May 16, 2013

Changing Trades

Last week we attended FameModa Manhattan and its sister show, AccessoriesTheShow. Luckily enough we got to catch up with Coleman McCartan, the Director of International Marketing for Business Journals, Inc (BJI), to get some inside knowledge about how they are adapting their shows in the ever-changing market.

One fresh component to AccessoriesTheShow this time around was the Young Designer Lab, which sponsors new and upcoming talent by offering them smaller booths at half the price. These newcomers are even eligible to show up to three times at the Young Designer Lab before they have to either buy an actual booth or leave the show entirely. Other new additions to Moda Manhattan included a beauty spa, charging stations and an increase of 30 new brands at Fame. All three shows, Moda, Fame as well as AccessoriesTheShow, are experiencing massive growth and by experimenting with these new concepts, they can better understand how to develop these shows in the future.

Switching gears to Las Vegas, a collaboration between BJI and Sam Ben-Avraham has led to the creation of The Modern Assembly, a strategic alliance of AccessoriesTheShow, Agenda, Capsule, Liberty, MRket, and Stitch (a rebranded version of Moda for Las Vegas). Held under one roof at the Sands Expo at the Venetian Palazzo Complex this August, these shows take a progressive approach by appealing to the entire industry at large – from the contemporary market to denim, streetwear, accessories and lifestyle. Liberty is the newest of these shows to launch with a focus on contemporary menswear and denim.

photo via Moda Manhattan

So what did we see out in the market this time around? Most importantly there is a major market shift happening where there are no clear distinctions between seasons anymore. The May show is typically meant to exhibit Fall/Transition products. However 60% of the collections shown were Spring/Summer 2013 for immediate sale and the rest for an August 2013 fall delivery. This reflects unstable economic conditions, changing weather patterns and the rapid influx of new and emerging trends causing buyers to purchase closer to the season. With that said, the show was very price driven and focused on a wide customer target range, from contemporary to missy.

photo via Kareena's

Product-wise, for Spring/Summer, we saw everything from tie dye to Americana influences, novelty prints like stars, skulls, love lettering and celestial designs as well as your typical dots, garden florals, and tribal patterns. Colors shined bright in blues, corals, oranges and reds, with pastels, black and white combos, and some red, white and blue pride, keeping up with the spirit of the season. Other details to note were embroidery, beading and lots of hardware. Highlights from Fall/Winter included, an abundance of fur fabrications, tribal, aztec, optical and ethnic prints as well as hues of burgundy, orange, and the obvious big seller, black and white.

photo via Z&L Europe Corp

While at Moda Manhattan we came across a few really cool brands that caught our eye. Based in Miami, Z&L Europe Corp sells bohemian, hippy inspired beachwear. They even create exclusive products that you may be able to find at an Anthropologie or Free People store near you! One of our favorite must-have pieces for this Summer was their skull straw tote, that is featured above and comes in pink as well.

photo via ULF Andersson

Another favorite, ULF Andersson, is a Swedish designer living in California and producing in LA, who's collection consists of updated vintage designs. He has been in business for over 13 years, with some of his most popular items including washable silk velvets, polka dot prints and black and white color schemes. Most of his inspiration stems from his grandmother's closet as well as wallpaper patterns. Not to mention, with his cut to order business strategy and convenience of speedy monthly shipping, he has easily adapted to the changing demands of the industry.

photo via, who's super innovative booth, complete with charging stations grabbed our attention, produces unisex touchscreen gloves that pass energy through the hand so your entire hand works on the screen. The gloves are also enabled with MagLove™ technology that magnetically keeps the two gloves together. Finally a fashionable glove for your smartphone!

photo via Pura Vida

Our last stop at Moda Manhattan, Pura Vida, is "making strings happen" with their collection of handmade bracelets from Costa Rica. These bracelets come in an endless amount of color combinations, making them unique, special, and rare. Not to mention, the company has not only taken 30 local artisans in Costa Rica out of poverty, but is a huge supporter of The Surfrider Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving beaches and oceans worldwide.

photo via Triple C

As we skipped over to AccessoriesTheShow, we fell in love with the fun iPhone accessories at Triple C. They even launched a Green Label that sells iPhone and iPad accessories made of wood and portable solar powered batteries, perfect for a day at the beach! While some of their products are sold at Nordstrom's as well as other department stores, they have also created private labels for the likes of J.Crew, Aldo and Guess.

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