NY NOW, the Market for Home & Lifestyle (formerly the NY International Gift Fair), ran from August 17 to August 21 in typical grand style at the Javits Center. New companies as well as seasoned veterans basked in the updated venue. The LIFESTYLE Collection featured the Baby + Child category, where over 100 companies congregated to show the freshest ideas in the market. The Wind & the Sail, Hickies, PishPosh Mommy, and Fluf were just a few of the in-demand product providers that exhibited at the show.
ENK International is one of the world’s biggest trade show producers. Four times each year, ENK presents the Children’s Club Show, a trade event that highlights popular and up-and-coming fashion brands for kids. The best part about the Children’s Club Show is the diversity. Both domestic and international brands arrive to show their wares, allowing for a variety of style perspectives, as well as a sneak peek into what’s new and trending around the globe Brands that captured our attention this time around include Craftholic, Chach, Sweet Marcel and Dagmar Daley.
The 7th edition of Playtime New York took place August 3-5, 2013 with ninety-plus international brands proudly showcasing their Spring-Summer 2014 collections. This was the first appearance at Playtime for more than one-third of the exhibitors. 51% of the exhibitors were U.S. companies; the other 49% were from other countries. Buyers were aided by three trend spaces: Supergraphic, with hypnotic geometry and flashy colors that included work by artist Melissa Godoy Nieto; Starfish with sailor motifs and work by Dana Haim; and Green Carpet featuring natural tones and materials with art by Ritsuko Hirai. 1,412 visitors attended. Liberty London, Dizzy Dress, Little Italy and Merino Kids were brands that captured our attention.
I think we all can remember a special outfit we wore when we were kids that recalls a fond memory today. When I was in elementary school, Pendletons were a big fad and every boy at my school wanted one. I remember getting a red Pendleton for Christmas one year and was happy to be in that “in crowd”. Children’s apparel manufacturers are in the memory-making business. So, I asked a few of the exhibitors from the KIDShow Las Vegas, August 19-21, at Bally’s to answer me this: “What do you most remember wearing as a child?” and “What apparel in your 2014 Spring Collection is designed to make memories for a new generation?”
The Atlanta Fall Gift and Home Furnishings Market, which ran from July 10 to 17, was tuned toward exhibitor and attendee success. “The July market boasted nearly 70 new and expanded permanent showrooms,” says Chelsea Peabody, Strategic Relations and Media Relations Manager at AmericasMart Atlanta. What can show attendees and exhibitors expect from the “largest permanent wholesale marketplace”? They can expect to find interesting companies like Opal & Twig, Wristy Buddy, Butt-Ons, and What a Dish!, all of which made a splash at the July show.
The Playtime NY show, which runs from August 3rd to the 5th at a new venue on Wall Street, is an exhibition powerhouse. Playtime NY already has 130 exhibitors geared up to make it one of the best shows ever. This season’s theme is “Playtime Superstars”, and features a panel discussion on social media chaired by Earnshaw’s publisher, Noelle Heffernan, editor-in-chief, Audrey Kingo, and Carla Zanoni, Director of Social Media and Engagement at DNAinfo.com. Show attendees should keep an eye out for on-trend companies that are ahead of the curve, like Boutan Kids, Jammies Prêt-à-Porter, poopsies, and Chat Mechant.
“This year’s educational sessions were sponsored by Brixy® and were the best ever,” explains Larry Schur, president of All Baby & Child. The 5th Annual ABC Spring Educational Conference, held in Las Vegas from May 7-9, attracted the largest number of exhibiters and attendees to date for the spring event. “The three networking events were the main attractions, and we received an overwhelming number of positive comments about the quality of the events.” Over 160 retailers attended the conference, representing 301 buyers. Some companies that got in on the action were Kore Design, Ragtales, Béaba and Rubens Barn.
AmericasMart is home to Children’s World Atlanta, featuring the latest American and European made collections in clothing, accessories, shoes, gifts, décor, maternity, juvenile products, toys and bedding. Children’s World’s new Temporary Pavilion opened October, 2012, along with several new showrooms, highlighting large growth in this category with over 125 new lines in the showrooms and temporaries since October. Brands range from Kissy Kissy to Splendid/Ella Moss. Trends on the runway in April featured metallics, plaids, bold prints, leather, leggings, ornamentation, and layering.
I am looking forward to attending the ABC Spring Educational Conference at South Point, Las Vegas on May 7-9. After attending so many trade events over the last 30+ years, I enjoy learning more about the children’s business, and especially seeing new things that may take me by surprise. The ABC SEC is one event that allows buyers, manufacturers, reps and media to get to know more about each other. The element of surprise is always part of new experiences. That’s why I asked several exhibitors these questions: “What would someone be surprised to know about you?” and “What will buyers be surprised to see in your 2013 line?”