Yesterday was my second experience with a fashion trade show. A fashion based trade show basically consists of numerous companies, and brands, primarily whole sale companies, pitching and selling their new clothing to stores. When you shop at stores such as Pacsun, Urban Outfitters, most independent boutique (I.e. Gypsy Warrior type stores), Revolve, or Footlocker, they all share a common theme. All those stores, sell multiple brands (some of them have their own brand as well). Designers work to design pieces that will define the new trends, and trade shows are their time to meet with clients to sell their pieces
Trade shows are the time for boutiques and stores to see, feel, and judge the new clothing, jewelry or other textile related goods and decide if they will be stocking it for the upcoming seasons. Buyers of stores have to implement their trend forecasting skills to pick and choose which brands fit their stores image for the upcoming season. Buying clothing that doesn’t sell when its in stock is a good way for a buyer to get fired.
Both my experiences with trade shows occurred at the Javits Center in New York City.
My first experience occurred over the summer when I was interning with the company High IntenCity Corp., a two part company which I have talked about: Here. Their children division, CharmIt makes adorable multi color charm bracelets with hundreds of different charms to adorn the necklaces, bracelets, pins, etc.
I was primarily a marketing intern, but the owner of the company and my supervisor invited me to work as a Trade Show assistant at their booth for the UBM Fashion Trade Show this summer. There were numerous shows going on at the event but because I was registered as an exhibitor I primarily stayed in the Children’s Club show at the CharmIt booth.
At the booth I helped pair prospective clients with sales representatives so they could place their orders, I organized sale records, and I helped promote the charms to potential buyers. Our booth was also giving out pins and little samples to passerby.
My second show experience was much more interactive and informative. Once again there were multiple shows going on but the target age group for the store I work part time at is 18-35, so we shopped specific clothing shows for that. The owner of the boutique works very closely with me because I am both a sales associate and the Social Media Director for the business which entails designing advertising campaigns, styling and photographing images for social media platforms, etc. She invited me to utilize my trend forecasting skills this Monday as an assistant buyer for the store at the trade show. We Primarily shopped the “Fame” show.
She has been a buyer for a number of brands and shops shows in Vegas as well so she connections in particular brands but we also shopped new brands. When you think of a trade show, think of a farmers market. Each company has a “booth”, some more extravagant than others, but instead of fresh fruits, there are fresh samples of the clothing that the everyday consumer won’t see for months. Our team would hustle through a booth selecting everything that caught our eyes and hanging them on the racks. After that, the owner and I would discuss each piece debating its salability. Then she would finalize an order. A number of the brands had their clothing sorted by colored hangers. Each color represented the delivery date (February, March, April, May).
It is going to be awesome to see how the styles I predicted do in the store. Obviously I’m hoping I picked “cash cows” or pieces that sell really well.
For the event I dressed comfortable but fashion conscious in a silvery velvet shirt, a scrunchy grey sequined beanie complete with a brim and my trusty overalls. I finished the look of with my black Puma sneakers (comfortable and easy to get on) and a trend conscious bomber jacket from TopShop.