Held a few days earlier than its fellow womenswear shows, Paris-based WOMAN returned to Spring Studios Tribeca last Thursday through Saturday with another expertly and tightly curated assortment of 70 international brands that span apparel, accessories, footwear and jewelry. Antoine Floch, co-founder of MAN/WOMAN, said that the show could easily have been more than double the size but that he and his team purposely turned away dozens of applicants to keep the environment small and intimate for buyers, exhibitors and visitors.
Floch was also excited to discuss the company’s soon-to-launch new concept MAN/WOMAN Tokyo, which will take place in the Japanese capital March 23-24 during Tokyo Fashion Week. Featuring 17 brands from Europe and North America (including Garbstore, Kinfolk, La Paz and YMC, among others), the event will not follow the standard trade show format of selling to buyers onsite but will instead serve as a kind of marketing meet-and-greet for exhibitors to tell their stories to a Japanese audience and forge relationships with stores that can then be acted upon later during the next selling seasons in Paris or New York (where Japanese retailers tend to buy foreign brands anyway). The event will include special booths created by each brand toured by local press, the sale of limited edition pieces directly to Japanese consumers and a bus tour and behind-the-scenes looks at famous stores such as Beams and United Arrows.
While no one trend dominated the collections at WOMAN, there were plenty of retro-themed looks in denim and other fabrics including silk and cord and example after example of highly covetable knitwear–especially beanies.
Here, in alphabetical order, are some of the exhibitors that really impressed for fall/winter 2018….
This young Texas-based designer creates a unique one-size-fits-all and unisex collection with silhouettes that don’t really change each season. Her denim pullover with an oversized fringed turtleneck was just one of the many fun slightly avant-garde items in her assortment.
Dan Synder, founder/designer of this NYC-based brand, took a new rather minimalistic approach for the women’s collection this season and created five shapes– from drawstring pants and a blouse to a smock dress–in four variations of silk (solid blue or tan brushed raw silk, a purple horizontal stripe and pretty subtle floral print). Exceedingly simple without a single bell or whistle, it truly embodied effortlessly chic dressing.
I Love Mr. Mittens
This six-year-old Antwerp-based brand showed some of the best knitwear at the show. Hand-knitted in Peru, its signature Chunky collection offers 21 styles in 17 colors while its recently launched Light Wool collection has eight styles in eight colors.
This Scottish export truly wowed with its colorful and bold collection of 100% lambswool scarves (approx. $250 wholesale) and hats ($53 wholesale).
One of the more casual brands at the show, this California-based line of sweatshirts and tees used graphics and words to create an interesting thematic mash-up that was described by designer Chris Dennler as “International Techno Music Meets Motosports.”
Now in its fourth season, this LA-based brand expertly creates vintage-look jeans in Italian fabrics that retail in the $250 to $300 range.
Hands down our favorite discovery at WOMAN (and perhaps any NY show this season), W’menswear is the creation of blogger Lauren Yates of the Ponytail Journal. It blends historic workwear looks with modern womenswear. Yates sources her fabrics from small mills in Japan and everything in her collection from denim coveralls to a sheepskin bomber and iridescent camo suit with drawstring pants is a special stunner. “I make up the rules as I go,” she explained. That process has clearly served her well. Wow!
At over 20 years old, UK-based You Must Create has lost none of its contemporary freshness despite repeating some of its standard bestsellers such as the high-waisted cropped chino season after season. It’s shrunken knit pullover and striped selvedge suit were just two of the eye-catchers amongst its mostly neutral palette for fall.