Trade shows are a part of the wholesale business in fashion and many designers often ask whether participating in one is right for them. At Nineteenth Amendment, we offered a discounted rate in partnership with Capsule for our designers to try for themselves. Nineteenth Amendment designer Rose Turner of Rosina~Mae shares with us her Capsule experience.
Let me start out by saying that participating in Capsule was a truly beneficial experience for my brand. Although I had known that I wanted to exhibit at Capsule for many years, I hadn’t really thought it possible yet. In earlier years, I had researched many shows, attending each show and expressing my interest to exhibit someday. I would circulate among exhibitors to ask about their experiences at the trade show and I paid close attention to what each of them said about why it had been good or bad. When I saw the opportunity to exhibit at Capsule at a heavy discount with Nineteenth Amendment, I knew it was time!
Capsule is open to industry professionals only, which makes it a great platform for any emerging brand to be a part of. The excitement of Market Week is similar to that of Fashion Week when well-heeled, retail buyers pound the pavement of NYC as they hurriedly make the rounds at Market to see and buy from their favorite brands. Designer fashions are displayed on hangers so buyers can see just how they would hang in their boutique and display in their store(s).
All of my research paid off while I was in the process of exhibiting at Capsule Women’s this past February. I felt surprisingly ready. I displayed my best work and current look-book. Each item was tagged and marked with the wholesale price. I had some goodies for interested buyers and attendees that happened to wander over and I felt genuinely proud of my work. A stylist friend even helped spruce up my display.
On day 2 of exhibiting, I noticed that something was off about the placement of my booth. While on the first day, there was good foot traffic and interest… it seemed that the sign that had been added on the second day (which displayed the entrance to my section more prominently) was actually obstructing the view of my area. I found that people were confused and thought that I had two racks instead of one. They weren’t understanding my branding because of the way the rack was facing. Finally, after much thought and discussion, I simply decided to switch my rack around so it faced the entrance. This opened the area more.
Upon reflection, regardless of how my rack was displayed, I think my clothes were able speak for themselves. Meaning, for the most part, the right people still noticed my brand regardless. And, the valuable connections made were just that: connections. What happens next is all in the follow-up! I do realize that planning well definitely helped manifest my positive trade show experience, but sometimes it can be purely chance just who you’ll run into.
Think trade shows are right for your brand? Sign up to become a designer now and get the discounted Nineteenth Amendment Designer rate.