RECAP: PROJECT & MRKET NY | Men's Fashion Redesigned
As an emerging fashion brand or even a well established one looking to diversify into a new segment or expand your buying base, how can you successfully introduce new lines to more retailers? Deepen PR relationships? Increase sales meetings? Ramp up marketing efforts? …or maybe just wing it and hope for the right conversions?
The answers may surprise you and this seasons’ shows in New York offered numerous educational and proactive opportunities to do just this….except the winging it part - that was left up to your networking acumen.
On July 21st, PROJECT and MRKET NY kicked off as the go-to destination for brands to show off their newly minted collections to retailers, press, and peers in the menswear industry. These shows saw a huge resurgence of brands in attendance, by gathering both a laundry list of whose-who in the industry as well as brilliantly informative educational forums lead by experts from WGSN, Highsnobiety, Bloomingdales, and Bodega. Additionally, a collection of energetic networking events connected brands with more retailers, deepened media relations, and granted unrivaled access to global industry leaders, creating unparalleled synergy over three days in New York.
A few of our favorite retailers that attended PROJECT and MRKET NY include:
A.K. Rikk's | Asos.com | Barneys New York | Bergdorf Goodman | Bloomingdale's | Bodega | Boyds Philadelphia | Fred Segal | FWRD | Harry Rosen | Marios | Martin Patrick 3 | Mitchells | Moda Operandi | Need Supply Co | Neiman Marcus | Nordstrom | Revolve | Saks Fifth Avenue | Showfields | Stanley Korshak | Supply & Advise | Totokaleo | United Arrows | Urban Outfitters & many more.
Stores are always eager to stock their shelves (virtual and IRL) with what's new, now, and next. So when the show provided a designated platform for just that, it was a widely celebrated addition. PROJECTION, a robust curation strategically placed at the show entrance, allowed show buyers to easily discover new brands, products, and collections as well as engage with emerging design talent in an innovative, quick-look product round-up. J Brand, Lo. White, Mercy & Loyal, and Ploumanac'h are just a spattering of brands that were present at this show’s PROJECTION curation. PROJECTION fully delivered on the demand for helping both brands and retailers alike by streamlining their shopping and show experience.
"I really liked the show. I think it brought very good leads for us. It was our first time coming here and I didn’t know what to expect, but by the second day I know it was the right choice."
- Filippo Decotto | PLOUMANAC'H
Collaboration and the sharing of ideas in order to forge new products, styling, and design are central tenets that drive the fashion world forward. Back for it’s second season in NY due to attendee demand and industry necessity, PROJECT N:OW’s educational forums were the “it” events on New York’s show floors.
Covering of-the-moment topics such as sustainability, relevance, Instagram-ing and featuring industry mavericks such as Stretch Armstrong internationally recognized DJ and cultural pioneer), Jim Murray (President & Director of Men's, A.K. Rikk's), and Justin Berkowitz (Men's Fashion Director, Bloomingdales) presented a “standing room only” engaged atmosphere with many lingering well after the panel’s close.
Kicking off on Sunday, the “On Relevance” forum intertwined worlds from the music industry, graphic design, and radio by bringing together Nems, Eric Haze, and Stretch Armstrong. From years of experience in their industries, each spoke about their unique paths and what relevance in today's world means to them. Indicative of the bigger takeaways from this panel, Strech Armstong shared, "Younger people today think relevance is popularity...it's not about the amount of followers you have, but about the quality of relationship you have with that audience."
PROJECT N:OW continued with its high powered educational talks throughout the following two days of the show. The “Let's Get Phygital: Retail in the Age of Instagram” forum, lead by Highsnobiety, had attendees eager to ask experts, Oliver Mak (Bodega) and Josh Peskowitz (Moda Operandi) about the rising opportunities and challenges at the intersection of in-store and online as well as dissecting the big hot button topic of Instagram. Instagram as a means of brand storytelling, and not just showing off clothing has disrupted long held customer engagements practices. This, experts encouraged, challenges brands to take a deeper dive analysis on their content strategies and read just accordingly; Instagram is a powerful engagement tool, IF used correctly.
Rounding out these forums on Monday, MRKET stepped out by hosting an inaugural Q&A in their lounge with MR Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Karen Alberg-Grossman with Jim Murray, President & Director of Men's, A.K. Rikk's talking about his journey within the industry. On Day 2, Justin Berkowitz, Men’s Fashion Director for Bloomingdales closed the Q&A sessions with further insights and conversation.
"Sustainability is not a trend - it is a full on paradigm shift. Style doesn't have to be sacrificed in order to save the environment." - Rachael Dimit, Senior Consultant | WGSN
The shows in New York are known for their energy with attendees usually seen lingering with colleagues and clients both within and outside their booths and nearby points of interest on the show floor. By continually innovating multiple hotspots on the show floor for retailers to congregate, PROJECT and MRKET NY have built a collaborative network of brands and buyers, and encouraged stronger business connections and engagement.
The MRKET Clubroom and THE TENTS Retreat, designated meeting grounds for more relaxed business to take place, were go-to hotspots for many this season. Attendees were seen laughing over drinks, sharing healthy bites, or huddled around on the rustic cushioned seating area, discussing clothing/bonding over an affinity for design. By offering these getaways, the shows continually promote meaningful connections and, ultimately drive more value to the fashion industry.
Through an abundance of avenues and show innovations, PROJECT and MRKET continue to provide what's needed in order for brands of all sizes to make waves in their world. Based on the momentum of this show, we cannot wait to see what is in store this August in Vegas!
"The men's market for spring 2020 kicked off magnificently here at PROJECT and MRKET NY. This show always brings people in. When we have the chance to put our product out in a compelling manor in a clean and well lit place like PROJECT and MRKET NY, the response is overwhelming. We anticipate we'll open about 20 new accounts within a 3-day period. We look forward to following up strong and we’ll see you in Vegas!"
- Jon D. Kalupa, North America Business Consultant | SERGE BLANCO
DON'T MISS OUT ON OUR NEXT NEW YORK SHOW
Save the date:
PROJECT and MRKET NY
January 19-21, 2020
Jacob Javits Center, NYC