Fall 2015 Trends and More with Larry Lucas

Larry Lucas has been a familiar face on the AmericasMart campus since the 1970s. Lucas recently retired from his eponymous showroom, Larry Lucas, Inc. after nearly 40 years. Prior to his wholesale career, Lucas owned a successful 10,000-square-foot gift and floral shop in Sandy Springs, Ga.  He will periodically share his expertise with us on the AmericasMart blog.


Although the fall brings cold weather, there are always so many great things to look forward to during the season. New fashion trends, college football, the holidays and so much more. Throughout the Atlanta Apparel Market at AmericasMart, we have the chance to see exciting fall trends before anyone else. Throughout this blog post, you will find trends to look forward to for the Fall 2015 season, as well as helpful tips to incorporate in your retail store.

Mellow Yellow

This fall, yellow will make a strong comeback in many different styles. We’re already AWH_PHOTO-8632beginning to see it debuting in shops around town, on the Instagram accounts of popular bloggers, and used by leading designers in new collections. We will see a rich, sunflower yellow, deeper in tone than the daisy yellow of spring.

When it comes to choosing which yellow items would best complement your existing wardrobe, turn to your favorite fashion bloggers or Pinterest account for suggestions. We’ve seen the trend add a pop of color in just about every style or shape, including dresses, skirts, pants, shoes and bags.

We may be kissing summer goodbye at the end of August, but prepare your closets to take a little inspiration from the sun this fall. Pair your yellow pieces with a rich brown, gray, black or orange to channel more of a fall look, resembling the leaves at the end of the summer.

Accessories – Not Just an Impulse Buy

Not only will yellow be making a statement this fall, but so will those easy and affordable add-on accessories that you just can’t seem to stay away from while you’re out shopping. Think along the lines of scarves, hats and jewelry. We’ve seen hats make a huge fashion statement over the last few years, and we are thrilled to see them sticking around.

AWH_PHOTO-0168Trendy accessories continue as a growing factor this fall, including new and old pieces. They can easily add to any woman’s personality and complement any look, depending on her style of choice. They have the advantage of being an affordable item that customers can easily pick up during a shopping trip.

Accessories should be an integral part of a retail business. There are different styles with a variety of quality to choose from, depending on the direction of your store. Select accessories that complement the apparel you’ll be selling for the season.

Show Your Spirit

In addition to bright colors and trendy accessories, collegiate items of state schools remain in the spotlight. Each fall, these items make their way back in some new form orAWH_PHOTO-9476 fashion. During the June Atlanta Apparel Market, collegiate T-shirts and stylish Game Day collections made appearances throughout showrooms and during the Daily Struts.

Shortly following football season, Christmas will be here before we know it, with all of its festive holiday fashion. During the holidays, it’s important to let your customers know what options your store has for gifting. Try showcasing your smaller items near the check-out area, or create a small gifting display. Your customers will appreciate that everything is in one spot, and they can easily find what they are looking for.

What trends are you most looking forward to for Fall 2015?

The next Atlanta Apparel Market will take place Thursday, August 6 – Monday, August 10, 2015.

“Fresh Food – Delivered Fast” with Classic Fare Catering

Having trouble choosing what food to serve in your showroom during market?  Or do you have the perfect place in mind, but the timing and pricing just aren’t right?  Look no further than Classic Fare Catering, AmericasMart’s on-site catering service, lead by head chef Martin Smetana.  Chef Smetana and his team of talented individuals make Classic Fare the perfect go-to destination for all of your catering needs here at AmericasMart, offering delicious and fresh food choices, excellent service and great pricing.

Recently, Classic Fare has released its new menu, created specifically with Showrooms in mind.  The new menu features a wide variety of options, including decadent French pastries, house-smoked pulled BBQ pork shoulder and fresh waldorf bleu salad. These mouth-watering options are sure to impress your guests and leave them coming back for another delicious bite during the next Market!

Chef Smetana and his team at Classic Fare Catering were kind enough to share one of their unique recipes with us to pass along to our readers.  Below you will find the recipe for their Watermelon and Spinach Salad, along with their Peach Vinegarette which is used to dress this light, summer salad.  We highly recommend trying this at home!


Watermelon & Spinach Salad

Ingredients:

1 oz BABY SPINACH

5 each SEEDLESS WATERMELON, SLICED INTO SQUARE SECTIONS

3 Tbsp. FETA CHEESE, CRUMBLED

2 Tbsp. PECANS, CHOPPED

1 Tbsp. OLIVE OIL

1 tbsp. BALSAMIC GLAZE – DRIZZLE

2 oz. PEACH VINAIGRETTE – OPTIONAL

Directions:

On a plate, alternate watermelon sections and baby spinach, as shown.

Top with feta cheese and pecans, olive oil, and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.

Catering 2     Catering 1

Peach Vinaigrette:

Yield 5 servings

1 PEACH, PEELED AND DICED

½  cup RICE WINE VINEGAR

1 cup SALAD OIL

Pinch of SALT


For more information on Classic Fare Catering and our other dining options, visit our Food Services webpage.

For all other inquires and to book services, contact Milena Hernandez at 404-220-2258.

Boston International Logo Change & Launch Party at AmericasMart

As companies grow, it’s imperative for their corporate images to evolve as well. One component of that change includes corporate identity. Embarking on a journey to change existing marketing materials is more of a challenge than some anticipate. Read about one company’s experience with updating their logo.


By Christina Soave
Public Relations, Product & Marketing Coordinator for Boston International, Inc.

No doubt it’s a scary leap to rebrand an established business- will people still recognize us? Will our consumers and employees like this change? How can this be done without harming the equity of the company? Will the ever-growing to-do-list of re-branding be too overwhelming?

Many of these questions were on the minds of Boston International employees when our company, a leader in gift housewares decided to re-brand the company and unveil a new logo this year. This would mark the most dramatic change in the company’s visual identity since its inception in 1986. The decision to make this change was made when we felt like our current logo wasn’t communicating our new “modern” and “evolving” direction.

Our first step was to reach out to a professional with marketing communications experience. That’s where Peter Harris Creative out of Keene, New Hampshire dove in to get us started. The entire process took about 6-8 weeks starting with an initial survey distributed to BI’s key players. The survey was for Peter Harris Creative to get a feel for our primary customers and their relationship with us, our critique on the current logo, desires for the new one and essentially what was working for us and what was not.

BI - Logo 2The critique of the previous logo concluded that our company name does not say a lot about our company or its products. It was also cumbersome, coming in at a whopping 7 syllables, therefore the new direction would focus on the initials “BI”, our nickname. It should also capture our company’s contemporary and energetic spirit.BI - Logo

The toughest part came with the design process, sorting through the varying ideas and opinions regarding the new logo concepts at hand. To get management and staff on the same page seemed to be a struggle. Choosing colors was another challenging task and involved lots of research about what different colors mean and what these colors say about you as a company. This led us to blue, a calming color, and orange, reflecting excitement and enthusiasm to make a balance. Lastly, we had to make sure the logo would work well graphically with our products, catalog and brand as a whole.

We learned that branding is reciprocal and feedback will vary. Once the initial logo was definite and its meaning clear, we were ready to share it and its meaning to our audience. The new logo accentuates our initials “BI” and captures the artistic nature of the company through an exclusive hand-drawn font and watercolor effect. We are excited to be unveiling our new logo at the Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishing Market this July 2015. To share in our enthusiasm, we will be holding a launch party on Friday night during the show and giving away fashion totes sporting the new logo. We feel it’s a symbol of the many exciting developments to come for “BI”, and we hope to share our passion for the gift industry. The details for the party and other show specials can be found below.


Boston International Logo Launch Party

Boston International Showroom #819

AmericasMart- Building 2, 8th floor

Friday July 10th– 6pm-8pm


BI Show Specials:

Orders $300-$799 with immediate shipping receive a 5% freight cap

Orders $800 and more with immediate shipping receive Net60 and a 5% freight cap

Celebrity Sightings from Children’s World

Gallery

This gallery contains 11 photos.

With more than 700 children’s lines open for orders during Atlanta Apparel, there’s something for everyone – even the children of Hollywood. Take a look at some recent celebrity sightings. Find all the lines at Atlanta Apparel at AmericasMart Atlanta. Next … Continue reading

The Top 10 List: The B-52s

Legendary party band, The B-52’s, began its musical career in the mid-70’s following drinks at a Chinese restaurant in Athens, GA.  After spending the beginning of its career road tripping for multiple gigs, the band’s music soon became a list of chart-topping hits.  Although the lively band has been around for over 34 years, its unique tunes are still favorites around the world.

Fred Schneider, frontman and founding member of the B-52’s, will be paying a visit to Atlanta, GA this July during The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market.  On Friday, July 10, AmericasMart will be hosting “An Evening of Fun with  Fred Schneider of the B-52’s and DJ Vicky” on the Portman Blvd Patio. This must-see event is brought to Market by Monster Coffee.  

With the event just three short weeks away, we thought you’d want to start preparing for Fred’s visit now, so we put together a list of The B-52’s top ten hits.  Each song ranked in as follows:

1. “Love Shack” from album Cosmic Thing, released in 1989

2. “Rock Lobster” from album The B-52’s, released in 1979

3. “Roam” from album Cosmic Thing, released in 1989

4. “Private Idaho” from album Wild Planet, released in 1980

5. “52 Girls” from album Time Capsule, released in 1998

6. “Devil In My Car” from album Nude On The Moon: The B-52’s Anthology, released in 2002

7. “Mesopotamia” from the album Party Mix, released in 1991

8. “Meet The Flintstones”

9. “Planet Claire” from the album The B-52’s, released in 1979

10. “Wig” from the album Bouncing Off The Satellites, released in 1986

The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market will take place Tuesday, July 7 – Tuesday, July 14.

Match much?

It’s no secret that the matching separates trend has been steadily making its way to front and center.  So, prepare to fill your closet with multiple sets of this easy, yet incredibly stylish duo for the upcoming seasons.  To top it all off, there isn’t much that the matching separates trend doesn’t work for — they look effortlessly chic for lunch dates, casual walks, nights out, traveling, and even lounging.

Don’t doubt the stylist combo just yet… Legendary music artist and fashion icon, Taylor Swift, seems to agree with us.  She has been rocking the trend left and right and was even the topic of a recent Teen Vogue article talking about her love for all things matchy matchy. They mentioned her gorgeous, yet affordable white and powder blue matching set that she wore on a lunch date with her beau, Calvin Harris.

While keeping our eyes peeled at Atlanta Apparel last week for repeated trends across multiple showrooms and the fashion runway, the matching separates trend caught our eye.  The trend has picked up on a few shapes and sizes lately and we have a feeling you’re going to be a fan.  We’ve included a few of our picks for all week long.


For the work week:

Matchy 2    Matchy 1

This trend just made getting dressed for your nine to five a lot easier.  Not only can you wear these two pieces together, but you can mismatch them with other items in your closet to create a multitude of outfit choices.  These two options are appropriate for the office and still make a stylish statement.  We have to admit, they look pretty comfortable, too.  Throw on a pair of nude pumps or a comfy pair of flats and you’re good to go!


For the weekend:

Matchy 7    Matchy 6

Lets talk about comfort… These matching sets are perfect for lounging all weekend long.  Have some errands to run?  No biggie, just switch out the comfy sweats for your favorite pair of jeans.  These two styles by Bobeau work for any age and their excellent quality ensures that they will last.  Side note: the One-Button Fleece Wrap Cardigan on the right is one of Nordstrom’s best sellers!


For fun:

Matchy 5    Mathcy 3

There isn’t much more to say about these two sets, other than the fact that you need at least one of them in your closet this season!  The fringe detail and embellishments add the perfect touch without over doing it.  They are incredibly fashionable and can be worn during the day or for a night out.  We think T-Swift would approve of these, and who knows, we may see her rocking one on one of the latest fashion magazines.

Find styles like these and much more at Atlanta Apparel, taking place Thursday, August 6 – Monday, August 10.

Items in images 2, 3 and 4 – Reeves & Company Showroom in Building 3, Floor 9, E110B.

Items in images 1, 5 and 6 – UnCommon Fashion Showroom in Building 3, Floor 9, S119.

ICON HONORS 2015 Lifetime Achievement Honor Goes to Howard Henschel of The Norman Group

Howard Henschel -  The Norman Group, Inc - May 5, 2015 © Michael Mancuso

Howard Henschel – The Norman Group, Inc     May 5, 2015 © Michael Mancuso

The 2015 Lifetime Achievement Honor celebrates Henschel’s four decades of leadership in the gift industry and marks the longevity and growth of Norman’s Hallmark, founded 75 years ago with a single store in Trenton, New Jersey.

Under Henschel’s direction and vision, Norman’s Hallmark has grown to become one of the largest Hallmark Gold Crown retailers in the country with 46 stores located throughout the Philadelphia area and central New Jersey.

“Howard Henschel is the epitome of the American success story,” notes Portman.  “His achievements are grounded in the genius of private enterprise, which ICON HONORS has long championed.  Howard’s long and prolific career is but a precursor to what he will yet accomplish,” Portman adds.

At the 2015 Ceremonies, the home and gift industry’s best and brightest will be celebrated.  Guests will enjoy a cocktail reception, dinner and a live performance by legendary duo Hall & Oates in an unforgettable evening of inspiration in celebration of this year’s finalists and Honorees.

The ICON HONORS 2015 celebration is scheduled for Thursday, July 9 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.  Please visit www.ICONHONORS.com for details and to purchase tickets and tables.

Purchase tickets now!