Prom 2015 Color Trends

While we might think our memories of high school prom are special, this generation takes it to a whole new level. According to a recent study by Visa, the average household spent $978 on prom. This one night of luxury has become a huge industry that keeps on growing. To tap into this exciting trend, buyers need to be selling the season’s must-have dresses.

Girls shopping for prom consider many options when picking out the dress. One of the most important aspects is definitely the color. They do not want to be wearing the same color as their best friend, but also don’t want to be in something that is outdated.

The trend experts Stylesight predict these colors will be hot for spring/summer 2015:




Forest Greens

These colors were also popular for Miss USA and Miss America.

blush dress                         citron dress 2 greens

We’re sure we will be seeing  similar color trends at the upcoming WORLD OF PROM and August Atlanta Apparel Market (showrooms August 7-11 ; temporaries August 7-10).  Register today!

Falling for Fuchsia

At the June 2014 Atlanta Apparel Market, myriad new, creative trends popped in both showrooms and temporaries. One that stood out? Lots of fun fuchsia.

Fuchsia is a bright, bold shade of purple-red that always stands out, often drawing eye-catching attention. Its name derives from the flower of the fuchsia plant and was first introduced as a dye in 1859 by a French chemist. It certainly has a stylish flair!

The vibrant color is perfect for a night out with the girls or a day running errands. It’s versatility makes it viable for a variety of styles. While fuchsia is bright and bold, it complements and fits with prints and patterns.

This vivid shade brightens any season whether its a pop of accessory color or the primary of an outfit.

      Itro top    Yahada fuschsia shorts                                                     Fuschsia Ahn & Ahn showroom

(Top left Itro, Top right Yahada, Bottom Center Ahn & Ahn)

Miss USA Evening Gown Styles to Look Out For

The world does love sparkly gowns and stunning smiles. The 2014 Miss USA pageant didn’t disappoint. The evening gown portion of the competition was dominated by detailed styles with a range of interpretations. These three trends were consistent among the 51 contestants:

1) The color white. Ten contestants wore white evening gowns. With an endless color palette available, the white glowed in an array of styles complementing a range of skin tones.

2) The mermaid fit. Many contestants chose updated versions of this cut often adding a fresh take on the hemline. From rows of ruffles to more subtle layering, the style was a definite favorite.

3) Crystal detailing. Who doesn’t love a little bling? An overwhelming amount of contestants shined on stage with some glitzy sparkle and shine.

Miss GA evening gown                  Miss Nevada Evening Gown                                                          Miss Alaska


Love these looks? Find all the latest styles from the top lines at the WORLD OF PROM, Aug. 7-11, 2014, at Atlanta Apparel.

Coming Up Roses in Social Occasion

Florals are showing up on the runways and in home decor for coming seasons. And, they’re more popular than ever for cocktail and social occasion dressing. With an emphasis on layers and intricate pattern, designers are finding new ways to add floral flair to classic cuts making them more modern than ever – with a touch of retro style.

Metallics, lace, velvet burnout, brocade and embroidery add tactile interest to already stunning fabrics. The silhouettes are both classic and contemporary with a vintage vibe.  Find all the latest looks at Atlanta Apparel Market.


How to gain media coverage for your brand at AmericasMart in three easy steps

1) Be Proactive.  Editors receive stories every day, so they’re not going to look for you. Write an outstanding news release about your products with the key details along with your contact information. Be sure to request their editorial calendars to find out what they’re working on so you know when your product will have the best fit.

2) Know your Key Media Contacts. Make a list of these key contacts so that you can target them more easily. Trade publications have a larger interest in your industry and will often want to cover you.

3) Have an online Press Room Page. If the publication is interested in your brand, have your website ready to provide them with all the information they need including logos, product shots and general company information.

AmericasMart provides many opportunities for you and your brand to succeed and to be publicized. Give yourself the best chance at being covered by following these steps. We hope you find them helpful and successful.

Do you have more tips or suggestions to add to the list? Comment here!

June Atlanta Apparel
Building 3, Floor 11, Showroom W363B/W365
Thursday, June 5 – Sunday June 8, 2014
Thursday 6/5 – Saturday 6/7: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday 6/8: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m

The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market
Building 1, Floor 6 G-4
Tuesday July 8 – Monday, July 14, 2014
Tuesday 7/7 – Sunday 7/13: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Monday 7/14: 8:30 a.m. – noon

Media Relations 101

New Product Releases- Have a new product? Write a press release about it explaining everything journalists need to know about it. Is it a totally new item, a new design of an existing product or more merchandise for an existing or established line? Include that information in the release.

Photography- Photos are a great way to show off your product. Be sure to include your company contact information with them. Editors often turn to press kits for last-minute images, so including them can lead to a great story placement. If you do not have images, use any other collateral material that showcases your product.

Company Story- Something extra that your company can leverage if you have an interesting start-up story. Share your story with the media- it may sway them to cover your product.

Reprints/ Articles– If you have any other positive articles written on you or your business be sure to add to your press kit. You want to give the media as much information as you can about your product/company.

Share Your Story- Make sure that visiting journalists and bloggers are in the know about your lines by submitting media kits to the Market Press Room. Media Kits can be dropped off during regular press room hours and must be picked up before the room closes. Any media kits that are not picked up will be discarded.


June Atlanta Apparel
Building 3, Floor 11, Showroom W363B/W365
Thursday, June 5 – Sunday June 8, 2014
Thursday 6/5 – Saturday 6/7: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday 6/8: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m

The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market
Building 1, Floor 6 G-4
Tuesday July 8 – Monday, July 14, 2014
Tuesday 7/7 – Sunday 7/13: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Monday 7/14: 8:30 a.m. – noon


Fashion Shows – To Do or Not To Do? That is the Question

By T.J. Reid, Editor of Fashion Advantage 

TJ ReedRecently when a retailer sent in a question for our membership to answer. She asked, “Does anyone charge for giving fashion shows? It seems like it takes so much of our time away from the store, etc.?” Many replies were given, so here below I used some in my article.

But first, do you know what a fashion show actually is? Many people confuse it with a trunk show, in-store modeling, and accessory demonstrations or style workshops. None of those qualify as a “fashion show.”

A fashion show is an event put on by a fashion designer to showcase his or her upcoming line of clothing during Fashion Week. (I have been many times in New York, and it is quite exciting, and very short – a matter of minutes.)   Stores do fashion shows within their community to present their current season merchandise and/or to entertain & support civic groups, charities. (These are generally an hour or more long – a social event, that sometimes in addition to models, also features guest speakers, musical talent, live and silent auctions, etc.). 

OK, so as a store owner, how do you know when to say “yes” to a school group or charity or even the chamber when they ask you to participate?

A Florida retailer said: “I only do fashion shows out of the store for 125-150 or more  attendees.  I always give them a gift certificate or store bucks or some kind of incentive to get them to the store.  If the show is away, just jewelry and accessories.  It’s just too much to carry all of the sizes.    I try to limit the number of show out of the store to two a season.  I can focus more on two great shows than a lot of smaller ones.  My clothes do not get shop worn, and I am not exhausted at the end of the season.”

Kansas store owner offered: “We do not do shows for crowds of less than 20. It is not worth our time or expense to do so. If there is a crowd of less than 20, we have given fashion presentations (talks) that cover the latest trends, colors and styles. We can do this with just two of us.”

From Iowa: “We do fashion shows all the time.  We actually take the items the gals are wearing to sell right after the show (a rolling rack of clothes). We offer all customers $5 off on clothing items and we give back 10 percent of sales to the club or organization.  I love doing outside events, I never think they are too much work. I always do my own commentary and we get huge business from doing these shows.  It always drives traffic to our store in the days to follow.”

From Kansas: “We don’t charge, but we ask to set up a mini-store to sell while there, to help offset the employee costs, and costs of being out of the store.”

From Kentucky:  “We do in-store modeling, and also modeling at a restaurant next door at lunch about once a season.  It is easy to add and change accessories from the rack.”

From Illinois: “I never do a show and unless they let me set up a table to sell scarves, purses, jewelry – lots of accessories that are easy to transport and easy to sell.  I then give shoppers a coupon off any sale they make back at the store in the next week!”

From Missouri: “I have min-shows during lunch hours, inviting customers to bring in their bag lunch and join us!  They come and go for about two hours. Quick, fast paced – we furnish the soft drinks and tea, and a spot to sit.  Draw names from attendees at 5 p.m. for a gift certificate.”

And the suggestions and great advice went on and on. But before you start, there are so many things to consider: Where? When? What Time? Refreshments? Door Prizes?   Discounts? Stage/Audience Set-up? Models? Tickets? Music? Who benefits?

One final piece of advice: You should always be the emcee. Even if it is a group show with other stores, attendees give all the credit and accolades to the emcee. Also make sure the last outfit of the show is from your store! It’s the one they remember!

So it sounds complicated? Your fellow retailers are always willing to share their experiences and expertise with you. Come see me at AmericasMart, and join other store owners at my networking at 5 p.m. on Friday June 6, in the Floor 8 buyers lounge. Bring your questions; leave with answers! Love to see you! And don’t miss my workshop on Saturday, June 7 at 10 a.m. on Floor 8 for more retail how-to’s

T.J. Reid is editor of FASHION ADVANTAGE magazine. Pick one up at market. You’ll love it! Visit or  call 800-221-8615 for more information.

Let’s All Speak the Same Language

By T.J. Reid, Editor of Fashion Advantage 

TJ ReedLast week during a consultation with a retailer, whose business was just about a year old, I realized she did not understand some of the terminology I was using in my suggestions.  I stopped and reversed the conversation so that I was asking her the questions, and I quickly found she really did not know half of the things I was talking about.  She then admitted to me that “Retailese” was like a whole different  foreign language to her, yet she had been too embarrassed to admit to reps, vendors and even other retailers,  that she sometimes had no idea what they were referring to.

Here are some terms every retailer should know.  Hopefully, it is just a refresher course for some things you may have just forgotten.:

A.R. just means as ready

A.R.O. is after  receipt of order. (I.E.  as payment due at A.R.O.)

ADVERTISING ALLOWANCE  is a discount given by manufacturers to offset the expense of advertising their product line or item.  Amount varies from 2% to 8% on the invoice.  Always ask – many larger companies are happy to help promote their product.  They help with cards, ad and even billboards if their name is featured.

A.O  is At Once (as in ship at once)

B.O. is Beginning of the Month

B/C or Best Way means Best Cheapest way to ship

BOGO is Buy One Get One – a popular sales slogan and gimmick used to promote items in the store, such as buy one pair shoes, get another half-price.  Or buy one, get one free, etc.  Usually always an effective promotion to encourage multiple purchases.

C.I.A. is Cash or Check on Advance

C.O.D. is Cash on Delivery

CHARGE BACK is an amount of merchandise returned to vendor from store, usually for credit or replacement.

CLOSE-OUT is  a group of goods offered by a resource to retailers at the end of the season at a discounted cost.

DESIGNER is the visionary,  talented person in charge designing and developing the    product.  They usually draw the sketches, design the details, and select the fabrics  – then create the perfect style. (Such as John Bourgeois is the designer of Multiples.)

E.O M. is End of the Month

F.O. B. Free On Board is from where merchandise is shipped.

H.O.C. means hold confirmation.  Asking a rep or vendor to hold an order awaiting your guarantee of order. (This is better than canceling because you were unsure.)

JOBBER is a middleman who purchases from manufacturers and sells to vendors thorough their firms. This merchandise is usually for at-once delivery and at special pricing.

KEYSTONE means doubling the wholesale cost in order to determine retail price.  (This is very old school retail theory, and no-no in today’s world.  You can not make a profit using this method today.)

MARGIN MARKUP is how much you determine to charge for an item.( As example, keystone is 50% margin.  You need to figure about a 2.2 markup at the minimal in today’s retail world.)

MARKDOWN is the reducing of merchandise to move slow moving goods, and  end out-of-season remerchandising.  ( t is best to markdown and move out to make space  for new trendy, and sellable goods. That is money clipped on those hangers, get it and turn it into cash.)

O.H. means On Hand

O.O. means On Order

O-T-B  is a purchase plan you should always have before placing any orders. (Also the name of an OTB inexpensive software on the market from Mort Has.)

P.O. is Purchase Order

PRIVATE LABEL  is developing merchandise to specifications or altering standards of national brands to create and sell merchandise that is unique to the store with your name featured on the label. (This allows you a better markup, as it is an exclusive for your name.  Not only is it special to you, it is also impossible to price check, and if good enough can help establish an image for your business. An example – Kim Rogers is the Belk private label brand.)

SALES REP is the company representative who previews the line and product to you and is generally the person you deal with on a regional basis. (You will probably also have a national customer service person for re-orders and problems.)

SHRINKAGE is the loss of merchandise by shoplifting, eternal theft and sometimes bookkeeping errors.(Don’t bury your head in sand – it happens every day!)

O O is. Stock on Order

O H is Stock on Hand

VENDOR is the manufacturer who creates the goods you are buying.  He is your supplier and goods are general shipped from him to your door step.

Now you know how to speak the language!

T.J. Reid is Editor of FASHION ADVANTAGE magazine, celebrating its 25th year in distribution.  She is also a regular guest speaker at AmericasMart.  To reach her, call 800-221-8615 or visit

Tips for Success in the Temporaries: Setting up Your Booth

You’ve reserved your space, submitted your payment, now it’s time to create your booth. It’s a good idea to physically map out your booth set before you arrive at market to make sure everything is displayed in an inviting and easy-to-shop way. Here are some tips for setting up your booth.

1. Make your exhibit warm and welcoming
Set up your booth as if it were its own store. Use creative backdrops, custom walls and flooring to attract buyers.
Atlanta Beaus #12. Merchandise your products in an attractive and organized way
Make it easy for buyers to shop your booth. Group together items by theme or color to create visual interest.
Aria Handmade #2 rev3. Lighting is essential
Make sure lighting is spread evenly throughout the booth and that new products are spotlighted.
Zutano #3 rev4. Highlight and clearly identify what is NEW
Buyers love to know what’s new and exciting in the marketplace. Make it easy for them to find what they are looking for.
Cottage Products #4 crop5. Display company name clearly and professionally
Don’t rely on the sign provided. Proudly display your company name and logo so buyers can make the connection with your brand.
Rewined #5 rev6. Bring your set-up supplies
Keep a kit full of essential tools like tape, scissors, screwdrivers, thumb tacks, extension cords/power strips and fishing line. You never know what you’re going to need at the last minute, so be prepared.
toolbox7. Enjoy this exciting process!
Made In America #6

Looking for more tips from experienced exhibitors? Click here to view our helpful videos.

Winning Those Mother’s Day Dollars

By T.J. Reid, Editor of Fashion Advantage 

TJ ReedMother’s Day is one of my favorite holidays in the store, and it should be yours, too. You may not realize, but $16.3 billion are spent each year on Mother’s Day gifts and cards. (Card total is $133 million sold, making it the number three card holiday behind Christmas and Valentine’s Day).

And it’s not just cards they are buying; the average amount spent on mom is $126.90. That’s a lot of cards, flowers, apparel, jewelry, dinners, and weekend getaways.

Not only are folks buying for their mothers, 20 percent of all men buy for their wife, 9 percent buy for their daughters, 8 percent for their granddaughters, 7 percent for their friends and 2 percent for their grandmothers.

Although 69 percent of Mother’s Day purchases are for flowers, jewelry ranks at 11 percent and apparel comes in at 6 percent. (That’s not bad, 6 percent of $16.3 billion?). When asked, 10 percent of daughters say they would buy clothes for mother, but only 5 percent of sons agree. This is one of the reasons, retailers need to target the daughter-in-laws; encourage them to do the gift shopping. It makes more cents!

Everybody likes mothers! Ninety-six percent of all consumers take part in Mother’s Day in some form, and Mother’s Day gets 25 percent of the money spent on all holidays throughout the year. In one survey, 25 percent of mothers say they would like to receive a gift card so they could chose their own gift.

Retailers should offer special incentives for gift card purchases. Perhaps the same as we do with Valentine’s Day: offer a rose with each card. Gift wrap the card as if it were a huge gift. Make it beautiful; something she’ll be excited to open, and something she’ll love and appreciate!

In my book, What Mother Never Told Ya About Promotions, on pages 54-55, you will find a complete list of ideas for Mother’s Day events to create excitement and additional sales in your store.

To learn more about this and other promotional ideas, LIKE Fashion Advantage on Facebook. I try to post on a regular basis with new creative ways to help you entertain and reward your customers.

T.J. Reid is editor of Fashion Advantage magazine, and author of several books on successful retailing. She is a frequent speaker at the Atlanta Apparel Markets. For more information about her, please visit