Saying “I Do” In Style

Today, the Atlanta Apparel WORLD OF PROM Market comes to a close, which means that all eyes are on VOW | New World Of Bridal in September. This market will be focused on what’s new and next for all things bridal in 2016.

We’ve researched the trends to give you the latest information on what you can expect to see at Market and in stores for spring and summer of  2016. The trends include classic styles, with modern twists and unique details to make any bride stand out…


color

A Mix of Colors: It’s not just all white anymore… brides are straying away from the traditional white wedding gown, and going for something with a little more color. If you are in the market for a wedding dress today, you may find it hard to find an all white dress. We are seeing a lot of cream and off-white, as well as very light blue and even hints of black for a little bit of edge!


embellishments2

Expect Embellishments: Embellishments can make a bland dress beautiful in just seconds, and we have seen them all over the runway for 2016 bridal. Expect to see pearls and metallic stones gracing the bodes of many dresses.


feathers

Ruffles and Feathers: We’re seeing these features show up on the bottom half of many dresses, creating a more full look on something a little simple.


train

The Detachable Train: Many designers are bringing this trend back in a more fashionable and updated way, adding attachments to the sides and back of a more slim gown. Brides can easily remove the attachments for light-weight reception attire.


floral

Fancy Florals: Ranging floral patterns are covering the designs of wedding dresses for 2016. Whether it’s a colorful mix, or a detailed embellishment, you are sure to see this trend walking down the aisle.


backless

Showing a Little Skin: No back? No problem. Brides are loving the chance to show off a little skin with a complete backless dress, while still keeping a classic silhouette in the front.


offtheshoulder

Off the Shoulder: A huge trend in the fashion industry right now is the off-the-shoulder look on tops and dresses. This style shows off the color bone and also allows brides to show off some skin without going overboard. It’s trendy and classic, all at the same time.


neckline

Plunging Neckline: The popular, revealing style extends down to the lower waist. This style can be paired with anything from long-sleeves to a strapless, sweet-heart shape. Mesh fabric can also be paired with this style, creating a illusion of more bare skin being shown.


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We look forward to seeing you at VOW | New World Of Bridal, taking place on Wednesday, September 16 – Friday, September 18, 2015.

Making Prom Dreams A Reality

Tips for giving back from TLC’s Say Yes to the Prom

syttp15 m 08 monte advice 106 lrProm can be the highlight of a teenager’s year full of celebrations and the opportunity to wear that oh-so-perfect-dress.

TLC is helping to make that perfect prom night more attainable for deserving high school students with its Say Yes to the Prom initiative which brings dresses, tuxedos, makeup, accessories, style advisors and mentorship opportunities to young men and women across the country.

syttp15 ss 13 group 014“Say Yes to the Prom continues to give participants the opportunity to feel empowered and confident and to build valuable relationships with mentors that can grow and develop for years to come,” says Adria Alpert Romm, Chief Human Resources and Global Diversity Officer, Discovery Communications, parent company to TLC. “By pairing like-minded organizations across the industry, we will harness the collective power of our assets, from on-air talent to local relationships and employee resource groups, to create meaningful change across the country. As a mission-driven company, Discovery is committed to giving back to the communities where we live and work, and Say Yes to the Prom makes a real impact for deserving girls across the country.”

Head to TLC.com/SayYesToTheProm for more information on how you can support the initiative, and don’t forget to stop by TLC’s Say Yes to the Prom cocktail reception on Floor 12, N-300 on Thursday, August 6, 2015, from 3:30– 5:30 p.m.

Looking to also make an impact in your local community? Try these additional tips for giving back:

syttp15 denver 14 runway 557Pre-owned Pop-Up. Create a pop-up shop with gently used dresses staffed by your sales team. Give the dresses away or charge a small fee. Host the event at a specific time in your store or see if there is another location close-by.

Dress Return. Encourage your customers to bring their old dresses back to the store to donate to a charity or to use in your own pre-owned pop-up shop. Offer a small percentage off new gowns for old gowns that are donated.

Prom Tip Jar. Place a tip jar by your register for customers to drop in their change. Use the money to help off-set the cost of buying dresses for deserving girls in the community.

Host a VIP Night. Create a special event that lets shoppers preview your prom gowns before they officially hit the floor. Charge admission to the event and donate the proceeds.

Show Your Colors. Research colors that are associated with different philanthropic organizations. Donate a percentage of the sale of dresses in that color to the charity.

WORLD OF PROM takes place August 6-10 at AmericasMart Atlanta. RSVP Now.

PROM 2016 TRENDS

As we prepare for the WORLD OF PROM this month, we can’t help but day dream about all of the amazing prom styles that will be trending for 2016. With so many breathtaking and flattering designs, this could very well be the most fashionable prom season yet.

We’ve gathered together a list of trending styles to get you prepared to shop prom 2016 here in Atlanta. With so many different collections, you are sure to find just the right variety for everyone’s prom needs. From classy and timeless detail, to fun and unique shapes, there is something for everyone to achieve the perfect look they have been dreaming of for a night they will never forget.


TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE

TWO PIECESIt’s easy to see that crop tops have been a huge trend piece during the past couple years, and they are better than ever for the prom 2016 season. While still keeping the look of a traditional prom dress, the idea of two pieces adds a fun touch for young girls. We’re seeing this in many different styles, including pieces with short or long sleeves, as well as full-length and short skirts.


SLEEVES, SHORT + LONG

We’ve seen necklines such as strapless, sweetheart and one-shoulder, but now the art SLEEVESof sleeves is gracing the prom dresses of 2016. Short, long, off the shoulder… you name it and you’ll most likely see it in some shape or form. Although this aspect gives prom dresses a much more conservative feel, it only adds more of a special touch. It also allows plus size women an option to feel more comfortable while dressing for a formal event!


MIDI LENGTH

MIDI LENGTHThis trend debuted in the 1940’s and made a comeback recently in 2011. After dying down quite a bit, designers have decided to try a new take on the midi skirt and incorporate it into formal fashion. For prom dressers looking to embrace a more elegant and conservative style, this trend meets perfection. It’s feminine and classy, just the way a prom dress should be!


LACE, PLEASE

We can’t really think of a time when lace hasn’t been a good idea. Prom dresses covered in lace or with simple lace accents have madeLACE them that much more beautiful. Combining lace with mesh fabric creates an illusion of  lace covering the body, which we’ve seen all over the fashion industry lately. Multiple brands have been incorporating this trend into their 2016 designs, and we can’t wait to see more.


THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF BLING

EMBELISHMENTSEmbellishments have been popular in past prom seasons, and this year they are back and better than ever. We are seeing a lot of fully embellished looks, as well as some partly embellished looks mixed with mesh to create the desired illusion. Dresses covered in embellishments, such as this white Sherri Hill look, make the perfect statement.


RSVP for WORLD OF PROM, the nation’s #1 Prom & Social Occasion Market, taking place during the Atlanta Apparel Market on Thursday, August 6 – Monday, August 10, 2015. Join us for our WORLD OF PROM fashion show on Thursday, August 6 featuring prom trends for the 2016 season!

Resort Wear 2016 at Atlanta Apparel

When you think of resort wear, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? Maybe you and your girlfriends lying on the beach in your most recent bikini purchase, sipping cocktails with your flip flops dangling off the side of your beach chair. Well, we have good news, resort wear does constitute the latest in bikini style, but it also includes a multitude of other styles, as well. Think loose maxi dresses, playful matching separates, oversized straw hats and even a bright colored pair of heels. When it comes to resort wear, it’s all about being on trend with the latest fashionable, summer pieces that make you feel effortless and simple, yet extremely chic.

We’ve gathered photos from our previous Atlanta Apparel Daily Struts to show you exactly what resort wear can entail. Basically, there are no limits. It can get as fancy as a killer jumpsuit, or as laid back as a kimono thrown over a stylish bikini. Take note of the styles you favor and visit us next month at the Atlanta Apparel Market to bring your retail store only the latest in resort wear 2016.


Bright Colors

AWH_PHOTO-6739Bright colors are a must for resort wear, and this jumpsuit doesn’t disappoint. It’s the perfect piece to pack for your summer vacation that can be worn for dinner and drinks mixed with other neutral accents. With it’s loose fabric that flows as you walk, we guarantee this number will turn some heads.


Playful Prints

The palm print swept just about every retail store inAWH_PHOTO-6833 some shape or form this season, and we can see it sticking around. The print on this dress mixed with other bright colors adds a “wow” factor to the simple, white shift dress. Gladiator sandals or summer heels, you choose!


Effortless Bikini

AWH_PHOTO-4057While shopping for resort wear 2016, look for pieces that can be paired with a simple, neutral bikini. Fun kimonos like this one add the perfect touch and can be included in multiple other combinations in a day-to-day summertime wardrobe.


Accessorize Light

Don’t go over board on accessories for your AWH_PHOTO-4006collection of resort wear pieces. It’s important that you choose light and you choose well. Hats play a huge part in turning a casual look into something one-of-a-kind. When it comes to jewelry, go for lighter pieces that can be worn to the pool, or thrown on with a simple maxi dress.


Summer Elegance

AWH_PHOTO-4293We might have saved the best for last. This dress screams resort wear. The incorporated bright colors , “airy” fabric and low-cut neckline all compliment the dress so well.  This flattering look will be sure to get more than a few compliments. Pair with wedges and light jewels for a complete dinner look.


For styles like these and much more, visit Atlanta Apparel, taking place August 6 – 10, 2015.

You Buy, They Give: Children’s Brands that Embrace Charitable Causes

Over the past decade, many different retail brands have been incorporating a chosen charity into their business model. Think companies like TOMS, The Honest Co., Warby Parker and Burt’s Bees. A handful of these companies have implemented a one-for-one partnership, or simply donate money or product to other charitable organizations in need. It’s safe to say that this growing trend in the retail industry is here to stay, and that doesn’t disappoint.

We’ve done some research on the Children’s World brands inside and outside of AmericasMart to find which companies are exercising this trend for the little ones. We’re highlighting six companies and their efforts in giving back, each with a unique way of following through.


Rockin’ Baby

Rockin’ Baby began its Mother to Mother program in 2011 to help make a difference in the world and for mothers. For every sling or pouch purchased, it donates an Rockin Babyorange Hero sling to a mother in need in either Haiti or Kenya. Throughout this act of giving back, Rockin’ Baby has the chance to teach mothers the important role a sling can play in a baby’s life, helping her transport a child to find water and nourishment, ultimately creating a better life for a mother and her child. The orange color also helps deter malaria-carrying mosquitos. (Teacup Tots, 13-S351)


Bunnies by the Bay

This brand has a charity program called Half the Sky, which offers love and care toBunnies By The Bay children in China who have lost their families.  When you purchase an item from Bunnies by the Bay’s Red Thread Collection, part of the proceeds from each sale goes toward funding Half the Sky. They money goes toward nurture and stimulation for babies, innovative preschools, personalized learning opportunities and permanent foster homes for children with special needs. (Summer Place Reps, 13-S333)


Stephen Joseph

Stephen JosephStephen Joseph has created partnerships with three different non-profit organizations to provide care to children in three main areas, To Eat, To Learn and To Play. No Kid Hungry, Children’s Scholarship Fund and Little Kids Rock all play a major role in Stephen Joseph’s efforts in giving back. For example, Stephen Joseph donates $1 for each Lunch Pal sold to honor their partnership with No Kid Hungry. (Laura Ann & Associates, 13-N103)


Persnickety Clothing

Persnickety Clothing gives back through their charitable program called Buying IsPersnickety Logo Giving. When you purchase an item, it donates part of the proceeds to children in need. A trip to Nicaragua in 2009, lead to partnerships providing clothing to children and employment to families in the area. Persnickety Clothing not only hopes to put food on their table, but also to help them break the cycle of poverty and in doing so impact future generations. (Joyce Nilsson, 13-E113)


Dondolo

DondoloAt Dondolo, making a difference is key. It extends its efforts to Colombia, providing clothing to children in need and jobs for single mothers. By exercising the one-for-one business model, for every article of clothing purchased at Dondolo, it donates another article to a child in need of warmth. This company strives to empower womanhood and believes that giving back begins with its customers. (Dondolo, 13-E330B)


Bella BlissBella Bliss

Bella Bliss, created by two mothers raising their families, likes to give back in a variety of ways. It gives an average of $10,000 in cash donations each year to leukemia and lymphoma charities, as well as the American Heart Association. Bella Bliss also donates clothes and gift cards to more than fifteen other charities each year. (Bella Bliss, 13-E107)


To find children’s brands like these and much more, plan your visit to Atlanta Apparel next month, taking place Thursday, August 6 – Monday, August 10.

Sweet 15

Tradition Reigns with Quinceañera

The Hispanic 15th birthday celebration known as Quinceañera commemorates a clear transformation in the lifestyle and concerns of young Latina women. The long-held downloadtradition of Quinceañera formally confers responsibility and maturity upon a young Latina. What does this mean for the formalwear retailer looking to tap into potential customers?

Participants’ countries of origin spanned the Spanish-speaking regions in the Western Hemisphere, all with substantial niches in the U.S. population. A study published on Latino resource ZonaLatina.com makes the case that marketing to this group is different from traditional teens. Traditional U.S. demographics lump ages 12-17 together, which goes against Latino culture wherein there is a distinct difference between ages 12-14 and 15-17. As examples, following the rite of passage that is Quinceañera, girls significantly increase spending on beauty products, and their attitudes about perceived value in clothing shift away from peer influence.

Mori LeeIt’s critical to understand the components of the ceremony surrounding Quinceañera which traditionally begins with a religious ceremony followed by a reception. The festivities include food and music and often a choreographed waltz or dance performed by the honoree and her Court. She chooses special friends to participate in what is called the Court of Honor. Usually, these young people are her closest friends, brothers, sisters and cousins.The Quinceañera’s Court of Honor can include all young girls (called Dama), all young men (called Chambelán or Escorte or Galán) or a combination of both.

The Quinceañera traditionally wears a ball gown, with her Court dressed in gowns and tuxedos. Guests usually receive small tokens to commemorate the celebration, andAllure it’s customary for the honoree to receive a tiara, a cross or medal, a Bible or prayer book and rosary and a scepter.

To outfit the entire court as well as her family and guests, exhibitors at Atlanta Apparel are ready to showcase the latest styles in gown, tuxedos and accessories during August Market. Find everything to make the entire Quinceañera celebration one to remember for everyone.

 

Back To School with Larry Lucas

Back to School in Style 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.


AWH_PHOTO-9993The back-to-school season can be extremely stressful, not only for parents and teachers, but for the owners of your favorite kid-friendly shops, too. They may not be rummaging through shelves of school supplies at the craft store, but they are making their way to Market to shop the latest trends for children to wear throughout the school year.  It can always be a little tricky getting customers to visit your store to update their children’s wardrobe for the school days to come. Try implementing these tips into your store during the back-to-school time period for a successful season.

When preparing to visit Market, make sure you research the needs of children kindergarten through sixth grade. Use search tools such as Pinterest, Instagram and your favorite parenting fashion bloggers for inspiration on what’s to come.

As a helpful tip, try sending friendly reminders to the elementary school teachers in your area, letting them know what your store has available and how you can help them andAWH_PHOTO-3229 their students during the back-to-school season. Whether you have fun, new backpacks or a great selection of children’s shoes, it’s helpful to get your name out to the community. Also consider offering them special discounts or create a contest including the students, ultimately bringing new customers into your store.

Set yourself apart from other children’s boutiques or department stores by carrying items that are unique to your store. Visiting Market gives you a great chance to visit showrooms that carry leading product, offering a chance to physically see and feel its AWH_PHOTO-9913quality. Don’t forget add-ons like backpacks and lunch boxes. Also remember that rainwear is a big seller in the months of August, December and April.

Succeeding in getting back-to-school shoppers into your store can be a benefit to your store in multiple ways. Not only are you gaining business, but you’re also capturing new customers, as parents with little ones visit your shop for the first time. Good customer service creates loyal customers, so keep them coming back for years to come. Ask for feedback on what your customers want to see for the seasons to come. Offer them reasons to come back, such as promotional emails or special deals. While signing them up for your mailing list, be sure to ask for the child’s birthday so you can send them a special note or discount. As long as you are able to provide your customers with what they are looking for, your name will be at the top of their shopping list this fall.