Today was a whirlwind! Another sleepless night before a middle-of-the-night flight headed to market meant I tried to catch as much shut eye as I could on my two flights before I landed in New York City and went straight to market. Luckily, the show was inspiring. I'm already feeling better about the state of style after one day in New York than the whole week in Vegas! While I mostly took notes yesterday, I found a couple of great new lines that I am excited about and hope to try to work into our Summer and Fall collections.
Capsule New York:
The New York version of this show is totally different than its Vegas cousin, featuring a variety of fine jewelry, high end accessories, and eclectic clothing lines. Even if I don't always buy a ton at this show, it's an inspiring place to walk and meet new people.
At the show today I spent 20 minutes chatting with Cleobella designer, Angela O'Brien. It's always amazing to get to meet people who are as passionate as you are about clothing and style, but to connect on sustainability and the ethics of fair trade and how important quality was. When I first arrived to the booth, everyone was trying to figure out how to handle a situation in which another handbag line a few booths away, had knocked off one a Cleobella bag, something I've noticed a lot this season as Cleobella's signature fringe and boho style has become trendy.
Immediately their attention was redirected when I entered the booth carrying my travel favorite Hendrix Fringe Tote. "I'm impressed what you've been able to fit in there." Angela said as she giggled at my overstuffed, no longer square, Hendrix bag. (Honestly, I think she was just proud that her signature, unlined tote was able to sustain such blatant abuse!) From there, we were off! Pictures of (her) kids came out, we talked about her leather factories and how she and her family spend about five months out of the year living in Bali, supervising production and sourcing materials. She explained how important that was to the company and how important the people who work for them in Bali have become--no longer just employees, but family. That kind of passion speaks volumes to me personally and those are the kind of people I like to do business with, especially when they also design AMAZING, PRETTY clothes and bags! Luckily for all of us, the Fall collections look AMAZING!! Some of the clothing gets a little to stylized for us but the bags.... I could have walked off with an entire shoulder full of them and still wanted more of them! It's going to be hard to whittle down the through the options on this one ladies, I can't wait to show you more!!
The Axis show is inspired by an active lifestyle but have plenty to offer beyond just activewear and swim! I was able to get caught up on Lovestrength Belts for Summer--we should have plenty of double-buckle belts in the store in a few weeks! I also found a fun new new line out of Los Angeles and a line of faux furs and suede styles out of Australia that I'm hoping to bring in this Fall because they're AMAZING!!
There wasn't a ton for Swank at Axis but I was able to catch up with my longtime friend Nicole, who just opened her own showroom, NICASA, this past Fall. I met Nicole back in the day when we carried Wildfox and have stayed in touch as she went from their only sales girl to Head of Sales. I love having badass, hard-working, driven women as friends! Her booth was insane in Vegas, so it was nice Anyway, Nicole is now our Vanessa Mooney source (yay!) and she is responsible for getting Varley into Swank so any of you who are obsessed with your Varley leggings should be thanking her!
Even though I had already seen her in Vegas, I stopped and talked to The2Bandits designer, Tamar Wider. Good people!! Full disclosure, I met Tamar several years ago at market after our mutual friend, Larin introduced us. Tamar and Larin grew up in Dallas together and spent their youth going to Summer camp together, something that ended up inspiring Tamar's new clothing line, CAMP, that you'll be seeing a little bit of this Summer at Swank! If you follow Swank on SnapChat, you might have also seen Tamar make a cameo while we were having fun at dinner after the show!
The best part of Capsule and Axis is that their vibe is so chill and laid back and everyone is happy. It's a totally different vibe from the Javitz Center, where Coterie is and where I will be today. There, everyone is WORKING and it's bright and loud and stressful and cold. Capsule and Axis have local food vendors and cool installations and hang out zones where people actually want to hang out! They also feature smaller collections where you get to meet the designers themselves because they're still in the booth and excited about getting their product into the customers hands.
It's as if they hung a sign saying "good vibes only" on the front door and everyone heeded the notice and it's a fun place to be as a buyer.
Today I'm off to see the big boys at Coterie--I'll keep you in the loop!