So it seemed fitting that three years later, I found myself back in Atlanta again, this time buying for Spring 2014. Other obligations had kept me from going to NYC in September as usual so I got to enjoy the familiar and more relaxed confines of the AmericasMart.
Because I am what my husband refers to as an "Intense Traveler", I was on a 6 am flight to Atlanta and at Market just as it opened at 9 am. Having registered with a couple of clicks for a Fast Badge online, I had my buyer's badge in no time flat and was off to my first appointment.
No more breaking Market up into two days like that first trip. I was all about making the most of my time there with the hopes of heading to see family in Athens on Saturday morning rather than coming back to Market. Thanks to Tara organizing all of my appointments for me, I had a great schedule with all of the brands I wanted to visit (and a little time to look at other potential lines). In total, I saw 13 lines that day!
Some surprises - Beth Bowley has ceased producing a line. We will receive her Holiday shipment but that will be it. She has been a customer favorite and we are sad to lose her. And Cynthia Steffe is no longer designing for Cluny. We have loved her unique takes on traditional designs and were an early buyer of the line.
As I have mentioned before, being in Atlanta allows you to have more time with your reps and to visit as friends. I loved my time with Maye of Alice & Trixie and Amy Matto, Natasha of Chan Luu, and Noelle of Rebecca Taylor. They are absolutely some of my favorites and know me and the store so well that they start editing the collections before I say a word. We've worked together for long enough that they know my buying style and the style of my Zoe customers.
I was so enamored with the jacket from the Lily Aldridge for Velvet Collection that I threatened to take it with me right then! The reps agreed that it looked great with my redwood colored jeans from Red Engine and my silk blouse from 81 Poppies.
It was surprising to see how many of the trends carried over from Fall to Spring. Lots of leather and leather accents remain. Black and White and darker colors were prevalent in the lines (I complained to a couple of brands - where are my Spring colors??) Peplum is still very in as well. Seeing a lot less of the High Low trend that seems to be wearing out its welcome.
Lots of Black and White
Velvet finally brought some color to the mix (as did Trina Turk)
Rebecca Taylor always has great dresses
After a VERY long day (I think I finished up at around 6:30), I checked into my hotel for the night and went to get something to eat and relax for a bit. I've stayed in my hotel (the Marriott Marquis) twice with Jim so he asked me to take a picture for him showing him the location of my room. Of course, I had to oblige.
Even after three years and countless market and buying trips, the process of shopping for my customers remains one of the most fun and most stressful aspects of owning a store. Atlanta will always hold a special place in my heart because she was first.