Meet VOW Experts Panel Moderator Patrice Catan

Arrive early to VOW | New World of Bridal to meet Patrice Catan of Catan Fashions in Stongsville, Ohio. Patrice will be moderating the VOW Experts Panel on Wednesday, September 10 at 4:30 p.m. so be sure to include an extra day in your travel plans so you do not miss this great event.

 In 1988 Patrice took the entrepreneurial drive she inherited from her father Pat Catan, a pioneer in the arts and crafts business, to build her own brand in the Bridal industry. Patrice’s 25 years of experience working in the family business provided her with a firm foundation for developing her vision of a bridal salon. Her vision has since grown into a mecca of fashion under one roof spanning 54,000 square feet.

In 2007, Patrice met wedding planner to the stars and VOW seminar Speaker David Tutera at a focus group and realized that branding in the industry was the next step to her success. This meeting led to David Tutera licensing her national bridal accessory line debuting to the bridal salon and boutique fashion industry at the September Atlanta VOW | New World of Bridal Market.

Patrice has succeeded as a business woman through hard work, creating camaraderie among people and the art of doing business with a handshake, which contributed to her father’s success. Learn more about Patrice, our other expert panelists and VOW | New World of Bridal by visiting our website www.AmericasMart.com

Bridget Brennan Explains “Why She Buys”

Keynote speaker Bridget Brennan, CEO of Female Factor and author of “Why She Buys,” delivered a seminar during the Apparel Market covering the importance of reaching women buyers. Women are the engine of the global economy and buy nearly 80% of all consumer products. This gives them power to influence company executives, demanding products and shopping experiences that meet their expectations.

During the seminar Bridget discussed gender-based differences in shopping habits, particularly when buying apparel. According to Bridget, men shop for a specific item and seek out basic information, like whether or not the garment fits. In addition, men tend to not be interested in being upsold by store associates since they generally spend time researching their purchases before ever stepping foot into a store. They also desire a quick and seamless shopping experience.

In contrast, Bridget says women seek exceptional customer service and often desire affirmation that the clothing and accessories they try on are not only flattering, but go together well. Women often want associates to make suggestions for items that will mix-and-match with the apparel they are trying on, thus giving retailers an opportunity to offer accessories and other pieces to either complete an outfit or take it from day to night.

Bridget has identified 6 global trends behind driving the growth of women’s purchasing power. First, more women are working than ever before giving them more disposable income. Second, many women are waiting longer to marry, with the average age of American women getting married for the first time now at 26 years of age. This rises to 30 for women who are college educated. Bridget reluctantly brought up the unfortunate statistics that nearly 50 percent of all marriages now end in divorce and women on average outlive men by 5 to 7 years. These last three factors have resulted in women spending more years of their lives single and greater numbers of single women.

Bridget references the fact that women are waiting longer to have children and are having fewer children as the fifth trend driving the increased purchasing power of women. This delay results in parents spending more money on their children and purchasing brands they like, influencing their children’s brand loyalty from an early age.

Finally, higher obesity rates among women are a driving factor in their demand for quality and high design. Bridget points out that while for year’s women who were overweight simply accepted not having stylish clothing available in their size; however, this complacency is no long acceptable to women. These days, larger women are demanding the same stylish fashions as their skinnier counterparts and will no longer settle for dowdy design.

Below are Bridget’s 10 tips for appealing to women buyers:

1)      Inspire by engaging her senses. Women shop for everyone in their lives and retailers should remember that she is always on the lookout for them as well as herself.

2)      Inspire her through the language you use in website copy, store signage, clothing and price tags.

3)      Help her feel confident rationalizing her purchase.

4)      Enthusiasm is contagious. Give her eye contact and a hearty welcome.

5)      Proactively show her items that go together.

6)      Think about who may be accompanying her while she is in your store. Provide chairs, magazines and other items that may make these people feel more comfortable while she shops.

7)      Learn to speak “female” in your marketing.

8)      Let your personality shine clearly and distinctly.

9)      Demonstrate your appreciation and give her a reason to return to your store.

10)   Women want to hear “Please” and “Thank you” when they.

Frederick Morelli’s Tips for Creating Eye-Catching Displays

AmericasMart was thrilled to have Frederick Morelli as our guest speaker on Friday for Apparel Market. Frederick creates eye-catching displays every day for Atlanta-based fab’rik boutique and was here to share his secrets with buyers.

First and foremost, Frederick emphasized the importance of always staying on message and continuously making certain that your displays are properly conveying your brand. With this in mind, here are our other favorite tips he presented for creating window displays that wow.

*Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone – There’s a lot of visual stimulation in our surroundings so think outside of the box and make your window displays stand out to passersby.

*Create a Focal Point – Emphasize your product by creating one powerful focal point and properly placing your product within the display.

*Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize – Use props and accessories, but make certain they are proportionate with your space and help tell a story and reinforce your setting. Accessories should draw the eye to your focal point.

*Be Bright! – As Frederick stated in the seminar, “Bright colors create happy people and happy people spend money.” Need we say more?

*Lighting is Key – Frederick believes lighting is one of the most underutilized yet most important features of display design. He suggests making your window display lighting twice as bright as the lighting within your store and to use spotlights to highlight and draw focus to the product you are seeking to feature.

Cast Your Vote for Your Favorite Emerging Designer!

We hope you caught yesterday’s Daily Strut featuring a snapshot of their designs, but you still won’t want to miss seeing the collections in their entirety. Plus, there’s still time to cast your vote for your favorite Emerging Designer.

Ballots may be picked up either at Registration or at any of the Emerging Designer’s booths located in Section 600 on Floor 2. By casting your ballot you will also be entered into our drawing for one of two great prizes! One lucky winner with receive 1 free hotel night during an upcoming Atlanta Apparel Market of your choice* and another person will cash in on a $100 gift card. The ballot box is located in the Emerging Designers section, across from Dressed Salads.

For more information about all of our featured Emerging Designers visit our website. Follow us on Twitter or like our Facebook Page to stay up-to-date on all of our Market happenings.

*Some restrictions apply

Hot Trends at the Daily Strut

Thursday we kicked off the Daily Strut series with Contemporary Trends from our exhibitors. There are two more opportunities to catch all of the latest in fashion design at the Daily Strut. See what’s hot from Premier and Young Contemporary this afternoon at 3 p.m. on floor 2. Be sure you don’t miss the final Daily Strut tomorrow at 1 p.m. where you can catch more of the latest Contemporary Trends.

Here’s a peek at some of the designs featured on the runway at Thursday’s kick-off.

Big Plans for Day Two

We’re wrapping up the first day of the August Apparel Market at AmericasMart and we’ve got a great lineup of events that you won’t want to miss on Friday.

Start out your day at Prom Style Watch 2013 presented by TeenPROM & Seventeen Prom on floor 12 a 8 a.m. TeenPROM’s editor-in-chief Jane Fort and Linda Korman, director of Prom Fashion Advertising for TeenPROM and Seventeen Prom will forecast the looks teens will be seeking in 2013. Plus, you’ll learn about their national retail program “THE DRESS SHOP,” incorporating three important marketing components for your business.

Next up is the Daily Strut at noon featuring our Emerging Designers Showcase. This will immediately be followed by our seminar Why She Buys: The New Strategy for Reaching the World’s Most Powerful Consumers Bridget Brennan, CEO of Female Factor and author of “Why She Buys,”she’ll educate you about the fundamentals of gender psychology and the global trends driving women’s purchasing decisions. With women buying nearly 80% of all consumer products, this is a market you certainly want to court. She’ll provide you with a roadmap for how to evaluate sales, marketing, branding and product design from a female perspective. A book sale and signing will follow. Both of these events will be on Floor 2.

At 3 p.m. the latest fashions from Esley will be strutting down the runway at the Daily Strut on Floor 2.

We’ve got a full evening planned beginning with the introduction of our new 12th floor with more special occasion designs than ever! Celebrate with us and take a look around. We’ll have live music, delicious food and cocktails for you to enjoy. At 5:45 p.m. head down to Floor 2 for more complimentary food and beverages at our Pre-Style Runway Party followed by the Style Runway Fashion Show, where you’ll see all of the hottest trends.

For more information on AmericasMart and what’s coming up next, visit our website. You can also keep up-to-date with us by giving our Facebook Page a like or by following us onhttp://www.twitter.com/atlantaapparel Twitter!

Top 10 Reasons To Attend Friday’s “Why She Buys” Presentation

-by Bridget Brennan, CEO, Female Factor

Women drive 70- 80 percent of all consumer purchases.  Are they buying enough of yours?  Join me on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. to find out how to increase your sales and success with

Bridet Brennan, CEO, Female Factor

women consumers.  You will learn:

1)   The #1 reason women approach the shopping process differently from men, and how to leverage this knowledge to increase sales

2)   Why gender is the most powerful determinant of how your customers view the world and everything in it, including your product line-up

3)   The six biggest trends impacting women around the world, which provide a road map for determining their wants and needs

4)   A framework for evaluating your retail environment through a female lens

5)   The differences in male and female brains, and what this means in the selling environment

6)   Communication methods that have proven female appeal

7)   Why service can be your most powerful competitive advantage with women

8)   The differences between male and female culture and how this plays out in retail

9)   How to apply this information to your job

10)  You don’t want to miss the presentation everyone’s going to be talking about!

I look forward to meeting you there.  See you then!

-Bridget Brennan, CEO, Female Factor

1 p.m.

Why She Buys: The New Strategy for Reaching the World’s Most Powerful Consumers

Presented by Bridget Brennan, CEO of Female Factor and author of “Why She Buys”

Floor 2, Center Stage