Skar Gorn @ Capsule
Skar Gorn @ Capsule

01 Mar. 2012


Women’s market in New York last week was abuzz with major trade shows all over town. Top fashion trends included coated and printed denim in rich, non-blue jewel colors and metallics and that burgundy shade that seems to be in almost every line for fall. Thanks to ENK, a few men’s lines even attempted to get in on the action…

Jimmy Taverniti @ Coterie

The largest and oldest New York women’s show, ENK International’s Coterie and Sole Commerce, again took over multiple levels of the massive Javits Convention Center and featured approximately 1,600 exhibitors, who spanned everything from bridge or contemporary sportswear to denim, eveningwear, accessories and shoes.

Most exhibitors reported steady, if not slightly slower, traffic compared to last season, and noted that they primarily met with East Coast retailers at Coterie, who may have opted to skip the trade shows in Las Vegas earlier in the month. “Vegas is becoming less and less of an East Coast show,” said Dan Hendricks, creative director at outerwear brand Spiewak, which found great success at Coterie with its traditional wool “McElroy” style and a lightweight down long “Bennington” coat. “A lot of East Coast buyers have decided that they can stay home and that has been reflected at this show,” he added.

In the denim section, the main fashion story was brands offering alternatives to standard blue denim five-pockets, which translated to an abundance of colored, coated, printed and sparkly or metallic models for women. Blank NYC, for instance, offered a wide assortment of colored cords, sequined and velvet-look models and a pair of bright red moto-inspired jeans with a side stripe and asymmetrical front zips. Sinclair also had a moto jean, but in a sparkling silver coating, plus other coated models that looked as if they were made from aluminum foil. Rich jewel-like autumn colors–including a bright red-coated pair—ruled at Jimmy Taverniti and at Stone Craft, an offshoot line of Tag Elements by Orly Dahan. Stone Craft also showed a faux snakeskin jean. Denimocracy, the three-year-old LA-based line that is a top seller at Kitson in Los Angeles, did show a few blue models but modernized them with an ombre look from waist to leg. However, its rep said the wine-colored models were its key sellers. A coated rainbow model was also a hit for Denimocracy.

Major denim brands at the show included Hudson, Mavi, Citizens of Humanity and G-Star Women’s, which made its Coterie debut with a collection that also included a traditional “autumn leaf” palette of oranges, reds and golds. A rep for the brand said the show had been “highly successful.”

Upstairs, the TMRW section returned with a well-curated assortment of just over 30 up-and-coming or cutting-edge designers and labels. Exhibitors here included Italian hat- and shoemaker Reinhard Plank, Australian-Swedish denim label Neuw and Raven NYC, a brand new line of womenswear by veteran designer Ted Kim, whose assortment of jacquard dresses, feather-print chiffon maxi dresses and leather jackets are meant to evoke the grimy yet glamorous NYC club scene prior to the city’s gentrification. “We want to take back New York,” he explained. Raven’s wholesale prices range from $40 for tops to $430 for leathers.

Cotte D'Armes @ TMRW Mens
ENK wasn’t only busy with Coterie last week: This season also saw the debut of White New York, the first version of the Milan-based trade show, which was produced in partnership with ENK. Held separately a few blocks south of Coterie at the Tunnel space in Chelsea, White featured 42 brands, many of which were from Italy, along with some from the USA (knitwear line Kevin Kramp), Korea (D.Gnak), Israel (Mirit Weinstock jewelry) and Norway (Norwegian Rain outerwear). Visitor traffic was painfully light on the final afternoon of the show, but Gian Filippo Fontana, of the Rome-based exhibiting sportswear line Iconyc, said that he and his team had been satisfied with the results in the two days prior.

ENK also tried to switch things up by launching a special men’s section. TMRW Men ran alongside White and featured 30 new or directional men’s collections such as the New York-based denim line Cotte D’Armes, the goth-like knitwear collection Roark and the shoe line Android Homme. Elyse Kroll, head of ENK, said, “This show is a little gem that needs to be nurtured in the future.” She admitted that visitor attendance to the show had been very slow—probably due in part that it was men’s product and offsite from Coterie—but she vowed to keep offering and building TMRW Men next season.

While most all exhibitors there conceded that TMRW Men was never busy during its three-day run, Steve Patino of Android Homme did find a silver lining. “We’ve seen a lot of great press here such as GQ,” he said. “So it really has been a great show for us.” Both TMRW Men and TMRW Women saw the launch of Salmons & Brown, a complete line of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear by pro basketball player John Salmons and designer Sherman Brown.

Capsule Women’s, produced by sales and PR agency BPMW, took place for the first time at Capsule’s new downtown location near the Hudson River. Featuring well over 200 booths and exhibitors from all over the world including Fleamaddona from Korea and Lonely Hearts from New Zealand, the three-day show drew a wide assortment of lively and enthusiastic visitors. Two new special sections of the show, Above Tree Line and Oasis, showcased outdoor brands such a Dale of Norway and Fjallraven and snack and beverage brands, respectively.

A key event at Capsule was the soft launch of the women’s and men’s sportswear line by Keds, the American footwear brand founded in 1916. Featuring a traditional retro prep feel that complements the shoes beautifully, the collection contains colorful, playful retro-inspired printed pieces and college-appropriate sweaters.

Other newly launched collections at Capsule included the women’s collection of Mark McNairy New Amsterdam, which includes touches of the quirky designer’s signature humor and an assortment of brightly colored faux fur vests. Likewise, Maine-based heritage footwear brand Eastland launched its first women’s collection at Capsule. It contains colorful boat shoes and moccasins and brand vice presidents Joshua and Jordan Klein said that they had received and enthusiastic reaction from buyers.

Other standout items at Capsule included Timo Weiland’s pretty printed pieces and a wine-colored sweater with removable leather fringe, the seemingly simple but technically advanced clear plastic rainwear by Terra New York and the wide assortment of rock-inspired denim styles from SkarGorn by Rikke Korff, who also designs the women’s line The Furies.
Christopher Blomquist

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