Because the collections are much larger, I have found that I can no longer complete the buying trips for the Spring and Fall seasons in a single day. Last Fall, I went to New York on successive Mondays with one trip dedicated to the market and the second dedicated to showroom visits to buy for Spring 2012. I knew that I would need to do the same in February to buy for Fall 2012. And, it would give me a great chance to share the buying experience with intern Anna and one of Zoe's "Aunts", Janice.
I must admit that I was fearful that they would both dislike me greatly after following the frantic pace that I normally undertake on any trip to NY. We were on my normal 5:30 am train out of Union Station with planned arrival in NY at 8:44. Fortunately, we were right on time (with the only glitch being the very late opening of the Cafe car on the train)!
One of the things I love about most of my trips to NY is that I can usually walk everywhere that I need to go. This trip was no exception. We quickly set out for our first appointment - a 9:15 with a potential new line for Zoe called Contrarian. I had hoped to visit their showroom when I was in NY the previous week but had run out of time. The designer, Alexis, was waiting in the showroom for us and we had a great time looking at the different pieces. The showroom was bright and airy and freshly painted - a great space to show off the beauty of the clothing. Janice tried on a couple of the capes/coats! We selected some lovely, unique pieces for Fall and were off to our next stop!
I had been to the Findings New York showroom on my September trip and had enjoyed the experience greatly. However, I had not met the adorable showroom dog, Romeo! He came out to great us as we waited for my Account Executive and started our visit off on a great note!
Our first look in the showroom was at Velvet, one of my favorite lines in the store. It is always such a challenge to narrow down to the appropriate pieces, then colors, and then sizes! Janice and Anna were a big help in doing this since they have both worked in the store with me and know the customer base. Our next look was at Graham & Spencer, which is another line I carry in the store and is by the same designers who create Velvet. We found some great pieces (and one somewhat daring piece) to order for Fall.
Next up was a look at a line that I'll be bringing in for the first time this Spring - Tocca. We saw two deliveries for the line but were starting to run short on time for our next appointment. I asked the line representative to write up the orders but we wouldn't do sizing and colors at the time.
From there, it was a quick walk to Broadway to the beautiful showroom for Chan Luu. They were in the process of preparing to redo their showroom when I visited in the Fall and the makeover looks great!
I always try to start with the jewelry, work my way to the scarves and then focus on ready to wear. There is always SO much to look at when it comes to jewelry, especially when it comes to the wrap bracelets! Janice was the one who noticed that they use paint rollers as their method for displaying the bracelets! I love it! I'm thinking about doing the same for the store.
Janice caught this picture of me while I was intensely reviewing some of the single bracelets.
And yes, I managed to lose the water bottle at my left wrist. Things don't change.
I love going to the Chan Luu showroom. It is so easy to shop there outside the chaos of market. Natasha, my Account Executive, is lovely and helpful. She took excellent care of us and helped me determine exactly which items were new from those I had seen at the Summer market. Plus, you just can't help admiring the view.
Our time there flew by and we were headed out the door to meet designer Kathlin Argiro for a late lunch at Mercato in Hell's Kitchen. The restaurant was packed and for good reason - it was delicious! It is always so enjoyable to catch up with Kathlin - I come away from our conversations encouraged and enthusiastic! She had some fabric samples for some spring wrap dresses to show me in person (she had sent pictures via phone) as well as the different possibilities for one of her incredibly creative designs - the dress/sarong! She is currently looking at fabrics for me for this piece as well! Look for more on this clever design soon!
When we finished lunch, it was time to head back to Penn Station for the trip home. We arrived with about a half hour to spare so Janice and Anna went on the search for a Starbucks. They found one but said it was in a very sketchy part of the vast building. I had remained on the main level to catch up on emails.
Our trip back was uneventful and we arrived a few minutes early (ah, the joys of train travel!) They were both still speaking to me at the end of the trip so I didn't drive them completely crazy with my intense scheduling! Another successful trip made even better by their presence.
Next up: Getting ready for the web