Saturday, October 6, 2012

Spring Shopping in NYC

Yes, you read that right.  The fashion industry is structured such that I was shopping for Spring 2013 in September 2012.  It's no wonder I open boxes I receive 5 - 6 months later and exclaim "Oh, that's what I ordered!"

Although Zoe has been open for a year and a half (officially today as a matter of fact), this is now my third "Spring" to buy for as part of the lifecycle of the store.  Each time, I think I learn more and more.  Plus, as I listen to my customers, they tell me what they are looking for too!  And I've learned that the big buying seasons (like Spring and Fall) require me to go twice.

I've told you a lot about my market experiences in the past so I try to just focus on the things that are unique about that particular experience.

  • Market was held on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday this time around (rather than the normal Sunday, Monday, Tuesday).  This was to avoid conflicting with Yom Kippur.  Consequently, this meant that I went on Thursday, came home (more on that later), and then went back for my showroom visits on Monday of the next week.
  • Walking to the Javits Center before 9 am, I walk past restaurants and food carts.  There was the most amazing smell of Chinese food this time as I walked to the convention center.  I have never been one to eat Chinese food for breakfast but I could have that day.
  • All of my reps said that Wednesday had been insanely busy for them.  A good sign!
  • When I arrived at Javits, I went straight to my first appointment (at 9 am).  I kid you not, I did not have time to do anything other than go from appointment to appointment until almost 3 pm that day.  It was intense and the collections were very large.
  • The worst item I saw all day?  A combination skirt/pants.  A big NO!
  • I saw a lot of green.  I purchased it sparingly (and normally combined with a more neutral color) as I don't think it is a color that looks good on everyone.
  • I did do some try-ons myself (love that the sample sizes are usually my size!)  At one booth I tried on some pants under my skirt and at another I tried on a jacket (that actually went amazingly well with the necklace I was wearing that day)!  In fact, when the buyer from a store outside Baltimore saw me with the necklace and jacket combo on, she asked for the name of the jewelry designer so that she could contact her!
  • My favorite new line that I'm bringing into the store for Spring?  Amy Matto.  And she is just lovely - it is always such fun to meet the designers.
  • The train ride back was uneventful UNTIL we left Baltimore's Penn Station.  From my usual perch in the Cafe car, I hear the conductor communicating with the engineer.  We have come to a complete stop.  Someone is standing on the tracks about a train length ahead of the train.  And not moving, even though the engineer is blowing the horn.  Amtrak called the police but fortunate the individual moved about 10 minutes later.  The speculation was that, because the person appeared to be a teenage male and things like this had happened before, it might be gang initiation related.  I was just so happy that no one was hurt AND we didn't have to sit there for an hour!
  • I came home because the next day (Friday) was the start of the Scavenger Hunt for the Old Town Boutique District stores.  Since it was Zoe's first, I felt strongly that I be there.  I'll be writing a blog post on it too!
  • On the return trip on Monday, I had appointments at showrooms, two of which I had been to before.  Tara joined me on the trip also!
  • Our train from DC to NY was horribly delayed once we left the station.  When I saw that we weren't going to make our first appointment, I quickly contacted her and asked if we could reschedule to later in the day.  We were late enough that we had to go quickly to my second appointment!
  • It was a good thing we had our walking shoes on because we zipped around the Fashion District from appointment to appointment with little to no time to spare.  We did manage to grab a late lunch prior to getting back on the train.
  • For my friend Renee - On the first day, I wore a Yoana Baraschi Blazer and Skirt and on the second I wore my favorite Velvet Winnah dress from last Fall.  Oh, how I love that dress!
Next up:  The Old Town Boutique District Scavenger Hunt

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