5 Tips for Incorporating Resort into Your Product Mix

By Christina O’Flaherty

From a glowing sunset to crashing waves, Resort wear captures the essence and experience of unforgettable travel getaways.

“Every buyer in a boutique is looking for uniqueness and Resort wear in general is the most unique category out there,” says Molly Peterson, brand manager for Walker & Wade. “It’s really open to interpretation and that can bring a lot of life to the floor even if you just incorporate pops onto your floor all year round. It adds that sparkle and freshness that buyers love and that boutiques pride themselves on.”

AmericasMart Atlanta

All For Color

Next week at Atlanta Apparel, Thursday, October 6 – Monday, October 10, you can see the top Resort lines in person and source from their newest inspirations.

“Our latest collection ‘Welcome to the Tropics’ was inspired by our love for warm weather travel,” says Alexandra Chauss, vice president sales & marketing for All For Color. “We wanted to combine the colors and excitement that one would experience when traveling to exotic tropical destinations. This inspiration led us to incorporate a wide range of color into our collection; you will see everything from ocean blue to citrus lime. We took a lot of inspiration from lush tropical landscapes and perfect summer sunsets. We want the customer to be able to get the feel of the ultimate vacay every day.”

AmericasMart Atlanta


Product inspiration for DEI’s Sea Life Collection came from the coastal community of Cape Cod, MA, explains Marketing Coordinator for DEI, Melissa Ellis. “Surrounded by some of the best beaches in the U.S., Cape Cod is a popular vacation destination. We are inspired by summers spent at local beaches. The creative design team often utilizes the beautiful scenery for onsite catalog photography.”

In addition to their inspirations, we asked representatives from four leading lines to share the inside scoop on their top tips for how you can include Resort in your inventory for added success this season.

1. Tell a story with a vignette.
“Make a dedicated section for Resort styles in the store and tell a story to the customer. Since Resort falls during a time when the weather is still cold, it’s important to show the customer what these pieces are meant for; warm weather escapes,” explains Alexandra Chauss of All For Color. “Create a vignette with complimentary styles and accessories to get the customer in the mood to shop for their upcoming vacation.”

2. Diversify your style selection with versatile pieces: tunics, dresses, shorts, etc.

Atlanta Apparel

Walker & Wade

“Resort apparel should be loose fitting and comfortable. Versatility is very important. Kaftans are great for a day at the beach and can be paired with pants for evening attire. Sunglass readers and sarongs are a great extension of Resort apparel,” says Melissa Ellis of DEI.

“Our mantra is beach to table. Our looks take you from day to night—throughout your day and then have you looking completely chic for any evening or event,” says Molly Peterson of Walker & Wade. “It doesn’t have to be put in just a Resort wear box. You can merchandise it with your denim, your white tanks, or throw a jean jacket over a top. A lot of things can be worn as dresses or as tunics.”

3. Don’t forget shoes and accessories to appeal to a greater audience.
“Women have an average of 10 handbags and 40 pairs of shoes in their closet,” says Stephanie A. Wolf of Jack Rogers. “Have you ever heard a woman say, ‘I have too many shoes, handbags and jewelry’? Never! It’s the trifecta to completing a great outfit. Many times a woman just needs to freshen up her Resort clothing and new accessories do the trick. It makes her feel like a million bucks!”

4. Consider which Resort locations are nearby and select inventory to match your area’s aesthetic.
“Bright colors, pineapples and palm leaves do well in the South. Seashells and sea creatures are popular on all coasts. Nautical ropes and anchors are a staple in any lake or ocean region,” says Melissa Ellis of DEI. Keep in mind that other countries have different vibes too. For instance, Bermuda is preppy while Jamaica is more relaxed.

5. Stock quality items but stay on trend.
“We see women loving quality and paying for it as long as they can wear them with many styles and to many occasions,” says Stephanie A. Wolf of Jack Rogers. “We are seeing a large uptrend for boho and it is crossing over into many brands and style categories. In the coming years it will influence the design of clothing, handbags, shoes and jewelry. Coupled with the more casual work and lifestyles of millennials, this boho chic look is more and more mainstream.”

Join us for October Atlanta Apparel to see these Resort lines and many, many more. Visit AmericasMart.com/Apparel for more information and to register today.

For more information: All For Color – 772.219.7584, allforcolorwholesale.com; DEI – 800.430.5665, denniseast.com; Walker & Wade – 917.882.1459 walkerandwade.com;
Jack Rogers – jackrogersusa.com.

Images courtesy of All For Color, DEI and Walker & Wade.

Staying at Home

Key interior concepts for Fall/Winter 2016

The rise of working freelance or being a consultant is changing the way home interiors are viewed and valued. More people are working out of their homes, and a renewed interest in housewarming and home dining make the home the focal point for many. Design is thoughtful, tactile and reflects humans’ desire to reconnect while keeping personal space. Understanding these shifts in trends is vital to selecting a product mix that will resonate with customers. Trend Specialists at WGSN, a subscription based trend forecasting service, offer a few of their predictions for trends in Fall/Winter 2016 home décor.

WitImage courtesy of WGSNh concerns for the environment progressively influencing major design choices, interiors will take on more natural looks this fall. Organic walls and floors will become more common, with cork, plywood and chipboard appreciated for their natural qualities. Soft to the touch, sound-absorbing, thermally insulating, these materials are also highly renewable, as are bamboo, wicker and rattan, which will be prominent in furniture and decorative accessories.

Image courtesy of WGSN


Tactility and warmth add new dimension to interiors this season, with an emphasis on comfort. Combining and mixing surfaces looks fresh in neutral tones to allow surface depth to be the main focal point in the room.



Image courtesy of WGSN
1970S GEO
Geos are simplified in thick, bold outlines and blocks of rounded shape. Chevrons and openwork designs reference the 1970s, with key colors including earth tones with splashes of acid orange, espresso brown, and forest green.



Image courtesy of WGSN


Black and inky hues are used as core colors to create strong prints and patterns on wallpapers and fabrics. Large florals create dramatic settings with a classic, historical look, while the tropical trend also takes a dark twist, moving away from last summer’s bright interpretations.



Image courtesy of WGSN



Fragile, poetic floral motifs look dusty and moody on white grounds and overlaid on sheer materials. The whole plant is used for design inspiration; stems and leaves mix with buds in whimsical tonal hues.



Ali Lind, senior trend consultant for WGSN— the industry-leading content and technology solution for professionals in the style, fashion and design sectors—joins us for Fall Design Week Featuring Gourmet & Gift to present 2017 Trend Forecast: A Tour of Lifestyle, Interiors & Fashion Influences to Know in the Year Ahead on Thursday, September 22. Come enjoy a complimentary lunch at noon and then see how high fashion will inspire and translate into home interiors and accessories in the year ahead. Educational Sponsor: Olliix #AtlMkt

Images courtesy of WGSN. For more information, visit wgsn.com.

Crossroads of Design

By Christina O’Flaherty

Retail and design intersect in the latest iteration of AmericasMart’s celebrated vignette design exhibition revealed this past July. The Retail Meets Design Exhibition features vignettes curated by the Southeast’s top design retailers who created their spaces with products sourced at AmericasMart. The spaces express each designer’s unique take on how interior design influences retail to showcase that it’s all here in Atlanta.

Vignette design by Steve McKenzie

Vignette design by Steve McKenzie

Steve McKenzie’s (steve mckenzie’s)
“Usually I don’t infuse a lot of glamour into my interiors,” says Steve, “and the vignette was a great way to experiment.”

Vignette design by Ann Huff and Meg Harrington

Vignette design by Ann Huff and Meg Harrington

Ann Huff & Meg Harrington (Huff Harrington)
“We wanted an elegant but peaceful environment made for daydreaming,” say Meg and Ann, “and a quiet joie de vivre.”

Vignette design by Paige Schnell

Vignette design by Paige Schnell

Paige Schnell (Tracery Interiors)
“We love strong design,” says Paige. “We wanted some rich color to balance the black and white, and we were inspired by some [pink] peonies we had in a vase.”

Vignette design by Susan Victor and John Ishmael

Vignette design by Susan Victor and John Ishmael

Susan Victor & John Ishmael (Nandina Home & Design)
“True to our brand statement of ‘real life, real style,’ we wanted to create a room that would wow you with style but would also function perfectly in real life,” says Susan and John.

Vignette design by Nina Nash and Jared Hughes

Vignette design by Nina Nash and Jared Hughes

Nina Nash & Jared Hughes’s (Mathews Furniture + Design)
“We felt creatively drawn to the ‘Silk Road’,” say Nina and Jared, “where inspiration from across Asia and northern Africa can be felt.”

Vignette Design by Rozanne Jackson

Vignette Design by Rozanne Jackson

Rozanne Jackson (The Iron Gate)
“The inspiration behind our designer vignette is a blooming garden at midnight. The organic element of hand-formed ceramics adds a nice contrast to the elegance of the furnishings,” says Rozanne Jackson.

The vignettes are sponsored by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Restylesource, Castelle, CODARUS, Currey & Company, Jaipur Living, Oly, Up Country Home and VIETRI. Visit the display in Building 1, Floor 14, 14-D-9, during Fall Design Week Featuring Atlanta Gourmet & Gift, September 19 – 23 and VOW | New World of Bridal, September 21 – 23. Stay tuned to AmericasMart.com/January this winter to be the first to see what’s in store for the designer vignettes this January!


5 Bridal Trends to Watch

By Christina O’Flaherty

Experience exquisite creations come to life September 21 – 23 in Atlanta during VOW  |  New World of Bridal and see some of the latest trends making headlines. What looks will we see brides walking down the aisles with this season?

3D Elements
Extravagant 3D elements are a key trend, with everything from torso embellishments to detailed skirts to full dress applications in statement-making materials on hand.


Romance Couture, Black Label Couture, Romance Couture


Fresh Florals
From tiny embroidery and detailed botanicals to bold splashes of flowers, floral patterns in every conceivable shape and style are a defining element for wedding dresses.


Sherri Hill, Andrea and Leo, Precious Formals


Cascading Ruffles
Romance is embodied in exquisite layers of sheer organza, lightweight tulle and silk georgette aided by horsehair to retain a cascading effect.


Zoey Grey, Enzoani, Allure Bridals


Ethereal Sheers
Barely-there sheer overlays create soft silhouettes when paired with illusion straps and sleeves, plunging necklines, and adorned details.


Aime Couture by Maggie & Shirley, Calla Blanche, Enzoani


Hints of Color
The softest hints of color—ivory and blush hues to sweet blues and pinks—lend this ongoing trend a delicate refresh this season.


Eleni Elias, PolyUSA, Zoey Grey


See all the spectacular trends from the industry’s leading designers for bridal and social occasion on one stage, Wednesday, September 21, for the VOW Fashion Show at 6:15 p.m. (Pre-party at 5:45 p.m.) on the Floor 2 Fashion Runway.


Trend analysis information sourced in part from WGSN. All images are copyrighted by AmericasMart® Atlanta.

In Full Bloom

By Christina O’Flaherty

Inspiration can come from anywhere.

Music sparks creativity. Nature influences architecture. Pop culture transforms art.

And in the age of instant connections, the fashion runway translates across retail channels faster than ever. Just take one of this season’s newest fashion-forward trends: floral. It’s blossomed big time into the world of home and gift—with rosy results. Check out some of the floral spotted right here at AmericasMart®.

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CEU Shines This September  

More educational offerings than ever before

By Christina O’Flaherty

From nationally recognized design tastemakers to cooking and lifestyle gurus, July Market was full of unmatched learning opportunities—including a number of CEU-credited events.

As AmericasMart continues to expand the benefits of attending markets throughout the year in Atlanta, the influx of CEU seminars highlights a greater movement towards an experience designed around retailers and designers.

“We’re creating a destination for design in Atlanta, and bringing even more offerings to the table during the upcoming Fall Design Week” says Sarah Mount, AmericasMart executive director of home, gift & rug marketing. “From designer-focused programming and CEU courses to networking, parties, and leading lines—it’s everything designers and buyers need to set themselves up for success this fall.”

Fall Design Week Featuring Atlanta Gourmet & Gift, September 19 – 23, 2016, will continue this movement and feature even more learning opportunities anchored with CEU accreditation. All conferences that have an IDCEC approval number are recognized for CEU credit by the Interior Design Continuing Education Council and participating associations which include ASID, IIDA and IDC. Credits are easy to earn by simply attending approved Fall Design Week seminars. Just look for the CEU designation in your printed event calendar, online, or in your AmericasMart app.

What’s in store for September

September is truly one stop! On top of top product sourcing for your store or clients, delicious foodie events and festive parties, learn new tricks of the trade straight from leaders of the industry. Here’s a sampling of exciting CEU seminars being held:


Wednesday, September 21

Noon  |  Building 1, Floor 1, Event Hall

A Salute to Southern Style: The Essence of Southern Design & Hospitality, Followed by The Art of Southern Living Book Signing (0.1 CEU)

Featuring the Region’s Most Celebrated Design Tastemakers: Lisa Mende (Charlotte, NC), Meredith Ellis (Austin, TX), Traci Zeller (Charlotte, NC), Paige Sumblin Schnell (Rosemary Beach, FL) and Jennifer Boles (Atlanta, GA)

Five nationally recognized talents, who individually embody the best of the region’s design sensibility, will share the definitive styles and influences that continue to capture a well-lived Southern lifestyle. See what inspires these celebrated design tastemakers, along with their favorite new twists in interiors, entertaining and true Southern hospitality.


Thursday, September 22

10 a.m.  |  Building 1, Floor 1, Event Hall

Weddings-ish: Connecting with Millennials & Capturing the New Bridal Market (0.1 CEU)

Presented by Jove Meyer, Brooklyn-Based Wedding Planner, Designer and Podcaster, and Jesi Haack, LA-Based Event Planner

Passion, product, price, and personality are the new filters to grasp when connecting with today’s bridal customers. In this fun session, learn about the transformative hallmarks of today’s weddings and Pinterest-worthy designs that speak to millennials—including tips on personalization, signature installations, and fresh décor.


Thursday, September 22

Noon  |  Building 1, Floor 1, Event Hall

2017 Trend Forecast: A Tour of Lifestyle, Interiors & Fashion Influences to Know in the Year Ahead (0.1 CEU)

Presented by Ali Lind, Senior Trend Consultant for WGSN

Fresh off the heels of Fall New York Fashion Week, get a one-hour tour of the hottest looks, colors, patterns and trends for women’s and menswear from the Summer/Spring 2017 runway shows. Straight from WGSN—the world’s top trend authority—get a front row seat to see how high fashion will inspire and translate into home interiors and accessories.

Ready to plan your visit? Register for Fall Design Week, taking place Monday,  September 19 – Friday, September 23, 2016, and visit AmericasMart.com/Events for details on these events and many more.

Millennial Staff

Set Your Store up for Success: Tips for Working with Millennials
By Christina O’Flaherty

Today’s Millennials have been one of the most talked about generations since Baby Boomers. And it’s easy to see why: they’ve surpassed Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation, according to population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau.

With Millennial employees in full force, how do they relate to your store? Retail and consumer trend experts Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender help retailers understand how recognizing and taking advantage of generational differences can benefit their businesses.

What generations are in the workplace today?
Baby Boomers Thought to be born between 1946-1964.
Generation X Thought to be born between 1965-1979.
Millennials Thought to be born between 1980-1995.
Generation Z Thought to be born between 1996-2010 (some now entering workforce).

fotolia_69041822Is there a difference in how Millennials and Baby Boomers work?
“Boomers were highly marketed to, and people wanted to know what they wanted. They thought they were special but there was also a competitiveness with them. Growing up, if Boomers flunked a class, they flunked. If Millennials flunked a class, they were given a do over.

Millennials have had a voice in decision making since they were kids. What that tells us is that Millennials want to participate. They’re not happy going to work at a place where they’re just told what to do. They want to be part of the decision making. They want to know why you went to this market over another one because they want to actively participate in their careers. And that’s one of the biggest hurdles for retailers to get over.”–Georganne Bender

How can retailers utilize Millennials in their stores?

Appoint a vice president of pop culture.
Staying on the pulse of what’s happening is crucial to success. “Pop culture is really big in our lives, and celebrities have a lot of influence on what we buy and what we do. Millennials, and Generation Z, are going to be closer to that than a Boomer would be. They know what’s trending.”–Georganne Bender

Ask for their opinions and use them.fotolia_62849503
Kizer suggests that you “Ask them what’s a problem, or an issue, or way of styling product, or what should we do on social media.”

From that discussion, you’re collaborating as a team for the answers. “That creates a family that is very solid. And it’s a family that is not just relating to themselves, but to those new customers that are walking through the front door.”–Rich Kizer

Make the environment fun and engaging.
“They should be allowed to look for new ways to present merchandise and be constantly experimenting. They should have a sense of ownership and be encouraged. That’s what they’re all about.”–Rich Kizer

Meet every morning or during shift changes.
Getting Millennials involved from the beginning sets your whole team up for success. “I have a friend that meets with staff every morning for 10 minutes before her store opens. She tells them what’s going on in the store for the day, discusses retail news they might need to know, and has each employee take turns picking out a product that they like, or that’s new, to show and tell and talk about. It makes people so much more engaged and a part of the store.”–Georganne Bender

Train yourself and your staff.
It’s important to not only regularly train employees, but owners should also be open to educating themselves on how they can work better with Millennials. “We need to train the owners to understand that they need to do training. It’s not just about who can be on the floor or who can work tonight.”–Georganne Bender

“There are benefits beyond the sales floor. This generation is the generation that communicates like nobody else. If they like their job, they’re going to communicate that and bring more people like them into the store.”–Rich Kizer

Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender are professional speakers, authors and consultants on generational diversity, consumer trends, and everything retail. For more of their expertise, visit their Retail Adventures blog.