There's nothing that quite rivals the tactile sensation of touching a silky pair of trousers, a buttery soft leather moto jacket, or swaying side to side, while modeling a new handbag style on your shoulder. Seeing clothing and accessories in-person during market week or at a trade show truly lends a new perspective to the upcoming season's items, and may inspire you to create original content around that particular object or brand. It's truly so much more valuable than just perusing a PDF of a lookbook, so here's some additional details you need to know regarding market week.
Market Week falls several times a year, and just like fashion week, presents products for the upcoming season. Depending on the category (i.e. women's, childrens', men's, lingerie, swimear, accessories,etc), it can be in January, February, March, May, August, and September, with the larger cities containing the showrooms, market centers, and trade shows (New York, LA, Las Vegas, Miami, Dallas). For the most, these events are geared toward buyers, with registered press welcome to attend, and hence, in no capacity are they open to the general public.
The Showroom Lowdown
As a blogger, your contacts may invite you to come into a showroom or stop by a booth at a trade show to take in their latest wares. Brands can show in a variety of showroom settings (their own, a rented space, with a series of other brands in a permanent showroom space), in which case you just make an appointment and walk in. Since there's a good chance some of these designers may have shown during fashion week, coming in to view the collection again in straightforwardly called a “re-see.” Even if you saw the runway presentation in person or online, taking in these pieces up close will certainly establish a more intimate relationship with the garments, being able to examine the seams and details and further enhancing your knowledge of the brand's design DNA.
Overcoming Geographic Obstacles
If you have good relationships with brands but don't live near a major city, after market week you may be able to still examine the pieces by requesting a few to be sent to you on loan. It may not be the full immersion experience of seeing the full collection together, but will still give you a better insight into the clothing than seeing them flat, as an image on your computer monitor. If you are a budding blogger and are just building relationships now, Modem Online can be a great resource for you, where you can find multi-label showrooms, brand-specific contacts, and
About Trade Shows
As mentioned, you have to be an approved press member to attend, registering in advance or sometimes onsite for a badge to attend trade shows (see ENK Shows press page here). Usually the process of registration isn't too extensive, just comprising of your basic information and functioning of your publication.
Reasons to Attend
So why might you want to attend a trade show? It can be a great way to discover new brands, as well as see a concentrated offering of what could be hitting retailers for the next season. Taking in a bunch of new items from brands is also great way to gauge which trends may cut through the clutter and make their way onto shelves for the following season. And of course, stopping by a booth and saying hello is a great way to make contacts; larger brands usually have a designated sales team, however smaller ones may even have the designer there for you to meet. To understand more about the various trade shows happening and their specific niches, see here for additional listings, and an international trade show calendar.
Have you attended a market week event or trade show yet? Would you like to?
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