Braids, please!

It’s no secret that braids have made a huge comeback with today’s hottest fashion trends.  Women, children, celebrities, bloggers, designers… Everyone is incorporating braids into their own personal styles.  With Atlanta Apparel in June quickly approaching, we are ecstatic to announce that we will be offering a braid bar for buyers to enjoy at different times throughout the Market.  Don’t fall behind on this trend!  Take a minute to look at these different braid styles, and decide what you will be requesting when you make a stop at the braid bar this June during Atlanta Apparel.

Regular Braids

Regular Braid 2     Regular Braid 1

Want to start out with something simple?  Try the regular braid!  Some would say it is the simplest one in the book.  It only requires three strands of hair and looks sleek for any occasion.  This style can be worn down the back, to the side, or it can be incorporated with a fun hair twist or pony-tail.  The options are endless.

French Braids

French Braid 2     French Braid 1

French Braids are a little more intricate than regular braids, but don’t let that scare you away.  You still only use three strands of hair, but you pick up a little more hair each time you cross strands.  This is a braid that works for many different hair types, such as long, short, fine or thick hair, and just like a regular braid, they are fun to incorporate into different hair styles.  We are also a fan of the mini French braid, which makes the perfect baby step.

Fishtail Braids

Fishtail Braid 2     Fishtail Braid 1

This braid, which resembles the tailbone of a fish, has definitely made waves.  It looks intricate and time consuming, but in reality it is incredibly easy.  You begin by dividing the hair into two separate sections, and move small pieces over to each side as you continue down the braid.  We recommend practicing with your hair in a pony-tail to master this trend.  Once you get the hang of it, it will become your go-to hair style.  What’s more is that it looks even better when it’s a little messy!

Side Braids

Side Braid 1     Side Braid 2

When it comes to side braids, almost any shape or size can be accomplished.  You are simply changing the direction to which you are braiding.  Having a braid lie on the side of one shoulder or framing your face gives your hair an effortless and chic look.  Will you go for the faux hawk or a breezy, bohemian look?

Waterfall Braids

Waterfalll Braid 1     Waterfall Braid 2

The waterfall braid, formerly known as the cascade braid, is definitely one that makes you wonder “how will I ever get my hair to do that?”  Well, if you are still having trouble mastering this braid, put it at the top of your list to request at the braid bar.  Its complicating strands weave in and out of the hair, making it look as if small pieces are flowing out from the braid.  The professionals say it works best with straight hair or loose curls.

Dutch Braids

Dutch Braid 1     Dutch Braid 2

Dutch braids are popular for their over exaggerated shape and the look they give to the eye, making it seem as though the braid is simply resting on top of the head.  The most popular place for Dutch braids is framing the face.  This braid style starts with a braid similar to the French braid.  It is then pulled apart and loosed to achieve the overall look.  You can also incorporate other braid styles into your Dutch braid, such as a fishtail braid.

Mermaid Braids

Mermaid Braid 1     Mermaid Braid 2

With the warm summer months quickly approaching, there isn’t a better time to begin experimenting with the mermaid braid.  The basics of this braid are very similar to that of the French braid.  When gathering hair from each side, make sure your pieces are thinner and smaller.  This allows them to be loose and the hair underneath will be noticeable.  Turn this braid into a side braid, and you’ve got an easy hair style that can be dressed up or down.

Milkmaid Braids

Milkmaid Braid 2     Milkmaid Braid 1

If you’re in the mood for an up-do, this braided hair style is the one for you.  Milkmaid braids are an easy and fun way to get your hair out of your face, while still maintaining to look stylish.  Simply form two regular braids with your hair, and pin them up above your head.  Hide each pin with the other braid and tuck in any loose pieces.  You now have an easy hair style that goes from day to night!

Combination Braids

Combination Braid 1     Combination Braid 3

Have a couple braids on this list caught your eye?  Try combining them!  Combination braids offer endless options and they are only as difficult as you make them.  There isn’t a right or wrong way to handle your combination; it’s completely based on preference and personal style.  The most popular combination braid seen in today’s trends includes a small braid framing the face, with a different style side braid lying on the shoulder.

Image Sources:

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Atlanta Apparel takes place June 11-14, 2015 at AmericasMart Atlanta. Learn more at

Explore, Discover and Buy in the Temps

Shop Temps for the Next Big Thing

AWH_PHOTO-8131-2To set their shops apart from competitors, successful buyers purchase not only top-selling merchandise, but also exclusive products that customers can’t easily find in other stores. To fulfill this shopping mission, the cleverest among them head straight to Temporaries at AmericasMart to peruse one of the most expansive such collections in the nation for both home, gift and apparel.

“Temps is where the next big trends emerge,” says Jo Ann Miller Marshall, executive vice president, AmericasMart Atlanta. “Experts from our team search the country – and the globe — to find exhibitors offering unique items.” The selections are culled from trips to about 75 different locations, including stops in Paris, Frankfurt, High Point, New York and Las Vegas. It involves a lot of research, talking and listening to manufacturers and artists, and many miles of “boots on the ground.” With deep experience in their category niches and a passion for what they do, these buyers have a knack for identifying what’s in vogue and a nose for the next big thing.

For example, the nationwide sensation Elf on the Shelf rose to popularity in the market’s Temps area. In fact, many of the permanent showrooms initially started as temporary exhibitors.

“Temporaries is an incubator for tomorrow’s permanent showroom space,” explains Marshall. “If you are just now discovering a line in showroom, five years ago you could have been ahead of the curve if you had discovered them in temps. This approach enables exhibitors to cultivate a buyer base and move up to showrooms.”

Style-driven collections
Some temps areas feature juried collections, vetted for discerning buyers. For Gift & Home Markets, these include Boutique, Emerging Artists, Gardens LUXE, Gentleman’s Boutique, Gourmet LUXE, Handmade Design, Handmade Jewelry, HIGH DESIGN®, HIGH DESIGN® LUXE, Made in America, Modern Baby & Contemporary Kid, On Trend Gifts and Tabletop LUXE. During Apparel, there’s Premiere®, Young Contemporary, Ready-To-Wear, Shoe Studio, Fashion Accessories, Children’s World and more.

The January and July Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Markets feature more than 4,000 temporary booths in 33 product categories, each conveniently located near the related permanent showroom space. Each Apparel Market feature multiple floors of temps, with a broad range of price points and style designations.

“This arrangement makes it easy for buyers to locate products,” says Marshall. In addition, the AmericasMart App ( enhances the shopping experience, packed with information to help you navigate, gain the most from the show and enhance your efficiency.

“Temps at our Apparel Markets constantly break new ground. We have lines that end upAWH_PHOTO-4660-2 being named among Oprah’s favorites. And, our Emerging Designer Showcase provide the next great names in design an opportunity to meet top buyers,” says Marshall.

“One of the distinctive aspects of our major January and July shows is an equal focus on home and gift,” says Marshall. We want buyers to leave the Market with a feeling of excitement. Shopping temps gives you the opportunity to find that new line that no one else in your town has discovered.”

Shop Temporaries in all three buildings, organized by product collection, during the January and July Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market and in designated locations during the other Markets of the year. 

Tip Top Derby Style

RS25471_aw6826As the fashion world awakens for spring, the “greatest two minutes in sports” has a long-standing tradition as a style mecca. The fashion show starts long before and continues long after with an impressive collection of stylish people enjoying an unrivaled atmosphere. Fashion has been part of the experience at the Kentucky Derby since the late 19th and early 20th century when Colonel M. Lewis Clark, Jr., set out to establish an environment to rival that of European horse racing. While styles have transitioned through the years, it’s well established that ladies wear suits or dresses and men wear jackets and ties – but what sets the outfits apart are the famous Derby hats.

Although gloves have shifted out of favor in the 1960s, the one accessory that continues to thrive is the hat – the bigger and more spectacular the better. Today’s ladies’ hats run the gamut from handcrafted to wildly expensive designer creations. Dapper gentlemen are even getting into the spirit, adding to resplendent ties with hats inspired by looks from the 1920s or 1940s.

style39      style20      Side view of a large pink hat with coral flowers, feathers

According the official Kentucky Derby website, there’s an ongoing debate over which comes first – the dress or the hat? But, it seems there are no wrong answers. Here’s the official advice, straight from

Some will say that you absolutely get the outfit first. Then you design your hat to go with the outfit. (The arguement here is that it’s easier to custom design a hat than to “make” an outfit to go with a hat!)

Then there are those who say that you must definitely purchase, create or design your hat before picking out the outfit. Most often in this case, matching the dress (or outfit) to your hat involves personal preference, however keep a few things in mind in getting dressed:

* If your hat is having a pattern party, keep the dress design simple.
* If the hat is simple and elegant, keep the outfit simple also for a classy look.
* If you want a funky outfit, keep it consistent and accent the hat most of all!
* If you have long hair, showcase a ponytail slightly to side or keep it down to one side to highlight the color on your face.

style32      style17      style15

Great advice, whether you’re attending a Derby function or simply love the idea of adding a stylish chapeau to complete an outfit. Find all the stylish accessories you need to style the perfect outfit for your customers at Atlanta Apparel.

Images courtesy of

OMG! They LYK 2 Shop!

Big challenges but big profits in the Tween Market

They can’t drive, can’t date, can’t set their own rules, but boy can they shop! Tweens, ages roughly 9-13, are “the new power players of consumerism,” according to Greg Smith (“Tweens ‘ᴙ Shoppers: A Look at the Tween Market & Shopping Behavior,” POPAI White Paper).

These 20 million young Americans are responsible for $200 billion in sales a year, of which $43 billion comes from their own pocket money.

“Tween fashion is the fastest growing part of our business,” says Heather Rubino, owner of Teacup Tots. She represents children’s and tween clothing, shoes and accessory lines to stores in the Southeast.



It’s a challenging market, she explains. You have to please the young shopper and her mom, who is still buying most of the clothing. “Tweens want looks that are more sophisticated than their younger siblings, but not as flashy as that of older teens,” she says. “They are experimenting with their own style, yet want to blend with their friends. They don’t want to stand out too much.

“My biggest advice to retailers is to separate their tween section with a different entrance, look and branding. Tweens don’t want to shop in the same store as younger children,” says Rubino.

Present Multiple Personalities

Customers and sales clerks at Young Colors’ store in Denver kept pushing Donna Prescott into making her line of batik-inspired children’s clothing in larger sizes. Three years ago, she turned the loft space in her store into a tween space. “We put in shaggy carpet, book cases filled with knick-knacks, artwork and gift items—things they could buy themselves and for their friends, because this group has lots of birthday parties. They rush up there. It’s a fun and safe place for them to shop.”

Prescott designs her COLORS line of bright, comfortable dresses, separates and accessories around central palettes that can be mixed and matched, just for tweens.  “I use comfortable, quality fabrics and aim for designs that make young girls feel stylish, confident and happy, but the pieces are modest and age-appropriate to please mom,” says Prescott. Her tiered maxi dresses, poplin shirt waists, crop pants and puff-sleeved tops are popular. There are accessories to go with every look.


dress & jacket | The Klein Group

Tweens want fashion that is on trend, chic and cool, but it can’t look too mature. “We track the trends of adults and older teens, knowing that those looks will be coming down the pike for tweens soon,” says agrees Ginka Bridges, Atlanta showroom manager for The Klein Group, which represents tween lines in its iTween room. Some good examples are skinny jeans, leggings, tunics, yoga-inspired clothing, and printed palazzo pants.

Show and Listen, Don’t Tell

Bridges advises children’s retailers who want to expand into tweens to talk to their customers before buying. Focus groups are a good way to find out what they want. “It’s good to bring in higher-margin goods that you can mark down, such as a $15 top that can be sold 2 for $25,” says Bridges. This group loves give-aways (a free headband with a dress) and fashion shows.


vest | Splendid Girl | top | Ella Moss Girl | pant | Joyce Nilsson

Tweens don’t like matching outfits. Stock multiple separates. “They know their way around social media and follow trends, so in store displays, such as posters or mannequins in pulled-together looks are welcome,” says says Janet Hunter Hawkins, owner of The Children’s Clotheshorse.

Hunter Hawkins says the biggest challenge is that tweens are still trying to figure out who they are and how they want to look. Opinions can change on a dime, so having a good selection helps. “They want to feel happy, hip and confident. They like color and easy-wear fabrics—they’re still part kids,” she says. “This is a growing market and stores that get it right are profitable.”

For more information:  Klein Group  404.221.0520; Teacup Tots 800.584.3907; Young Colors 719.539.3812; and Janet Hunter Hawkins, Inc. 404.524.8897.

Classic and Chic at the March Atlanta Apparel Market


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Designers are updating classic, preppy styles with fun fabrics, bright colors and unexpected elements for Fall/Winter 2015. A few of the must-have Country Club chic items spotted at the March Atlanta Apparel Market include: What’s your favorite preppy look from the … Continue reading

Kids Trends for Fall/Winter 2015


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During March market at Atlanta Apparel, It’s a Kidsworld magazine’s Caryn Salomon shared the top children’s trends for Fall/Winter 2015/2016. We took those insights and found examples in showrooms across the 13th floor. Here’s a peek at some of our favorite fashions. Wildly … Continue reading

Modern Traditional – Tweeds & Plaids for Fall

Centuries before becoming a popular fashion basic in the U.S., tweeds and plaids were Linda Richardsstaples of the good people of Scotland and Ireland. Tweed was almost an early form of camouflage, created in muted tones to help hunters and outdoorsmen blend into the landscape. Fabrics popular among the working classes evolved to a favorite of aristocrats and now span the fashion spectrum from the style runways to the great outdoors.

For the fall 2015 season, exhibitors at Atlanta Apparel presented an array of fashion-forward collections incorporating the classics in updated looks. The most traditional versions – still created to outfit those who want to stylishly enjoy outdoor pursuits are done in fresh colors with striking accents.


Good Shot Design       Good Shot Design       Dubarry of Ireland

For more urban aficionados, contemporary cuts and detailing updates the traditional fabrics into completely modern pieces. From adding embroidery to reinterpreting the look using other fabrics to using bolder colors, there are myriad possibilities – something to suit any age consumer.

Ivko2        Karen Zambos       Silvian Heach


The key to wearing these classic fabrics is fit and tailoring. It’s essential for the tailoring to be impeccable, whether a piece is fitted, flared or anything in between. Tops, skirts, pants, jackets even vests and capes provide multiple options to incorporate these fundamental elements into a wardrobe. Young contemporary consumers can find hip pieces to layer while stylish ladies can find updated traditional options. Tweeds and plaids for fall/winter can suit anyone.
RD Style     Simon Chang     Sanctuary