The latest edition of Capsule New York, which ran last week along with competing menswear shows Project New York and The Collective/Blue, was the largest edition ever, with 75 exhibitors. And according to Capsule show producer BPMW, the size of the show helped increased its traffic: 1,500 attendees came to Capsule on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a 10% increase over the January 2009 edition.

As always, the show served as a strong showcase for cutting-edge and street-friendly menswear and footwear brands, which included April 77 Records, BStore, Naked & Famous Denim, Swear, Shades of Greige and Wrath Arcane. Newcomers to the show included the New York-based brands Dana Lee, Timo Weiland and Assembly NY, the new house brand of Greg Armas’ Lower East Side boutique. Its debut collection included dark and roomy trousers, jackets and tops made from linen. Aesthetically, most of the brands at Capsule favored a clean and pared down look that was somewhat “dressy casual.” There was also much stress on lower-priced items. Naked & Famous’ Brandon Svarc, for instance, showed several jeans styles that will retail for just over $100.

Although Project New York has not yet released attendance figures, most of its approximately 150 exhibitors reported healthy traffic, at least on the first two days of the three-day show. Hardip Manku, who was showing his newly expanded Plain Jane Homme collection of tees, woven shirts and jackets, said he was “slammed” with orders and enquiries at Project, which was held this time in a new location, the Armory on 26th Street and Lexington Avenue. Key exhibitors at Project included denim brands such as AG Adriano Goldschmied, Evisu, Do Denim, Genetic Denim, J Brand, Monarchy, Paige Premium Denim, PRPS, Robin’s Jeans and Rock & Republic. Other well-known exhibitors were Ben Sherman and Ed Hardy, among others.

The approximately 45 exhibitors at Blue, the premium denim and advanced contemporary show within ENK’s The Collective, also seemed happy with traffic during the show’s three-day run. (ENK has also yet to release specific attendance figures). The roster of brands on display there included Converse by John Varvatos, Gant, Hudson Jeans and Johnson Motors. Key items at Blue included modern takes on the polo shirt, light nylon jackets, chinos and either dark or vintage-look denim.

—Christopher Blomquist