The Daily Strut Sponsored by Esley Collection

By Briar Davis

During the June Atlanta Apparel, The Daily Strut sponsored by Esley Collection showcased a vibrant young contemporary collection of pieces that were perfect for any occasion. The collection included classic silhouettes, a bold use of patterns, feminine flair and other timely trends. Watch for the up and coming looks this season: denim, fringe, lace and more.

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The Daily Strut Sponsored By Gracia Fashion

By Briar Davis

Gracia Fashion sponsored one of The Daily Strut shows during the June Atlanta Apparel Market. The line showcased a timeless assortment of fashions in black and white along with a slew of fun pieces mixing solid color statements and brightly patterned styles. Be on the lookout for tiered ruffles, touches of lace and playful prints this season.

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Looking Back: Bridal Trends at the 2013 VOW | New World of Bridal Market

As we prepare for the upcoming VOW | New World of Bridal Market (September 16-18, 2014) take a look back at these bridal trends from our 2013 Market.

Many designers took inspiration from the 1920s with lace details, a sweetheart or plunging neckline and long trains.

 floral wedding dress          lace wedding dress

Floral embellishments, a huge trend in ready-to-wear apparel also made an appearance in the bridal collections. On the gown they give ample opportunity to incorporate color schemes. A popular color choice has been coral for bridesmaid dresses and florals.

Flowers with wedding dress          bridesmaid dress with florals

The dress shape that seemed to outshine the rest was the trumpet. The fun skirt flair adds an exciting surprise to the bottom of the gown that draws attention to the eye. It was seen on lace, satin, and beaded gowns.

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What trends do you think you’ll see on the runway this September?

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 www.tjreid.com or  call 800-221-8615 for more information.

Social Occasion Trends for 2014

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This gallery contains 26 photos.

The VISION social occasion market (April 1-3) will be here before we know it. In preparation for the Market, we have compiled the top social occasion trends that we’re expecting to see on the runways. WAIST DEFINING The feminine form … Continue reading

INSIDE TECHNOLOGY AT ATLANTA APPAREL

Inside Fashion at Atlanta Apparel

With strong collections in the NOW! Young Contemporary, J.F.A. Jewelry and Fashion Accessories, PREMIERE Contemporary, READY Ready-To-Wear and must-have IMMEDIATES categories, the June 2013 Atlanta Apparel Market was the ideal opportunity for buyers to continue to develop their Fall 2013 collections. As part of the Market experience, Atlanta Apparel provided buyers with a well-rounded mix of events including business-enhancing seminars, strategic networking opportunities, entertaining social gatherings, trendy DAILY STRUT fashion shows and the spectacular STYLE RUNWAY FASHION SHOW.

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To enhance this all-in-one experience for market attendees, Atlanta Apparel leads the way with a tech-dominated hub for high fashion — social media, easy check-in kiosks, and digital signage — to make fashion shows more interactive and connected with the industry’s next hottest designers.

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The tech at AmericasMart also had full makeovers to take the catwalk to what the fashion audience wants.

Key Technology at the June Atlanta Apparel Market:

1) Wi-Fi Sky Bridges and Wi-Fi Floors: AmericasMart partnered with Verizon Wireless, operator of the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network, to create a fully functional wireless communications environment. A Distributed Antenna System (DAS) delivers improved wireless coverage, capacity and data speeds for Verizon Wireless customers on every floor, in every showroom and exhibit hall across the three-building AmericasMart campus.

Sky Bridges                  Fast Pass Badge

2) FastBadge: Returning buyers can register online for Atlanta Apparel Market and print a badge upon arrival by checking in at a kiosk without waiting in the registration line. There also is help for those in need with a wheelchair elevator access and ATMs for people to get the money they need. Get to where you need to go — in and out, quick and convenient.

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3) Video Walls: Video walls inspire imagination and tell us the future is now by delivering the “wow factor,” conveying a cutting-edge brand image and creating a place for an exhibitor to elevate a brand. It’s an increasingly popular way to captivate customers with amazing visuals, to share ever-changing information, promote advertising, deliver a higher volume of customizable messages, allow patrons to observe display at long distances or close up, activate location-based marketing initiatives, or simply entertain while waiting. The Atlanta Market video walls are powered by Videro, an award-winning Sinus System Integration recipient that provides immersive technologies for digital signage, retail environments and brand marketing. With the help of Videro, Atlanta Apparel empowers brands and retailers to build immersive customer experiences, address complex communications challenges and increase sales per square foot with creative design. AmericasMart has ultimately emotionalized the space for Atlanta Apparel and added to its architectural design through big picture branding.

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4) Share the Conversation and Get Connected: Atlanta Apparel has social media outlets to better connect buyers, exhibitors, media and designers in real time using Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Blog, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts to reach a variety of audiences. A Media Center for writers and bloggers facilitates networking, access and inspiration for writing the next viral article. Don’t forget to tweet about the event by engaging with hashtags #americasmartatl or #atlapparel!

Video Walls  Media Center

With this new technology, Atlanta Apparel gives critical exposure to the apparel industry and extensive networking opportunities with key buyers. Retailers and designers also get the chance to preview what’s next in fashion and meet individually with other exhibitors to learn more about their lines. Style Runway showcased Punk’s influence on fashion over the past several decades in the Friday night show, PUNK IN THE CITY. All eyes were on the Floor 2 atrium runway for a series of daily fashion shows highlighting the upcoming season’s top fashion trends. In addition to captivating runway shows, Atlanta Apparel featured a wide range of programming, highlighted by giveaways, celebrations and presentations by celebrated Atlanta boutique owner DANA SPINOLA and author T.J. REID.

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Like any other art, long-term fashion trends are driven by advancements in technology. New materials merge with the old, and changing needs drive innovation. As technology gets more personal, the fashion world is on top of this torrential trend with wearable devices, live-streaming video and electronic garments for fashionistas gathering around to geek out. Gucci says that “virtual guests ‘mixed’ with the world’s buyers and press will start to become the future of fashion shows with integrated multiple digital platforms on which people can converse during the runway show: via webcam, Facebook, Twitter, and live chats on websites.”

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The fashion industry is beginning to pay closer attention to emerging technologies in product lines such as RFID tags embedded in products, laser-etched clothing, illuminated suits, Google Glasses, kinetic energy powered shoes, solar bikinis, LED responsive dresses and 3D printed shoes.

Are you ready to take your fashion experience to the next level?

Join the INSIDE Experience and see us at our next Apparel Market!