signal the completion of Zoe's first "cycle" through the shows. My very first Spring show for Zoe was in October of 2010 at the Atlanta Market. It is still a little hard to think that I'll still be receiving Fall merchandise at the time I am ready to start ordering for Spring.
I was on my usual 5:30 AM Amtrak NE Regional train out of Union Station. Since I am always behind on my Sunday newspaper reading these days, it was the perfect opportunity to catch up on news. I always grab a spot in the Cafe car (so as not to be too far from coffee) and spread out on one of the tables. We arrived at Penn Station right on time and I took the slightly less than one mile walk to the Convention Center. The streets were busy and energetic!
When I first arrived at the show, it was fairly quiet (it had just opened) but it was very busy later in the day. My first stop with was Chan Luu to look at wrap bracelets for the holidays as well as a few additional ready to wear pieces. Chan is doing a wonderful program as part of Breast Cancer Awareness in late September and October and Zoe will have the (very affordable) wrap bracelets in stock in support of that initiative. Think Pink!
Next up was to catch up with my friend and handbag designer Alexandra Satine and take a look at the first releases for her new Spring line. She has added new textures to her bags as well as an amazing red leather!
My first formal appointment of the morning was with BCBG MaxAzria. While many of their clothes skew a bit younger than my target market, I was able to find a few pieces to add to the arriving fall collection.
From there, it was on to favorite Rebecca Taylor. Their selections were lighter this time around due to the focus on Resort but I found some very nice pieces that should work well for the early Spring timeframe. Noelle, my account executive, is one of my favorites - she is always very welcoming and accommodating. When she is finished with the show, we are planning a Rebecca Taylor trunk show for Zoe in late August/early September.
Next up was an appointment with one of the new lines I'm adding this winter, Waverly Grey. While the main focus was on Resort, I found one of best jackets I've seen in ages along with pants and a sweater. Even more fun, I got to try the things on to better judge my sizing for the order!
That appointment went quickly and I had made a list of other lines I wanted to see if I had time. The London based Issa was on the list. I was VERY impressed with the styling, quality, print selection, and even price points of their Resort/Early Spring collection. Starting in late December/early January, Zoe will be adding a few Issa pieces to the store!
My final show appointment was with everyone's favorite - Velvet! Their selection was pared down a bit due to the focus on Resort/Early Spring but I did find some additional pieces to bring in during the November/December timeframe.
I have been considering adding Susana Monaco to the selection of items at the store. Her figure flattering colors and styles would make a great addition to Zoe as well as the price points fall in line with where I'd like to take the store. I had the opportunity to view a presentation of their Fall line as well as their Resort/early Spring line. Although I did not place an order at the show, I am strongly considering adding a few key pieces.
For the first time, I also had an appointment with a designer at her showroom in the Fashion District. The story of how we found each other is a fun one. One day, a woman came into Zoe on her way back to her car from an appointment with her stylist at Windsor, the salon just down Union. She was a really fun lady who has lived in Alexandria for a number of years. She told me that she had a daughter who was a designer and that I may be interested in her clothing. I took her daughter's card and later looked up her website. Kathlin Argiro specializes in customized formalwear but also does a beautiful line of ready to wear wrap dresses.
Kathlin's showroom is located on the 14th floor of a building at 8th and 34th, so I headed there when I had finished at the show. I had forgotten how tiny NYC elevators are! But her showroom was in a gorgeous, light-filled airy space. She was delightful, down to earth and very open. And her designs are really, really lovely in person. We had a great visit as she explained her concept and showed me different options as well as parts of the creativity process. We have agreed to speak again next week to talk next steps.
I made it back to Penn Station with 20 minutes to spare prior to catching my train. Definitely one of my most efficient, productive days! Oh, and from a fashion standpoint, I dressed for comfort and style. I wore a light brown 60s style pencil skirt (with a high waist), a dark brown tank decorated with wooden beads at the neckline (no need to wear a necklace), and my light brown bootie sandals. It was probably "New York enough" for summer.
Next up: Zoe to the rescue?