Returning to its West 26th St. location in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood from September 13 to 15, Designers & Agents trade show is a modest and hand selected offering of specialty-store items. Although it’s a small show there is more than what meets the eye at D&A. Here is what we found when we took a closer look.
Stand Out Newcomer:
Little Creative Factory debuted its premiere women’s collection. Inspired by the work of filmmaker Tim Burton, designer Christina Fernandez from Spain walked visitors through her collection of 100% canvas outerwear and tulle dresses.
French brand Laulhère, which was established in 1840, proved to be the creator of the only beret you will ever need! The wool hat takes two days to make, is lined with silk and finished with a leather headband. Laulhère is a supplier to the French military since 1947 and its handmade berets are waterproof and also guaranteed to never lose shape. A standout patchwork style was adorned with vintage pieces found in the brand’s archives.
Unique Schimmel outerwear showed glove-weight leather jackets in leopard prints, perforated accents and colorful trimmings.
The Best Find:
Family owned business Maria La Rosa from Milan, debuted its specialty handbags at Barneys New York in the early ’90s. Maria’s two daughters Lisa and Alice introduced silk metallic socks that drew in a crowd of retailers from all directions.
A rare trade show sighting, salesman Jose Aragon was practically drowning in orders placed for the Mediterranean footwear brand Naguisa. Barcelona designer Claudia Naguisa showed a capsule of casual shoes complemented with simple prints.
Liberty Fairs-owned Capsule and Cabana also returned to their usual home, Piers 92/94, for NY women’s market on September 14 to 16. Here are some of their highlights this season…
Traditional styles resurfaced at Levi’s. “Higher waist, wider legs and vintage washing is what she’s buying,” said salesman Sean Naughton. The brand’s iconic Trucker was shown with shaggy sleeve detailing.
Sugarhigh Lovestoned - Sugarhigh Lovestoned designer Ginny Slim introduced her David Bowie tee shirt collection that’s lyrically embellished paired with her wing shouldered glam rock goldmine coveralls.
Best Retailer To Watch:
Ash Hester showed the Bridge & Burn capsule of sustainable fashion, an assortment of organic cotton dress shirts and dresses made from only the most environmentally friendly practices.
Australian based brand Roc Boots debuted chunky platforms in patent leather styles, while snakeskin boots popped in hot pink and neon green.
An intriguing capsule of animal friendly outerwear could be found at Ravn designs. Beautiful lamb fur hung skin free made possible with the brand’s innovative process that consists of shaving the animal’s wool and carefully sewing it onto a separate fabric.
Last but certainly not least, Maiden Voyage showcased Egyptian-inspired jewelry that is hand engraved with black diamond settings.
Both Capsule and Cabana, which were again held side by side, were steadily attended, with a light feeling of excitement. Hester of Bridge & Burn gave some insight on the shift of traffic at the shows: “Being that this is the last of the Liberty shows it feels like the sleepiest and a miss of atmosphere.” Hester went on to explain, “Brands are returning to showrooms and their road reps for sales initiatives and Liberty Fairs always offers the best accommodations to their exhibitors and it works for our budgets much more than the larger shows.”
Curated to be boutique-friendly, each show gave a spotlight for the perfect find.