Press | U.S. Domestic Trade Shows: Upbeat and Energized
By WWD Staff
U.S. domestic trade events in the second half are responding to market changes by shifting show dates, offering dual-gender shows, expanding offerings in top segments and adding beauty as well as launching completely new events to meet the changing needs of retailers and brands.
There will be more “experiences” for attendees, too. And for one key show, vintage offerings will return and so will consumer-facing elements. Stepped-up efforts on social media will support the show and generate buzz.
For UBM Fashion, it’s shaping up to be a busy second half with several new initiatives under way. The biggest shift is the introduction of dual-gender shows in July, that will include PROJECT, PROJECT WOMEN'S, FAME, MODA, ACCESSORIES THE SHOW, PROJECT, which includes THE TENTS, and MRKET, that takes place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York.
“This is the first time we’re able to have a July market that is dual brand. We’re excited about that. It’s something that we’re able to bring to the market, and have all the shows and men’s and women’s exhibiting at the same time,” said Tom Nastos, president of men’s and women’s apparel at UBM Fashion.
He sees it as a great opportunity for stores that carry both women’s and men’s. “It’s a proven, successful model because that’s what we do in Las Vegas,” he said. “We’re looking to bring greater value to the retailer. You come to New York and can see traditional men’s wear, women’s wear and better collections in men’s and women’s.”
He noted that it’s the normal, traditional timing for men’s wear, and the women’s shows used to be eight or nine days later. “So the timing was almost identical, so we took the opportunity to put this together and evolve the market,” he said.
The September Coterie will be Sept. 15 through Sept. 17. The reason for the Saturday start is that Yom Kippur begins Sept. 18 at sundown. “We want to make sure that we have full attendance and we take care of our exhibitors and retailers. We’ve found that when we start on Saturday we get greater international participation because fashion week goes through Thursday, and quite a few international buyers opt to stay since the show is on Saturday,” he said.
He noted that UBM is very focused on offering “experiences,” similar to what took place in the June market at [Pre]Coterie. “People loved the teepees. The social media was really great. We’ll continue to provide more experiences for our exhibitors, the brands and the retailers,” he said. They will continue to strengthen the beauty and vintage sections of the show. “We’ve been very successful with the beauty and the vintage is always a major draw. People love the vintage. It appeals to our brands and the designers for research, and beauty and vintage have the consumer element so they come and buy.” The cost to the public is $20.
Meanwhile, the swim and intimate apparel sectors continue to be an area of interest for trade show organizers. Coterie is capitalizing on Miami Swim Week, which takes place from July 12 to July 17, with a Coterie: Pop-up that will be located within Faena Bazaar at 3400 Collins Avenue from July 11 to 18. According to Danielle Licata, Coterie’s vice president and fashion director, it will be fully shoppable experience and feature 30 brands in the swim, RTW, beauty, hair care, home, accessories and art objects categories. Licata said this is a way for Coterie to have a presence at Miami Swim Week.
The Maris Collective team is working to bring this 20,000-square-foot multibrand shopping destination to life. Among the brands will be Carolina K, LoveShackFancy, Place Nationale, MDS Stripes, Innika Choo, Sunday Saint-Tropez, Mikoh, Suboo, Poupette, Chromat, Rosa Chá, Sinesia Karol, Mes Demoiselles, Adriana Degreas, Gladys, Jacquie Aiche and Camilla.
The Swim Show, which takes place at the newly renovated Miami Convention Center, will present the Collection, a fashion environment created for emerging and established boutique designer brands. Service is a main component of the show this year with Zen Lounge areas and beauty services for show goers along with free scooters to get them around South Beach.
Cabana, which expanded into the New York market, will also have a presence in Miami at The Tents at Collins Park.
For trade shows on the West Coast, event organizers continue to iterate to generate excitement. For example, the beauty-focused Glam — sub-show within the show at WWDMAGIC — is expected to about double in size in August from the seven brands at its February debut at the Las Vegas Convention Center, according to Kelly Helfman, vice president of WWDMAGIC, Pooltradeshow, Fame and Accessories the Show.
Glam’s also partnering with makeup artist Samuel Rauda of Makeup by Samuel. Rauda will cover glam on social media in addition to participating in an influencer panel, lash line demonstration and meet and greet.
WWDMAGIC also carved new space on the show floor dedicated to RTW young contemporary brands, dubbed (On)line. The space will debut with 30 brands new to the show, reflecting a mix of RTW and accessories all retailing for under $100.
“It’s called (On)line because it has both a touch-and-feel and online element to it,” explained Helfman as she pointed out buyers can see actual product on racks before transitioning to an iPad where they can look through the entire line. “We’re combining both the on-site and digital experience.”
Elsewhere in Vegas, SOURCING at MAGIC will focus on sustainability, while the footwear trade shows have collaborated with Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Turkey and the U.K. on programming for the shows.
The Assembly conference is expected once again at the Sands Expo and Venetian Meetings, where the Agenda, Liberty Fairs and Capsule shows take place. The two-day conference, which took place on the show floor and was open to consumers, debuted in February and included keynotes from Kith’s Ronnie Fieg and Jaden Smith.
The Liberty Fairs Las Vegas show will also include Indigo, a space dedicated to denim. For the New York show, organizers are dabbling in director-to-consumer with Stock, a specialty store that will feature buzzy sneakers in its first iteration.
“We’re excited about the return of Assembly to Vegas,” said newly installed ReedPOP West vice president of marketing Rob Weinstein. “Last season’s inaugural conference was very well received and attended. We successfully brought together great minds of the industry — educating, inspiring and entertaining our community of retailers, brands and the public.”
In men’s, Project is partnering with White, an Italian trade show, and will host a kick-off event this July in New York to celebrate the tie-in, which will take place over the next two seasons. Project Las Vegas will feature a new section called Commune, which will focus on contemporary streetwear brands including Rothco and Introspection, and has partnered with Highsnobiety on programming and content. There will also be Project Golf, which will be an extension of current exhibitor offerings and also bring in new golf-related brands including Travis Matthew, Vessel Bags, Holderness and Bourne, Psycho Bunny and Topgolf.
New this year, and on the West Coast, is ReMode, funded by UBM Fashion. The event includes different program areas such as marketing, investment and technology and will feature more than 150 speakers. Organizers of the event said it will focus on disruption, innovation and sustainability. Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel, founder of the event, said in a prior WWD report that disruption in the fashion apparel, beauty and luxury industry “is forcing brands to review and own their entire supply chain, accelerate their time to market, rethink the way they market, sell and retail, and ultimately move to new forms of financing. For this, brands need a new network, new talent and new skills.”
“We believe these paradigms are offering a fantastic opportunity for fashion to be better and find its way towards growth and sustainability,” he told WWD. “We launched ReMode to catalyze this positive transformation and to provide fashion decision makers with the ideas, solutions and contacts that will enable them to thrive.”
As for a second-half prognosis, Nastos said, “For us, overall, we are being very proactive with the dates. Our teams are being very innovative in their presentations. We’ve taken the point of view that the status quo has to change. As we do it, both retailers and brands are very appreciative and we’re getting the results.”