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.

Celebrity Sightings from Children’s World


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

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.

Right On! Fashion is Steppin’ Out for Fall/Winter


Is it 1972 or 2015? This fall, it might be hard to tell from the viewpoint of the fashion world. As the fashion world once again looks back to move ahead, the time machine buyermoves past the neon colors and geometric angles of the 1980s to the free flowing styles of the 1970s. Check out looks from the June 2015 Atlanta Apparel Market.

There’s fringe, fringe and even more fringe but not the yarn and thread of the more boho looks. This is born of the abundance of leather and suede that’s filling showrooms and will soon be available at retail. Not just spotlighted in accessories – although boots and certainly bags have more than their share – this   season fringe is swinging from vests, pants, skirts and dresses.

Vintage Fringe McCall pattern              Love Riche

Maxis are everywhere offering a style that flatters almost any woman. Bold prints add vibrant interest to the fabrics that flow but don’t overwhelm.

Vintage Maxi                     Gracia

Diane von Furstenbeg said her wrap style dress would go from day to evening and flatter any figure. It did in the 1970s and still does in 2015.

Diane Von Furstenberg                     All for Color

No one says 1970s fashion like Cher. She wore a headband like no other, and they are back but suited to almost any hair style, not just ironed straight. With an endless array of embellishments, there are options for casual to dress looks. Felted hats are another must-have for the season, and the floppier the better, reminiscent of Faye Dunaway’s timeless look.

Cher Pink   faye dunaway Very_J

Denim hit its stride in the ’70s with both men and women opting for what was called the “before of after anything” jumpsuit. Today’s version is updated with improved fabrics and more flow. Platform shoes with chunky wooden heels took runways and discos by storm. The modern versions are slightly more practical with definite improvements in materials, construction and especially comfort without sacrificing style.

Vintage            Bed Stu

Taking a cue from the hipsters and hollywood divas of the ’70s, nothing says winter style like fur with a multitude of faux options ready to go in “real” and colored cuts.

Vintage Fur Vest                  TCEC

Farrah Fawcett, Bianca Jagger. Lauren Hutton or Diana Ross. No matter which style icon you’d choose to emulate, there are myriad options for contemporary looks inspired by the designers who made the 1970s a decade of bold choices and radical style. Find it all at Atlanta Apparel.

Lady GaGa’s Wedding Dress: What’ll It Be?

Bride of the decade, Lady Gaga, got engaged on Valentines Day to hubby-to-be Taylor Kinney.  When he popped the question with a heart shaped diamond, weighing in at approximately 6 carats, we knew what was on everyone’s mind: what would she wear and who would design the dress?

Well, Gaga has made it clear that for this event, her taste doesn’t quite matter, it’s all about pleasing Kinney. “It will be totally for Taylor,” she exclusively told Women’s Wear Daily (WWD). “It’s all about my man.  I haven’t really thought about anything specific yet but whatever it is, it will be totally for him.”  So, what’ll it be?  Fun and fantastical or simple and chic?

We’ve gathered a handful of looks from our 2014 VOW fashion show to inspire our predictions for Gaga’s wedding look.  They include exaggerated shapes, off the shoulder styles, flowers, and much, much more.


Rocker chic: Will Gaga go for the edgy, yet stylist look?  This dress holds an interesting shape as it hits right at the ankle, leaving room to show off a fabulous pair of shoes.  We think the crown and veil are calling her name.


Traditional Black: It’s tradition for the bride to wear white, but as we’ve seen, Gaga likes to step outside the box when it comes to tradition.  We can’t help but wonder, is Kinney a fan of the LBD?  Take note of the gorgeous, gold cuffs up each wrist.  Totally Gaga.


Something Borrowed, Something Blue: The hints of blue and the light floral print combined on this number is breathtaking.  It definitely accentuates the curves and we have a feeling Kinney would be a fan.


Floral Head Pieces: The dress may be all for Kinney, but what about the hair?  The exaggerated floral head pieces that were trending throughout our VOW 2014 fashion show were breathtaking.  They are subtle, but add a drastic pop to any classic wedding gown.  We could definitely see Gaga rocking a rather large floral head piece down the aisle.


Traditional Lace: Every now and then we see Gaga looking very traditional, channeling a classic and innocent style.  This wedding gown fits right into that description with its timeless lace and flattering style.  We can see it matching perfectly with her long, blonde locks.


Twist On Traditional: Not only does this dress include embellishments around the waist, but also down the left shoulder and arm.  The perfect twist on a semi-traditional gown.


Off The Shoulder:  The off-the-shoulder trend has been huge this season and we love how designers are incorporating the trend into wedding styles.  Can you see Gaga choosing the trendy route for her wedding look?


The Exaggerated Veil: Lets talk accessories.  It’s questionable whether or not Gaga will choose to wear a veil on the big day, but we think the short, exaggerated style is right up her alley.  Plus, this dress resembles one that Gaga wore in 2012 while in London.

A handful of top-name designers submitted sketches to WWD of ideas for Gaga’s wedding dress and they were all stunning.  Gaga seemed to think so, too, as she tweeted, “Thanku to all the very special&generous designers who designed over 30 wedding dresses 4 the most important day of my life. I’m speechless.”

We know that whatever the bride-to-be chooses to wear on the big day will not disappoint.  Who’s ready to hear Gaga officially say yes to the dress?

VOW New World Of Bridal will take place at AmericasMart on Wednesday, September 16 – Friday, September 18, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Get to know the latest Accessories Council exhibitors!

The Accessories Council is a not-for-profit, national trade organization that works to build consumer awareness and higher demand in the fashion accessory industry.  It returns to the June Atlanta Apparel Market bringing some of the industry’s most fashion-forward and unique accessory lines along with them, all of which are showing in Atlanta for the first time.  These six designers and brand names  have been selected by The Accessories Council to show at the June Atlanta Apparel Market.  

About Deondra Jeree:

Deondra MorrisClass.  Sophistication.  Style.  Glamour.  These are the words that come to mind when describing Deondra Jeree’s luxury contemporary handbags.  When everyday life can feel like all we care about is consumption with a constant revolving door of trends, these handbags transcend the temporary to become the everlasting contemporary.  By utilizing classic colors such as gold, red, burgundy, and black and textiles such as genuine lizard skin andDeondra Jeree calfskin, these handbags will never stop being chic.

Born in a small town just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana, designer Deondra Jeree Morris fuses her southern roots with her big city savvy to create effortlessly stylish handbags.  Already featured in some of the country’s most followed fashion blogs and magazines, bloggers love it, editors love it, and we know you will love it, too.  As a millennial, Deondra Jeree is the fresh face the handbag industry needs to shake things up.  For those looking for luxury but want to think beyond Rodeo Drive and Park Avenue, this is the brand you will soon cherish.

Instagram: @_deondrajeree_

Twitter: @deondra_jeree

Facebook: @DeondraJeree


About Kemi Designs:

KemiIt all began in Australia, with its laidback, grassy beaches and quietly bohemian fashion scene. Kemi first landed there in 2009, on the heels of receiving a degree in Apparel Design from the University of Delaware and on the promise of fulfilling a fashion internship. After gleaning all she could from the tutelage of the iconic Australian designer Willow, Kemi’s wanderlust kicked in. A year of living on the beach in Bondi and venturing out to explore the Great Barrier Reef, glaciers of New Zealand and street markets of Bangkok provided all the inspiration she needed to start her own jewelry line. Now, the 27-year-old crafts one-of-a-kind pieces by hand in the Upper East Side apartment she shares with her cat, Pancakes, and two best friends. Her geometric designs reflect both the tribal lean that informs her personal style — arrows, feathers, Moroccan half-moon shapes — and her urban surroundings, like the New Kemi 3York City skyline on her popular “We Built This City” sterling silver ring. The Long Island native customizes necklaces and bracelets on request, and is currently at work putting her talents to especially good use, creating pieces like her “Love is Blind” Braille ring, which benefits the Foundation Fighting Blindness. With a raw, organic finish as her trademark, Kemi’s jewelry echos her year getting lost in a rabbit hole while finding her calling. With her customers left feeling adorned and beautiful, her jewelry is meant to decorate the body as well as the soul.

Instagram: @KemiDesigns

Twitter: @KemiDesigns

Facebook: /KemiDesignsInc


Market special: When you buy or place an order AT a show, you receive 10% off.

About Mondrina:

Monica FrisbieMondrina is a Sag Harbor, N.Y. based handbag brand founded by Monica & Matt Frisbie in 2012 while they Mondrina_tallulah_graywere living abroad in Lima, Peru. Inspired by the contrast of their two favorite seaside residences, Mondrina handbags mix luxury leathers with artisan made materials and suburb craftsmanship. Each handbag is hand cut and sewn in small batches out of luxury materials found and created.

Instagram: @Mondrina

Twitter: @Mondrina

Facebook: /BenchMadeLuxury


About Sheep Shades:

Katie McKenna Pink Sheep HeiressSheep Shades is a line of high-quality, unisex sunglasses created under the influence of rock & roll for musicians, by musicians. Handcrafted in acetate with the highest quality lenses providingSheep Shades 100% UV protection, Sheep Shades capture the essence of the respectably rebellious rocker. Sheep Shades are for dreamers, doers, festival goers, concert junkies, rock stars — and anyone who believes in the power of music.   Sheep Shades — a Pink Sheep Heiress brand.

Instagram: @SheepShades

Twitter: @SheepShades

Facebook: /sheepshadesbypsh

Tumblr: sheepshades.tumblr.com


Market Special: Free shipping and 10% discount on all orders over $500 placed during the show.

About Ragini Mittal:

Ragini MittalRagini Mittal was launched in 2012 by designers Ragini Mittal and her mother Chhaya Agarwal. Their work reflects a distinct fusion between the traditional, bright and bold, Indian Jewelry design and a western design aesthetic. Headquartered in the Northeast region of the US and in New Delhi, Ragini Mittal is able to utilize the inspirations from both geographic areas and beautifully incorporate the influences into all of her collections.Ragini 2

Ragini Mittal represents today’s feminine and fun woman, as well as, the powerful and bold modern woman through their designs. Each featured piece is handcrafted in New Delhi by local artisans. In doing so, Ragini Mittal is able to offer empowerment to young women through entrepreneurship and is able to stay well-connected to their communities.

Ragini Mittal is sold internationally and online.

Instagram: @RaginiJewels

Twitter: @RaginiJewels

Facebook: /RaginiMittalJewelry



Silvana MontoyaSilvana Montoya, Colombian entrepreneur, founder of LUXCHILAS,  the famous brand of Luxury Wayuu Mochila Bags. With a background in business, a huge passion for design and a philanthropic heart, she fulfilled her dream of empowering Wayuu Tribe women to fight poverty.Luxchilas 2

Respecting the original Wayuu geometrical patterns, her designs are inspired by  their colorful combinations and by fashion trends. She creates modern and luxurious bucket style bags with crystals and leather fringes. This embellishment is made by single moms head of their households.

Part of the proceeds from the sales goes the future of the Tribe: the children. She has been able to donate complete meals and school supplies for them.

It is time to live the LUXCHILAS Experience: Be Bold, Feel Happy, Give Back, Look Fab!

Instagram: @Luxchilas

Twitter: @Luxchilas

Facebook: /LuxchilasBags


Market Special: Receive 10% off regular wholesale price.

About PLUMA:

PLUMA photoBrendan Cannon is the Creative Director of PLUMA, a collection of chic and elegant accessories produced in Italy by some of the premier luxury artisans in the world.

Cannon grew up in New York City and was influenced by his love of music and fashion from an early age. He began his career as stylist and over the course of his career has worked with publications, such as Vogue, Vogue Germany, Vogue Brazil, Vogue Mexico, W Magazine, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, and Niche Media publications. He has also worked with celebrities including, Diane Kruger, Angelina Jolie, Emily Blunt, Jennifer Garner, Katie Holmes, Liza Minnelli, Michael Jackson, Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon and Keanu Reeves. In addition, Cannon has been featured as style expert on networks such as E!, Style, VH1, CBS, NBC, ABC, TLC and Bravo.

In 2013 he partnered with T-Project Inc, an Italian network of producers and suppliers to create PLUMA. Drawing inspiration from his travels throughout Tuscany, Cannon’s experiences with the family owned, specialty factories there inspired him to create a collection of accessories; suites of styles are grouped according to the materials used and produced in conjunction with a factory that specializes in the relevant technique.PLUMA photo 3

“Before meeting with the manufacturers to start the design process, I explored Italy to visually ‘inhale’ the balance of color and scale, from the natural landscape to the architecture to even local street style. Italy has long been the birthplace of the most luxurious fashion brands and trends, so I wanted to pay homage to that,” he said.

Cannon’s designs reflect the multi-faceted lives and sophistication of women who covet and wear luxury accessories. The precise combinations of luxurious elements like brass with molded resin, high-grade leather, enamel, high-quality plastics and nautical rope gives an elegant sensuality, allowing the jewelry to become a wardrobe staple.

PLUMA photo 2PLUMA debuted as a capsule collection that was shown alongside designer Jason Wu’s Pre-Fall 2013 collection. The ‘Oro’ suite, collaboration between Cannon and Wu, featured the brand’s signature gold links, brass, black enamel and molded resin. PLUMA officially launched with a full collection for the Spring 2014 season. PLUMA has attracted the attention of celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone, Kate Beckinsale, Lily Collins, Jessica Paré and Julianne Hough, among others.

Instagram: Pluma_Italia

Twitter: Pluma_Italia

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pluma-Italia/225948977541042


You can find these brands at Atlanta Apparel, which takes place June 11-14, 2015 at AmericasMart Atlanta. Learn more at www.AmericasMart.com/Inside.

Shark Tank: Survive and Thrive

Exhibitors pitch their ideas to top investors

What does it take be a successful entrepreneur? Several exhibitors at The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market® can tell you. They’ve appeared on the hit ABC show “Shark Tank” to present their ideas to some of the top self-made business tycoons in the world.

What did they have to do?

Monkey_MatChristie Barany and Courtney Turich say just making it to the taping phase is an ordeal. The co-owners of Monkey Mat had to pass several tests before their episode finally aired on April 4, 2014. They originally submitted their pitch through the Shark Tank Web site in September 2012. Producers finally responded the following March.

“They gave us an on-the-spot interview over the phone,” says Barany. Then came the mountain of paperwork. “It was a 200-page document we had to fill out by hand,” says Barany. “If you have a business partner, you each have to fill one out your own. We found out later from the producers it’s a test to find out how interested you are. It’s a mind game the whole time.”

The final test was a five-minute video they put together to answer every conceivable question about their products. The invite to Los Angeles for the taping soon followed.

Is it a competitive atmosphere?

PullyPalz owner Julie Thompson, who appeared on the show April 10, 2015, says the intense experience tends to bond everyone who goes through it. She taped her segment the same day fellow Atlanta exhibitor Ryan Shell of The Home T taped his.

PullyPalz“We’ve stayed in touch ever since and I’ve stayed in touch with a few others, too,” she says. “You feel like you’re on the front lines together. We’re our own Shark Tank support group.”

For Thompson, the uncertainty was the hardest part. Producers offer no guarantees that a segment will air, even after the taping.

“Then you make it to the tank and it’s intimidating,” says Thompson. “I thought it’d be intense and I could handle it, but that day I was a nervous wreck. Knowing 8 million people might see it and knowing anything you say can air, with so much on the line, it’s definitely stressful.”

Shell says the experience is even more nerve wracking in person because contestants are in front of the sharks for much longer than the 5 to 10 minutes that air. A pitch can last up to two hours depending on the sharks’ level of interest.

“It is extremely intense standing in front of them,” says Shell, who appeared on the March 21, 2015, episode. “They often hit you with multiple questions at once. You have five very confident individuals grilling you, and if you don’t know your stuff, it’s a very long day.

How do you pitch your idea on TV?

Freaker_USAZach Crain of Freaker USA appeared on the October 18, 2012, episode. He says once he walked onto the stage, he let go of all his concerns and inhibitions.

“I thought, ‘If I get nervous and start sweating, I’ll just own it,’ but luckily I was comfortable and acted like myself,” says Crain. “It was like I stepped into my TV screen. Mark [Cuban] has that funny grin on his face the whole time. You don’t know what he’s doing over there in the corner. And Kevin [O’Leary] did his thing.”

Erin Bickley and Jenny Greer of Hold Your Haunches appeared on the April, 10, 2014, episode and say they had a great time pitching the sharks.

“When Kevin was carrying on we were laughing, although they edited it to make it look more intense than it really was,” says Bickley. “They got shots of us looking pensive and tense at some point. We don’t remember that, but there must have been some tense moments.”

What happens after the show?

While Crain and Shell left without a deal, Bickley and Greer got one from real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran. Mark and Hanna Lim of LollaLand stood in front of the sharks for 90 minutes before finally accepting an offer from tech mogul Mark Cuban on the April 27, 2012, episode.

“One thing that has surprised us is Mark’s willingness to learn,” says Mark. “It still baffles me that he would email us at 11 p.m. on a Saturday to ask us about our business and our strategy. That tells you a lot. Here’s a billionaire who defines success and he wants to learn from us. It taught me I need to be constantly learning and adapting.”

Everyone who got deals agreed that they get as much value from working with the sharks as they do from the money they received. Even entrepreneurs who didn’t get deals say the experience was worthwhile.

Ray Phillips, CEO of SoapSox, appeared before the sharks last October. Fashion mogul Damon John made an offer but Phillips declined.

“Everyone is a Monday morning quarterback, saying we should have taken Damon’s offer,” says Phillips. “But when you air on Shark Tank it increases awareness. It’s increased our distribution three times over. Disney is now aware of us and talking to us. NASCAR is aware of us.

It’s a benefit that is ongoing. Exposure from reruns, follow-up segments and clips posted online make every participant a winner, deal or no deal.

For more information, visit the exhibitors during Market.  Monkey Mat: Carolina Baby Company, Building 3, 13-W124; The Home T: Building 3, 2-2200; PullyPalz: Building 3, 13-E319A;  Freaker USA: Just Got 2 Have It!, Building 2, 17-1721; Hold Your Haunches: Building 3, 4-115;  LollaLand; Carolina Baby Company, Building 3, 13-W124 and SoapSox Building 3, 3-315.