Fashion Mannuscript May 2024

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Hi all and welcome to Fashion Mannuscript’s May edition! We look forward to all the golf outings and events to come, including our own. I’d like to first note that Mann Publications had great success at the Marcum Consumer Products & Retail Symposium. There were over 300 people in attendance including retailers, manufacturers and AI/Tech people. The response we got from our April FM being there was great as the copies went by quickly.

There’s been so many amazing events I‘ve been fortunate enough to attend, including the 2024 AAFA American Image Awards hosted by the American Apparel & Footwear Association, where my dear friend Alan Ellinger received an award, being honored as a trailblazer. Other honorees included Lizanne Kindler, executive chair & CEO, KnitWell Group, as Person of the Year; Carhartt as Company of the Year, accepted by Danilo Amoretty, senior vice president of global product supply and operWes Gordon, creative director, Carolina Herrera, as designer of the year and Global Fashion Agenda, accepted by CEO, Federica Marchionni, as Eco-Steward of the Year. There have also been the fashion events of Chattanooga Fashion Expo (CFE) in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I was fascinated by the culture, atmosphere, excitement and nightlife over there. Not only do our photo events reflect how my life’s evolved, but how fashion has evolved in so many different parts of the country.

For our May 2024 cover, we have Le Vian, a brand that has been one of the best I have worked with in my many years of publishing. Their name, brand, the people in their organization are all wonderful.

On the business side—what we’re really known for and where we have a big voice in the industry is our business to business fashion content of which many colleges around the country have bulk subscriptions for their fashion departments. This is likely due to my family being in the fashion industry for over 100 years. Our deep roots is why we have a logistics, finance, mergers and acquisitions and plus section in our issues, written by experts in their field. For this issue, we have finance discussed by my dear friend and one of the leading men in the country for this topic, Bradley Snyder of Tiger Group, going along the likes of Marshal Cohen in retail, Thomas Gambino Jr. of Dynamic (with logistics for this issue) and Sal Stile of Alba Wheels up.

So welcome back to the ever-growing FM From the insider, The Mann Family

“It takes a lot of time to get experience, and once you have it, you ought to go on using it.” - Benjamin M. Duggar

As we continue on our 2024 spring path, we walk into new beginnings, new ideas, inspiration and experiences. There’s so much going on and with Fashion Mannuscript, we want to give you insight on as much as we can.

With this May issue, you see exciting trends in bridal and social occasions, while also seeing the integration of adaptive fashion in wheelchair-fit denim and fusions of styles in a dynamite collection— quite literally, with the brand Dynamite having versatile outfits that include workwear doubling as a look for a night out.

There are so many events happening like the 2024 AAFA American Image Awards hosted by the American Apparel & Footwear Association and the Carolina Herrera “Sip and Shop” event to benefit the Fashion Institute of Technology. And I don’t know if you’ve heard yet, but Petite Maison Kids recently had a grand opening for their flagship store in Greenwich, Connecticut. Speaking of children—or rather half of their creators—Mother’s Day is around the corner! A little 411 told me that Jergens unveiled a “Mom-Sense Campaign” to celebrate moms this Mother’s Day with a limited-edition custom bracelet available.

And oh the logistics! With online shopping and retail stores, satisfying customers through the omni-channel can be quite challenging but Dynamic eases such burden with wealth of knowledge as does K-Trace Technology, a personalized solution for fashion logistics and Bradley Snyder discussing finances and asset-based lending.

We can’t forget about the star of the month, family-owned jewelry house Le Vian and let’s just say, the collection is luminous. Cue the Tramonto D’Oro collection.

There’s a lot to unpack here like tradeshows from Magic to Dallas Market Center with showcasing and expansion, a fashion consumer outlook report by MMGNET, innovative tech and fabric for men’s suits and so much more.

May you enjoy this issue as I sure have.

MAY 2024 FASHION FAVORITES 12 Petite Maison Kids Redefining Luxury Children’s Fashion 14 Carolina Herrera “Sip and Shop” to Benefit Fashion Institute of technology 16 AAFA Celebrates Integrity and Impact with 2024 American Image Awards 18 Chattanooga Fashion Expo: “The Journey” Recap FASHION FABULOUS 5 One Mann’s Opinion 6 Editor’s Letter 24 411 Executive Changes 60 411 Tech COVER FEATURE ON THE COVER: LEVIAN 38 A BRAND THAT IGNITES: DYNAMITE
Photo courtesy of Dynamite Photo courtesy of Stockton Johnson
autumn cashmere
coterie booth
FASHION FORWARD THE DEPARTMENTS 38 A Brand that Ignites—Dynamite 40 H&M Teams Up with Emerging Brand Rokh 42 NYDJ Launches First Wheelchair-Fit Denim Jean with QVC 48 Formal Markets Unveils Upcoming Autumn/Winter2024 Bridal and Social Occasion Trends 52 Hive & Colony Offers Responsible Suiting Solutions with Innovative Fabrics 54 Neiman Marcus Exclusive “Balmain Beach Club” Collection 33 Logistics & Transportation 58 Techwear 68 Columns 77 Trade Show Connections 92 2024 U.S. Fashion Consumer Outlook Report 94 Last Look Translating High-fashion to Interior Design
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Katerina Azarova Lori Janoff, Deborah Berry, Caroline Houghton Marcia O’Kane Ermelinda Degennaro, Katerina Azarova, Talya Caliskan, Roy Isler Milana Jinete, Maksim Jinete Yulia Charamnykh, Katerina Azarova, Eliza Gutman



Petite Maison Kids, the premiere destination for luxury children’s fashion, has a curated selection of exquisite clothing, shoes and accessories for children aged zero to ten years old.

Founded in 2018 by Katerina Azarova, Petite Maison Kids specializes in high-quality traditional clothing with a modern, elegant flair. With attention to detail, quality craftsmanship and a commitment to timeless style, the brand has garnered a loyal following of discerning parents seeking the best for their children.

Petite Maison Kids was born out of a passion for providing children with clothing that reflects the elegance of childhood all the while making them feel special. “As a mom, I’m always on the search for the best things that life can offer her little ones,” said Katerina Azarova, founder and creative director of Petite Maison Kids. Azarova worked in the medical field as a Neurosurgery Physician Assistant for 15 years, then started the Petite Maison Kids company with the hopes of helping busy moms like herself by creating a go-to place for the best luxury clothing and hard-to-find unique designs in the U.S. Azarova found a passion for designing clothing reminiscent of her roots and upbringing in Soviet Ukraine. She’s proud of how the company has grown and evolved and is excited to continue designing more beautiful pieces. “After all, children grow up so fast. It’s important to savor all those adorable moments dressing up our precious angels,” stated Azarova.

Petite Maison Kids recently had a grand opening for their flagship store in Greenwich, Connecticut. The store “represents the culmination of our vision – a place where parents can find exceptional fashion pieces that make their children feel like Princes and Princesses,” said Azarova. Petite Maison Kids’ show stopping styles are all original designs and carefully handmade in small batches. Designs of the clothing are made with function and comfort in mind. Some best sellers include: Coco-Carmel Tulle Dress and Romper, Satin Rose Dress, Jaylin Linen Dress and Charlotte Baby Blue Linen Dress. The brand is currently sold in Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and many esteemed boutiques worldwide. It’s also a favorite of celebrities and influencers worldwide.

In addition to its commitment to luxury and style, Petite Maison Kids is dedicated to sustainability and giving back to the community. The brand incorporates eco-friendly practices into its actions, using natural and often recycled fabrics and often partners with organizations such as Greenspark to minimize its environmental impact.

“We currently ethically manufacture in small batches because I believe that quality over quantity really matters. I want to encourage clothing to be passed down to generations as heirlooms rather than contribute to filling landfills,” said Azarova. Petite Maison Kids has big plans for the future. ”This is just the beginning of our journey.” May 2024 FM | 13 FASHION FAVORITES
Marcia O’Kane, Katerina Azarova, Milana Jinete, Maksim Jinete Petite Maison Kids Store
Jill Schecter, Kathy Georgas, Amanda Polk Stephanie Gates, David Glickman Jill Schecter, Kathy Georgas, Amanda Polk Kim Butenhoff, Zara, Georgia Jacob, Sharon JacobJ Dallas Dalton, Coleman McCartan


Silvia Tcherassi and Fivestory held an event at the Casa Brazilian Court boutique. Karen Murray from Fivestory and Katherine Gage Boulud of Café Boulud co-hosted the event. Approximately 25 women attended the event where Silvia Tcherassi fashions were presented. Gustavo Finol, sales manager of Silvia Tcherassi was also in attendance and helped outfit and style each of the women. After the fashion show and styling event, women were escorted outside the boutique into the courtyard and were treated to Café Boulud specialty drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

Guests included Michelle Worth, Liz McDermott, Ramona Singer, Angela Page, Jenna Gerla, Laine Siklos, Aida Flamm, Catherine Carey, Jennifer Kinsman, Catherine Hart and friends. May 2024 FM | 15
Photos courtesy of Annie Watt Dallas Dalton, Eleanora Kennedy, Susan Quinn Susan Quinn, Susan Dunlevy, Sharon Jacob, Geogria Jacob Yaz Hernandez, Jean Shafiroff, Sharon Jacob, Eleanora Kennedy, Sarah J. Wetenhall, Julie Macklowe
Belle Bakst (L-R) Stephen Lamar, Award recipients Allan Ellinger, Danilo Amoretty, Federica Marchionni, Lizanne Kindler and Wes Gordon; EMCEE Segun Oduolowu and Gabrielle Ferrara Stefan Kaluzny, Sycamore Partners Co-Founder & Managing Director (L-R) Isaac Ash, Rita O’Brien and Peter Arnold (L-R) Wes Gordon and David Granados
16 | FM May 2024
Stefan Kaluzny, Sycamore Partners Co-Founder & Managing Director Lizanne Kindler, Executive Chair and CEO, KnitWell Group


The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) hosted the 2024 AAFA American Image Awards last evening at the iconic Gotham Hall in Midtown Manhattan - constructed in 1924 and celebrating its 100th year of history in NYC. Emceed by the host of Boston Globe Today, Segun Oduolowu, the gala honored leaders and advocates across the apparel and footwear industries. The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Foundation is the event’s long standing charitable beneficiary.

The AAFA American Image Awards honorees included Lizanne Kindler, executive chair & CEO, KnitWell Group, as Person of the Year; Carhartt as Company of the Year, accepted by Danilo Amoretty, senior vice president of global product supply and operations; Wes Gordon, creative director, Carolina Herrera, as designer of the year; Global Fashion Agenda, accepted by CEO, Federica Marchionni, as Eco-Steward of the Year and Allan Ellinger, senior managing partner, MMG Advisors, as Trailblazer.

Delivering touching remarks as they accepted their statuette, Eco-Steward, Frederica Marchionni spoke of the American dream being alive and well and inspiring all to strive to achieve their highest aspirations. Trailblazer, Allan Ellinger, shared his belief in the power of doing good and offered tremendous hope for our collective future. Designer of the Year, Wes Gordon, inspired all to see the power of creating beautiful things as being truly life changing, not only for himself and his team, but for his clients the world over. Danilo Amoretty accepted Carhartt’s honor as Company of the Year, which comes as the iconic brand celebrates 135 years; he spoke about one of the company’s core values— to “Respect the Past, While Walking Bravely Into the Future”— as the company continues to redefi ne the limits of workwear through its commitment to quality gear with enduring value and the development of sustainable practices to protect our planet for future generations.

Finally, Person of the Year, Lizanne Kindler, was moved to emotion as she shared the inspiration she fi nds in those around her—family, colleagues and customers. Other impactful moments included remarks from both AAFA and CFDA leadership, Stephen Lamar and Steven Kolb, with a mutual glowing salute to the impact the eight years of partnership and the far-reaching impacts. Katie Ioanilli of Ralph Lauren welcomed Ferrara Manufacturing’s chief operating officer, Gabrielle Ferrara who shared the success Ferrara Manufacturing (a past recipient of CFDA foundation funds that have been raised by this event) has had in manufacturing locally in the newly built manufacturing facility where the U.S. Olympic uniforms, many of Ralph Lauren’s top tier product and military uniforms are currently made.

“Tonight is a powerful reminder of the positive change that individuals can steer. We are reminded that we can and should draw collective strength from our individual diversity and that we are making incredible strides as an industry as we support manufacturing, foster new talent, and train the next generation,” said Steve Lamar, president and CEO, AAFA. “Over the years ahead, I look forward to even stronger partnerships as we fashion new extended producer responsibility mechanisms, negotiate smart trade programs, and scale circular solutions.”

Before the program began, the red carpet stirred with excitement as fashion executives, designers, and various luminaries gathered to celebrate the evening’s honorees. Among the designers were Cynthia Rowley, Todd Snyder, Michelle Ochs, Evan Hirsch and Dr. D’Wayne Edwards. Other VIP guests included Indre Rockefeller – founder of The Circularity Project, journalist Belle Bakst, journalist Tijana Ibrahimovic, journalist Charlii Sebunya, influencer Joshua Kamei, influencer Charlotte Groenveld, chef Brad Willits, and actor David Granados.

May 2024 FM | 17
Photos courtesy of Slaven Vlasic

Chattanooga Fashion Expo

“The Journey” Recap

Chattanooga Fashion Expo (CFE) delivered a year of multiple events with a diverse slate of nine runway shows, educational workshops, mentorship opportunities, industry panels, parties, curated shopping events and more. The event, held in beautiful Chattanooga, Tennessee, provided a platform for designers and models from the region and highlighted key designers from Chattanooga, Knoxville, Atlanta, Nashville, Savannah, Augusta, Montgomery and more. The schedule included a full day of workshops, professional presentations and interactive education. CFE’s theme was “The Journey,” with Friday of that week focusing on education. The program concluded with an industry panel of regional professionals sharing insights about their personal “fashion industry journey.”

“We are so excited about the impact we made in the regional creative community this year with the events and the number of artists we were able to support,” said Shanna Forrestall, founder of CFE. “Not only were we able to provide a showcasing platform for many artists, we were also able to encourage, educate and empower many local young artists and we look forward to the fruit of that investment in the future of fashion that will blossom from our work.”

A few key highlights from the Main Expo included an opening showcase by jewelry designer Gemstone Drippin, out of Atlanta, whose powerful and intentional designs set the tone for a unique show packed full of diversity, creativity and passion. Chattanooga based model Brittany Moss, who was launched from the CFE stage in Year 1, was named the CFE Top Model with an overwhelming support of votes from the audience and judges. Moss has grown up on the CFE stage over the past three years, performing in various shows as a model, dancer, actress and fire performer. “Brittany Moss is the epitome of elegance and grace, claims the title of Chattanooga Fashion Expo’s model winner,” explained dean of fashion, Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds.

“Her signature walk exudes professionalism, while her contagious zeal for life illuminates the runway. A true embodiment of style and poise.”

Felina Martin of Pajoma Na was awarded CFE’s Design (Collection) Winner. She is an artist turned designer and her artwork, inspired by Chattanooga’s diversity, has evolved into a collection that is magnetic, multi-functional, elegant and intentional.

The events concluded with a carefully curated experience by Chef Jaguar Rotan at the lovely Walden Peak Farm on Signal Mountain above the city. Chef Jaguar created a breathtaking sensory experience that included live fairies, musical performances by Nashville based artists Adam Burch and Fiona Maura, multiple sets by DJ Jeramy Shamaz of Creative Culture Chatt and also included vegan sushi served nyotaimori style on live models and other culinary delights.

CFE continues to evolve as a community and volunteer based event, but founder and creative producer Shanna Forrestall sees big changes in the near future. “This has been such a labor of love and has often come at a large personal cost, but I’ve really enjoyed seeing the powerful creatives in our area and working directly with them,” added Forrestall. “We will definitely be implementing major changes into what we do and how we utilize this platform. My goal from the beginning has been to learn more about fashion myself, to support fashion industry creatives and to connect film, fashion and music in my area. We’ve done this. And now I’m looking to see how this will evolve as I move back towards the industry I started in (film). We’ll be announcing big changes this year after I am able to secure partnerships to determine if and how CFE will continue. We are everlastingly grateful to the ones who have made CFE possible.”

CFE 2023 Top Model Winner Brittany Moss with CFE Creative Director Damien Kyle Photo by Millicent Garland Pamoja Na
18 | FM May 2024
Photo by Galiduart
Molly Robinson wearing Pamoja Na Photo by Millicent Garland Designer Pamoja Na Photo by Millicent Garland CFE Founder Shanna Forrestall wearing Knot me Jewels with Niya Love Photo by Millicent Garland Brittany Moss wearing 2 Handsome 2 Cute
May 2024
Photo by Millicentgarland46


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Join Jeffrey Mann and the Mann Charitable Foundation at the beautiful Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, New York for a great day of golf, food, and networking.

The Mann Charitable Foundation was founded over 20 years ago in memory of Marion and Irving Mann. Its mission is to fund research for geriatric diseases, and to ultimately find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Last year, the Mann Charitable Foundation expanded its initiatives to include Crohn’s and colitis, breast cancer, and liver diseases. This year we are expanding our donations to lymphoma and macular degeneration.

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The Board of Directors of Elevate Textiles, a global provider of advanced, high-quality products and mission critical textile solutions, recently announced the integration of Jeffrey P. Pritchett into the company as chief executive officer and member of the Board of Directors.

“We are all thrilled that Jeff is joining and confident that his diverse experience driving commercial and operational excellence, as well as successfully navigating strategic mergers and acquistions initiatives make him the ideal leader to achieve our business objectives and maximize our impact as a global, consolidated platform,” said Jim Continenza, chairman of the Board of Directors for Elevate Textiles. “Jeff brings the right combination of leadership experience, passion and expertise to drive the next phase of growth, innovation and sustainability for all of the stakeholders at Elevate.”

Mr. Pritchett added, “I am honored to be joining Elevate and look forward to partnering with the Board and our leadership team(s) to build on the significant accomplishments they have made to date. I am impressed with the differentiated global footprint and integrated platform, customer collaboration, environmental solutions, innovative product development and operational expertise that I’ve seen thus far, and I’m incredibly excited about what we will accomplish together in the future to continue to drive growth and improvement around our delivery of premium, mission-critical textile solutions globally.”

Pritchett joins Elevate with more than 25 years of multiindustry global leadership experience in both public and private companies. He most recently served as senior managing director and senior operating executive of Cerberus Operations and Advisory Company LLC, an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management L.P. He also held numerous Cerberus portfolio company Board and leadership roles.

Earlier in his career, he served as chief operating officer and on the Board of Directors at Champion One LLC, executive vice president, chief financial officer and head of global operations at InnerWorkings and held senior leadership positions at Vertis Communications, including senior vice president and chief financial officer. Before that, he held various leadership positions at General Motors and Delphi Automotive.

Photo courtesy of Elevate Textiles


Moms and mother figures have a sixth sense when it comes to their families, knowing all of their ins and outs instinctually. This Mother’s Day, Jergens Skincare is celebrating all mom figures by showing its love for this special talent, with what the brand has coined as ‘MomSense,’ while continuing its dedication to creating feelgood products for moms and their many senses.

Jergens is partnering with mom and actress, Nicole Ari Parker and fashion jewelry brand, Adina Eden, to cocreate a custom bracelet, specially made for moms. This limited-edition bracelet is inspired by Jergens’ iconic Cherry Almond scent, which has been passed down for generations and encapsulates a true feeling of comfort for many. This special piece can serve as a wearable reminder of families’ appreciation for their special mother figure and as a symbol of love, strength and the sweet moments of motherhood.

“Although I wear many hats, being a mom will always be my top priority, so I am honored to be a part of Jergens’ Mom-Sense campaign to celebrate all that mother figures do for their families 365 days a year,” said Parker. “I have two kids of my own now, but every year around Mother’s Day I reflect on the love, strength and values I’ve learned about motherhood from my own mom, and make it a point to always thank her on this special day.”

The campaign will be supported through social content on the brand’s social channels, as well as on Nicole Ari Parker’s and Adina Eden’s Instagram channels. Jergens also produced a Mom-Sense video advertisement that will live on both Meta and TikTok with paid support.

The custom, limited-edition Original Scent Cherry Almond-inspired bracelet is available on the Jergens retail website,, as a special gift-withpurchase for Mother’s Day and will be included with any Jergens Original Scent Cherry Almond purchase of $15 or more, while supplies last.

The Jergens Original Scent Cherry Almond Collection consists of:

Original Scent Cherry Almond Perfume

Original Scent Cherry Almond Moisturizer

Original Scent Cherry Almond Hand Wash

Original Scent Cherry Almond Body Wash

Photo courtesy of Jergens Skincare



Kroger announced that MCoBeauty, Australia’s fastestgrowing beauty brand, is making its United States debut exclusively at Kroger Family of Stores, having launched more than 250 beauty and skincare products available in stores now.

“Kroger is thrilled to offer our customers MCoBeauty’s ‘luxe-for-less’ cosmetics and skincare products,” said Kate Meyer, Kroger’s vice president of home, health and beauty care merchandising. “Bringing this must-have brand exclusively to Kroger invites beauty enthusiasts to our stores to access highly sought-after products and offers our customers more beauty options, maximizing convenience with every shopping experience. Our Fresh for Everyone commitment means accessibility across every aisle and we are proud to collaborate with MCoBeauty, a brand that shares this vision.”

With affordability and practicality paramount to MCoBeauty’s mission to provide accessible, innovative products, the luxe-for-less brand offers trend-focused makeup and skincare items under $30.

“We are thrilled to bring MCoBeauty to the U.S., offering customers across America access to our innovative and affordable beauty solutions,” said Shelley Sullivan, CEO and founder of MCoBeauty. “Our mission has always been to make high-quality beauty products accessible to all, and we’re excited to introduce our range to a new audience. Kroger is the perfect point of entry for us into the U.S. Similar retail environments have worked so well for MCoBeauty in Australia and New Zealand, providing a very loyal and growing customer base for the brand and I am confident we will see the same success with Kroger.”

MCoBeauty trending items available at Kroger include:

XtendLash Tubular Mascara - the best-selling, awardwinning innovative tubing mascara that maximizes length, curl and volume without flaking or smudging.

Super Glow Bronzing Drops - a weightless skincareinfused serum that hydrates while adding a warm bronze tint to complexions.

Flawless Glow Luminous Filter Foundation - a four-inone, multi-tasking, skin booster designed to give skin the ultimate glowing, filter-like finish.

Lip Oil Hydrating Treatment - a rich, ultra-nourishing lip oil that leaves a high-shine finish.

Liquid Highlight & Glow Beauty Wand - the perfect illuminating liquid highlighter wand to achieve gorgeously glowing skin in a flash.

Instant Contour Cream Bronzer - contour and highlight like a pro in just three easy steps.

26 | FM May 2024 BEAUTY FASHION 411
Photo courtesy of The Kroger Co.


In an exciting venture into women’s fashion, Taft, renowned for its bold and distinctive men’s footwear, announced the launch of “Taft for Her,” its first-ever women’s collection. This expansion marks a new era for Taft as the brand broadens its horizons to encompass a more inclusive narrative of style and self-expression. With “Taft for Her,” the brand transfers its unique design ethos to the realm of women’s fashion, marrying the audacity and distinctiveness of the bestsellers within its men’s line with a fresh, feminine perspective. Taft is about boots, shoes and people—everyone. This move is not just a diversification of products, but a celebration of individuality across all genders, illustrating Taft’s commitment to innovation and inclusivity in fashion.

With a longstanding vision of inspiring bold selfexpression and cultural change, “Taft for Her,” is a vivid embodiment of this ethos, offering the same commitment to unique design and quality that has defined the brand. By extending its offerings to include women’s styles, Taft is not just selling shoes; it’s curating a movement of empowerment through fashion.

In a creative reinterpretation, the collection transforms Taft’s iconic men’s boots, shoes and loafers into sophisticated options for women. The line includes the Jill Boot, a sleek and versatile interpretation of the men’s Jack boot and the Roma Boot, echoing the rugged elegance of the men’s Rome Boot. The Freya Boot, evolved from the more rugged, the Blake stitched Viking Boot, offers a commanding silhouette, while the Flora Loafer, mirroring its male counterpart, balances comfort with high fashion. Additional styles like the Helen Boot, Becca Shoe and Lucia Shoe, each inspired by popular men’s designs, enrich this versatile collection. These offerings are not just footwear; they represent a fusion of Taft’s classic designs with an innovative, female-focused fashion narrative.

Handcrafted in Europe, each piece in “Taft for Her” is a testament to the highest quality craftsmanship. The leathers used are full-grain for ultimate comfort and durability and by employing Blake-stitched construction, Taft’s shoes are designed for longevity and added flexibility, ensuring they are built to last. With extra light commando lug soles, each shoe is a narrative of the wearer’s journey, encapsulating the essence of the Taft brand — where every stitch tells a story of commitment to individuality and the pursuit of excellence.

of PRNewsfoto/Taft
2024 | 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM The Top Hat Award is a prestigious honor presented annually to an individual for lifetime achievement and dedication in the Credit Industry. We are proud to recognize Richard Simon and Glenn Schwartz, who have reached new levels of achievement within our community. This year, we will celebrate their accomplishments with an award ceremony at New York Hilton & Towers. Register at ARNO RISTARANTE 141 38TH ST - NEW YORK Join Us to Hono r Glenn Schwartz Richard Simon The 71 st Top Hat Awards
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The Movement of Fashion

courtesy of Unsplash






For fashion importers, navigating the complexities of the global supply chain can feel like walking a runway blindfolded. Uncertainty around shipment timelines and unpredictable delays can create a stressful environment, hindering your ability to make informed decisions and optimize your supply chain. In today’s dynamic fashion industry, efficiency and visibility into your global logistics operations are crucial for success. Fashion importers can elevate their entire logistics experience by partnering with the right logistics provider, one that offers exceptional customer service and cutting-edge technology.

Introducing K-Trace Technology: Your Personalized Solution for Fashion Logistics

Krieger Worldwide announced the launch of K-Trace Technology, a revolutionary and modern digital experience designed to empower fashion importers with unparalleled visibility and management over their supply chain. Powered by cutting-edge technology and a dedicated team of experts, K-Trace Technology goes beyond traditional trackand-trace portals, offering a comprehensive suite of features to streamline your operations and enhance your decision-making capabilities.

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K-Trace Technology boasts industry-leading track-and-trace capabilities. Eliminate the guesswork and empower your stakeholders to drive operations with accurate and real time data:

• Proactively manage your inventory: Gain accurate arrival estimates and plan your receiving and distribution processes more effectively.

• Enhance communication with your suppliers and retail partners: Keep stakeholders informed with real-time shipment location data, fostering trust and collaboration.

• Identify and address potential delays: Early awareness of any disruptions allows you to take proactive steps to minimize their impact on your business.

Effortless Document and Invoice Management: Stay Organized and Simplify Your Workflow

Our document and invoice management feature lets you focus on what truly matters - staying ahead of the next big trend, not paperwork. K-Trace Technology provides a centralized hub for all your shipment-related documents. This includes commercial invoices, packing lists, bills of lading, certificates of origin and customs documents. These documents are easily accessible at any time, eliminating the need for physical file storage. This allows for all of us to take a greener approach to documentation and gives you access to your documents whenever needed.

In-App Messaging: Foster Seamless Communication with Krieger Worldwide

K-Trace Technology offers improved communication with convenient messaging throughout. You can directly connect with your dedicated Krieger Worldwide team through the portal to:

• Ask questions

• Request clarifications on documents

• Discuss potential changes to your shipment

• Receive real-time support

This direct line of communication ensures your questions are addressed promptly and eliminates the need for multiple emails or

phone calls. No more searching through your inbox!

Data-Driven Analytics: Gain Actionable Insights to Optimize Your Fashion Supply Chain

K-Trace Technology empowers you with data-driven insights. This portal provides comprehensive shipment and brokerage analytics. Boost your quarterly and annual business reviews with actionable data to strengthen your overall supply chain!

In today’s competitive landscape, efficiency and transparency are essential for success. This powerful online portal empowers you with real-time tracking, eliminates paperwork headaches with document and invoice management and fosters seamless communication with dedicated logistics experts. Gain valuable data-driven insights to optimize your supply chain and stay ahead of the curve. Partner with Krieger Worldwide and experience the future of fashion logistics – where ease and efficiency meet unparalleled visibility. Visit https://www. contact Krieger Worldwide to learn more and unlock the power of K-Trace Technology!

At Krieger Worldwide, their mission is to support their clients by leveraging their industry expertise, flexibility and relationships to enable their clients to achieve and exceed their logistics goals.

34 | FM May 2024 LOGISTICS May 2024 FM | 35 LOGISTICS


As the shift in the global retail world continues to be a race between online shopping and retail stores, logistic service providers are constantly needing to find new ways to satisfy their customers’ demands. With online sales now consisting of nearly 14% of retail sales worldwide, the need for a shared inventory to fulfill all modes of shipping, has become vital. A logistic supply chain service provider capable of handling such a task must be one that is not only flexible, but also innovative and constantly thinking beyond the curve. The omni-channel experience is becoming the new norm. But, there are several road blocks stopping service providers from achieving maximum shipping efficiency and cost effectiveness. Operating costs and inventory management are crucial to maintaining customer satisfaction and competitive pricing when servicing those in demand for omni-channel fulfillment. The Dynamic Omni-Channel experience is one of constant visibility, tracking and seamless fulfillment from a single inventory. The investments into IT and Automation have given Dynamic the ability to stay ahead of the game by fulfilling a customers’ order effortlessly from their standing inventory.

Service providers once had multiple inventories. For simplistic purposes, we will list two: retail fulfillment and e-commerce. Fearful of losing count of the standing inventory, marrying e-commerce and retail garments were not common practices and space was left unutilized – both of which are serious problems service providers face today. Dynamic’s warehouse management software (WMS) infused with the experience and knowledge of the operations team, creates a winning recipe that solves both of these major problems. Due to the constant visibility and tracking made available to the operations team, the health of our customers’ inventory is never in question. No order will be placed where it cannot be fulfilled. Instead of two separate inventories or needlessly merging two inventories, we can have

one where we are able to supply brick-andmortar stores and online platforms.

Being a major service provider for product manufacturers and retail stores, Dynamic understands the requirements that both ends of the supply chain need in order to have continued growth. The continuity this team is able to achieve because of our understanding and relationship with both, sets them apart from the rest. This understanding allows an experienced team to anticipate the needs of different customers at certain times of the year and an advanced WMS to see it carried out. Through the constantly tracked health of the standing inventory, orders can be placed and monitored from the start, through the picking process and to completion as it enters the outbound truck.

While all of this may seem like a no brainer, now that it has been laid out, it takes knowledge, experience and systems to ensure it all runs according to plan. Far from a tool that allows us to “set and forget,” but rather a tool that allows us to be more vigilant in the fight against misplaced inventory. As a service provider for the apparel retail community, Dynamic has continuously made strides to comply with the changing world in which we exist. The investments into IT and Automation have paid off in more ways than one. It provides us with the flexibility of maneuvering inventory as required as well as maximizing the space we occupy, giving us the room we need to meet the demands of our customers.

As the percentage of online shopping continues to rise, so will the need for knowledgeable supply chain service providers to be well versed in giving customers a prosperous, omni-channel experience. As “omni-channel logistics” become the new norm, it is quite possible that those who are not willing to take the chances now to fight through the growing pains, might find it hard to catch up later on. Working with

customers in an open dialogue to find out what they need, what Dynamic could do better and consistent collaboration with all parties, is a great jumping off point in improving the omni-channel ecosystem.

The omni-channel approach to the growing online shopping market continues to have a great deal of success. As retailers prepare to up their Direct-to-Consumer (D2C)/Drop Ship inventory each year, it is important that supply chain service providers do not need to reorganize to accommodate the new demands of the e-commerce shopping platform, as it will disrupt the flow and take time away from fulfilling orders. This is Dynamic’s plan; so that no matter what the next fiscal year brings, we can hold all inventory together in the same place year after year.

No one knows exactly where things will end up. Will online shopping completely take over? Will retail brick-and-mortar stores become showrooms where the customer is only able to window shop? The success and growth that can be contributed to a single inventory/omni-channel fulfillment seems to be the future for supply chain service providers no matter what shoppers do because of the flexibility it offers—as long as one has the proper tools to manage the inventory. Dynamic will continue to collaborate with its partners and customers to fit their needs in this tumultuous landscape.

Dynamicisafull-servicelogisticsorganization committed to serving the needs of the Retail and Wholesale Industry’s DistributionNetwork.Dynamichasoversixtyyears ofexperienceintheconsolidation,container trans-loading, third party distribution and transportation of retail merchandise includingGarment-on-Hanger,flat-packapparelandaccessories.

36 | FM May 2024 FINANCE



Many industries in North America—including apparel—continue to face financing challenges due in no small measure to the pullback from today’s more risk-averse national banks. This post-Covid era trend is part of the reason for an increase in distress and bankruptcy filings among retailers and wholesale distributors.

In many cases, distressed companies are operating with higher-than-optimal inventory levels—a holdover from the supply-and-demand instability that occurred during and immediately after the pandemic. The higher cost of fundamentals like labor, rent, insurance, construction, shrink/shoplifting and digital ads/customer acquisition contribute to tighter margins as well. Particularly smaller e-commerce retailers have been feeling this squeeze.

Higher demand for asset-based financing

Asset-based lenders (ABL) are helping fashion and other companies cope with such challenges. For the first quarter ended March 31, Tiger Finance, for one, provided a total of $102 million to various borrowers, including $20 million to a national retailer of women’s apparel and $40 million to another fashion retailer.

Stretch asset-based lenders like Tiger provide advances against borrowers’ working capital, machinery and equipment, fixtures, real estate and intellectual property. In Tiger’s case, that means predominately serving middle-market borrowers and private equity firms.

Borrowers in the ABL sector can include:

• pre-revenue startups

• private-equity firms looking to make strategic acquisitions

• distressed retailers in need of bridge financing

• companies in need of financing for single-asset projects

In response to higher demand, Tiger ramped up its financing platform in 2019 and has since deployed more than $400 million of capital across more than 50 deals. The platform grew 35% last year.

‘New lease on life’

Despite today’s headwinds, there is good news for the fashion industry. Not too long ago, distress was more likely to lead to liquidation. However, today’s asset-based lenders are far-better equipped to help distressed operators uncover opportunities to save jobs and get a new lease on life. Chalk it up to the ABL’s growing focus on advanced analytics and multidisciplinary collaboration specifically oriented toward such sunnier outcomes.

Typically, these projects center on isolating key drivers of distress— for example, inefficient inventory-management leading to a surfeit of slow-moving, excessively aged stock keeping units, (SKUs)—and then developing an action plan to address this, supplying the capital and, if advisable, additional consulting expertise.

Asset-based lenders occasionally purchase promising operators and then retain and team with their best in-house talent to stabilize the balance sheet. These reformed companies become attractive targets for healthy buyers looking to grow, whether in the brick-and-mortar or online channels.

In its report, The State of Fashion 2024, McKinsey & Co. noted that “the most prominent sentiment among fashion industry leaders is uncertainty, reflecting the prospect of subdued economic growth, persistent inflation and weak consumer confidence. Against this backdrop, businesses will be challenged to identify pockets of value and unlock new drivers of performance.”

But shifting consumer priorities, McKinsey added, can create opportunities for those with the right strategy. Meanwhile, the worst disruptions created by the pandemic are heading toward a resolution. In this transitionary environment, seeking and obtaining asset-based financing can be a direct path to unlocking higher value and performance, now and over the long term.

Bradley W. Snyder is an Executive Managing Director at Tiger Group and a leading corporate advisor on global business strategies in the commercial world; May 2024 FM | 37 FINANCE
Photo courtesy of Tiger Group

For the women who are owning their confidence, valuing authenticity and versatility in their wardrobe, blending trends with individual style—Dynamite’s the brand for you.

In fashion since 1975, with over 300 stores across North America, Dynamite epitomizes a work hard play hard style. Dynamite pride’s themself on being at the forefront of fashion trends, constantly curating limited drops to ensure that their customers remain trend-forward. However, beyond trendsetting, their core mission is to offer versatile pieces that seamlessly transition their customers from day to night, from client lunches to outings and from weekdays to weekends. Dynamite understands the importance of wardrobe staples that effortlessly accompany their customers through every occasion, from brunches to dinner, special occasions and everything in between.

Dynamite has both a main and monthly collection, with the monthly ones injecting new items into the collection on a weekly basis. The items are meticulously crafted to reflect the latest trends that Dynamiteknows their consumers are looking for and will appreciate, capturing the essence of what’s hot and relevant, whether it’s the season, special occasions, or the current cultural moment. The main collections are inspired by their customers themselves. “We love outfitting them for the endless schedule of lunch day-dates, girls’ brunches, date night dinners and all of their life’s little moments in between,” said the Dynamite team

Collections of Dynamite include great versatility, with inspiration drawn from various sources, including pop culture, which resonates with the brand’s target audience. This approach allows for Dynamite to offer diverse and inclusive designs that reflect customers’ dynamic lives. Dynamite’s best sellers often embody timeless styles with a contemporary twist, utilizing carefully sourced materials tailored to seasonal trends and different occasions, ensuring versatility and longevity in their collections as well as emotional pieces like a color, print or silhouette. The Dynamite team said of their consumer, “She loves fashion and she loves showing it off!”

Dynamite seeks pieces that empower women in their day to day to feel at their best while making it all look easy. The Dynamite team said “Women are a force with magnetic personalities who really understand how to own their individuality (even the messy parts!). We are inspired by them daily!” Among the many Dynamite collections is the most recent with purpose-driven fashion lifestyle brand, The Mayfair Group. This eight-piece collection is exclusively sold at Dynamite and generated amazing support from both brand communities. “Stay tuned for exciting upcoming collaborations and collections that merge our signature style with fresh perspectives promising unique and innovative offerings for our customers,” said the Dynamite team.

Dynamite has also collaborated with a diverse range of influencers whose authentic style and values align with their brand ethos, ensuring a dynamic representation of their customer base. The brand is inspired by women who seem to do it all with confidence, embodying female empowerment and see themselves wearing Dynamite.

Having been around for nearly 40 years, Dynamite continues to grow and evolve with their consumer, learning from them along the way. The brand’s success stems from their ability to resonate with their audience by offering versatile, trend-forward pieces that fit into their consumer’s lives so seamlessly, understanding how they are spending their time and more importantly, what fashion and outfits the Dynamite comsumer is looking for in that moment to feel great. That idea of versatility, confidence and elevated effortlessness is something that the Dynamite consumer is looking for in both Canada and in the U.S. Dynamite has an exciting journey underway which means continued growth and market share expansion with their sister brand, Garage, a brand successfully driven and really helping to pave the way to that success.

For Dynamite, it’s not a question— they will always deliver for their customers, providing the quality and fashion they have come to expect and love.

38 | FM May 2024 FEATURE


courtesy of Dynamite


For the latest of its much-loved designer collaborations, H&M has teamed up with emerging brand Rokh on a collection full of elevated takes on wardrobe staples. Bringing Korean designer Rok Hwang’s exacting eye for cut and proportion to a roster of archetypal pieces, the collection promotes deconstructed workwear icons and delivers adaptable designs that encourage personal expression. The collection, having launched in select stores and online, includes womenswear, menswear and accessories.

“Rok Hwang has quickly established a strong identity for Rokh, winning fans over for his ingenious tailoring and flattering dresses with off beat silhouettes. “We’re excited to bring his work to a wider audience with this wonderfully inventive collection,” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor and head of womenswear design at H&M.

Playfully subverting the tropes of 1980s office power-dressing, the tailoring template gets an unmistakable Rokh makeover alongside deconstructed corset tops and dresses and exuberant accessories. Customizable button fastenings and hook-and-eye trims are a key feature, allowing numerous pieces to be transformed by the individual.

For women, the double-layer trench coat and oversized blazer with its extended metallic-notched belt are covetable signatures for the everyday, alongside statement occasionwear styles including the black corset dress with its detachable, irregularly pleated hem and the cut-out blazer mini dress. For men, the oversized multi-button trench coat and cocooning leather blazer gently drill down on corporate codes. The collection features premium materials such as chrome-free leather, wool and organic cotton.

“I always focus on making my collections as timeless as possible, focusing on customizable details and decisive cuts. To see my clothes being worn in brilliantly unique ways I never imagined while I was designing them is one of my greatest pleasures. I can’t wait to see how customers engage with this fun and dynamic collection for H&M,” says Rok Hwang, creative director at Rokh.

FEATURE Photos courtesy of QVC


Launches First Wheelchair-Fit Denim Jean with QVC

The right clothing for someone should not be hard to find and it should make people feel good. QVC, a world leader in live video commerce (“vCommerce”) understands the need for inclusive fashion, having recently collaborated with Not Your Daughter’s Jeans (NYDJ) to launch the brand’s first wheelchair-fit design jean exclusively for QVC. This first entry into adaptive designs from the national denim brand is part of QVC’s growing assortment of accessible and adaptive product offerings.

NYDJ jeans are made by women, for women of all shapes and sizes. Back in 2003, comfortable and flattering jeans for every woman simply did not exist with most jeans being a low waist style and fitting uncomfortably. And, if they did fit well, they were just not stylish. NYDJ set out to design jeans that fit in all the right places and make every woman feel comfortable and confident—like her best self.

Designed by the experts who created the best-fitting women’s jeans, the NYDJ Marilyn Straight Adapt-Denim Jean wheelchair-fitmakes stylish denim more accessible for millions of wheelchair users with its adjusted fit points, including a higher back rise and lower front rise, flat seams, faux front pockets and woven tags. The new denim adjusts to one’s waist with inner elastic adjustment. It features an elastic back waist for extra ease, has a functional fly with snap closure, a pocket-free seat and is made with the brand’s softest Sure Stretch fabric with lift tuck technology.

“Since their launch in 2017, NYDJ has been one of the top-selling denim brands at QVC and we are proud to be collaborating

with them to launch their first adaptive denim style,” said Rachel Ungaro, general merchandising manager and vice president of fashion merchandising for QVC. “NYDJ shares our dedication to inclusive fashion with styles that resonate with a broader audience, fostering an environment where customers feel comfortable, represented and confident.”

“As we continue to listen and learn along this journey to grow our accessible and adaptive offerings, we are grateful that NYDJ has chosen to collaborate with us and the disability community to bring a wheelchair-fit denim option exclusively to our customers. The Marilyn Straight is one of our most popular jeans and it will now be accessible to even more people.”

“According to research from the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 5.5 million people in the U.S. use a wheelchair for mobility. When QVC approached NYDJ about creating a wheelchair-fit jean, we were excited by the opportunity. After all, that’s who we are—dedicated to delivering timeless and on-trend fashion that empowers women to feel comfortable and confident—like her best self,” said Mark Peters, director of consumer experience and retail store operations for NYDJ. “This entire process from design and construction to fit testing was a collaborative effort with the disability community. We not only wanted to ensure style and comfort, but also a level of ease and independence. We believe everyone deserves inclusive fashion with styles and designs that make them feel seen. Ultimately, our goal is to live up to our number one core value of providing the perfect fit for women. Now, through Adapt-Denim, I’m proud to say that we are becoming a more inclusive brand!” May 2024 FM | 53 FEATURE


Photos courtesy of Stockton Johnson

Family-owned jewelry house Le Vian has unveiled their latest collection, celebrat ing the luminosity of gold – just in time for Mother’s Day. With links to Persian roy alty and a history dating back to the 15th Century, the Le Vian brand is the epitome of timelessness.

From safeguarding ancient royal jewels to being sought after by Hollywood celebrities, Le Vian uniquely marries the old with the new, combining centuries of unparalleled craftsman ship with innovation, perfectly blending precious gemstones, natural color diamonds and opulent metals to create unique and interesting designs.

The glitter of gold has dazzled for millennia, with nearly every culture prizing the gleaming metal for its rare beauty, entrusted by royalty through the ages to hold the most precious of gems. The stuff of wonder and awe, of myths and legends, gold continues to capture the imagination of jewelry enthusiasts and jewelers all over the world. With gold prices at record highs and the metal enjoying a stratospheric, dizzying rise in value, gold today is at its most precious.

Le Vian’s unique gold collections are embodiments of this incredible metal. In support of their Awe and Wonder trend forecast of gold ruling the roost in 2025, Le Vian is set to bring out many original, new collections of gold jewels, incorporating the trend into their new stories in a multitude of ways.

Capturing the radiance and beauty of the Southern Italian sky at golden hour, when the sun slips into the Tyrrhenian Sea is the Tramonto D’Oro collection (literally translating to “Sun set of Gold”). Crafted in glowing 14K gold, each captivating piece in the Tramonto D’Oro collection is a tribute to this moment in time. Le Vian artisans have set out to recreate that magical scene with the help of burnished gold and glittering diamonds, and to reflect the changing colors of the sunset is an ombré of blues. The collection’s wide bands of polished gold rings with matching bangles, hoops and necklaces are an ode to the perfection of golden hour.

While some designs are set with constellations of brilliant diamond stars as they are scat tered against a sky of gold, others capture the fiery glow of sunset in dancing rows of dia monds and gemstones against the backdrop of polished gold.

To be released exclusively at Jared just before Mother’s Day, Tramonto D’Oro is part of a series of new Le Vian releases for the store, celebrating 25 years of their partnership. The collection’s jewels make for the perfect present, and CEO Eddie LeVian says “Le Vian’s Tramonto D’Oro collection honors those who cherish the day’s fleeting beauty while em bracing the tantalizing twilight and the potential it holds. It encapsulates the warmth and nostalgia of the golden hour, allowing you to celebrate the special person in your life with lasting elegance.”

In another ode to the gilded beauty of gold, but with more of an edge, Le Vian’s Gold Bar collection is inspired by actual bars or ingots of gold that have been fine-tuned as a design element in soft repeating patterns that are intermittently set with blocks or “bars” of dia monds.

The Gold Bar as a symbol captures the essence of the rapture associated with gold, rep resenting the gold standard which is the rock-solid foundation of both the financial world and that of luxury. It ties in to the representation of gold as the ultimate in luxury and as a priceless commodity by which all wealth is measured.

The gold bars in each piece are seamlessly linked so that the jewels hug the body. As such, the necklace of gold bars interspersed with diamond studded bars of gold is the cornerstone of the collection which features matching bangles, dazzling hoops and statement rings.

Fueled by their passion for jewelry, Le Vian is not content with simply following trends, but sets them. Each year, Le Vian hosts a glittering catwalk show in Las Vegas where they unveil their trend forecast for the upcoming year, which indicates the key trends that will take the jewelry world by storm. To predict these, Le Vian analyzes the prevailing consumer sentiment through its deep ties with its widespread client base that spans across continents.

Photos courtesy of Stockton Johnson

A close association with celebrities, who Le Vian regularly dresses for the red carpet, and with leading fashion magazines, is instrumental in Le Vian’s ability to capture the overarching moods in jewelry and condense them into key trends for the year.

The runway reveal of their latest designs encapsulating moods in jewelry is attended by collectors and gem enthusiasts. Similarly, they have presented exclusive, standing room only catwalk shows at the Tower of London in partnership with Ernest Jones, also showcasing the LeVian family’s private collection which dates back to 1501. The famed Koh-i-Noor diamond, which was safeguarded by the LeVian family when it was part of the Shah of Persia’s treasury, is also housed here.

The fine jewelry house of Le Vian therefore unites two luxury worlds – glamorous high style fashion trend forecasting and hand-made yet innovative fine jewelry designs incor porating rare, precious diamonds and gemstones. Recently, Le Vian revealed a magnif icent $2 million one-of-a-kind matching parure of Emerald Cut Cornflower Ceylon sap phires that are ten carats each, of which Moossa LeVian, president of Le Vian, personally oversaw the matching and cutting to perfection.

Le Vian jewels are a favorite among celebrities. American singer Jennifer Lopez has been known to greet her stylist with the words, “Where’s my Le Vian?” Its jewels have also been sported by the likes of Rihanna, Camilla Cabello and Taylor Swift.

As a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, Le Vian maintains the in tegrity of its supply chain through rigorous third-party audits, upholding its pledge to social and ethical responsibility. Being a family business and seeing themselves still as merely “guardians of the jewels,” considering their customers and collectors as part of the family, Le Vian has developed policies that are unparalleled in the jewelry industry. Le Vian offers a certification in writing that provides detailed information about each piece they sell. The jewelry house also guarantees that their gems and diamonds are natural stones — their certification does not allow them to sell lab grown, synthetic or imitation stones. Furthermore, when someone buys a Le Vian piece and registers it, the company will repair the jewelry — free of charge and for life — for the collector, making sure the story of the jewel doesn’t end there. The Le Vian certification also guarantees trade ups at Le Vian shows for the price paid.

Le Vian is also committed to giving back a minimum of 10% of its before-tax profits to charity. The company is deeply involved in a number of causes, including supporting local communities and medical charities and building schools in the areas where the natural diamonds are mined. Le Vian is an important supporter of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and of Jewelers for Children, which helps children in need and of Diamonds do Good. It is their sense of integrity, responsibility, their zest for giving back — and passion for fine jewelry that has lasted through the generations — that ensure they stand a class apart, weaving bejeweled, gold spun stories today and for centuries to come.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Allan


The Andmore Formal Markets Fashion Office released its curated list of Autumn/Winter 2024 formal trends, providing retailers with insights into upcoming colors, accessories, fabrics and prints across bridal, homecoming, bridesmaid, accessories, quinceaneras, and prom. These trends were showcased at Formal Markets in Atlanta and will hit social occasion boutiques this fall.

“In 2024, boutique buyers should expect to see maximalism everywhere. In bridal gowns, homecoming dresses and all formal categories in between, people are embracing bold styles with bows, embellishments and dramatic silhouettes, while designers create romantic looks with unique fabrics, colors and techniques,” said Morgan Ramage, Andmore fashion and events director. “From statement shoulders to soft pastel hues, this season’s bridal and social trends redefi ne elegance with a blend of chic sophistication and timeless charm.”

Bridal and Bridesmaid Trends

Bridal gowns for the Autumn/Winter 2024 season are bringing fashionable drama back into the bridal landscape. Necklines are undergoing a transformation and will shift from the traditional strapless and scoopneck styles to embrace a more romantic and feminine crescent neckline, elegantly arching higher in the front. Sleeved gowns will showcase an 80s-style structure and volume in the shoulders, creating the illusion of a smaller waistline. Moreover, the inclusion of three-dimensional floral details on bridal gowns will infuse texture and nostalgic charm, appealing to brides seeking a bold yet romantic aesthetic. Alongside these maximalist additions to these gowns, brides may stray from the conventional starkwhite or ivory, opting instead for a subtle hint of color, with soft blues, baby pinks and delicate greens – all of which dominate bridal runways.

Bridesmaid gowns mimic bridal gown trends, with more emphasis on dreamy, flowy romance. Popular details of Autumn/Winter 2024 bridesmaid gowns will include: floral prints, fun textures, bows and embellishments, velvets, tulle skirts, mismatched styles, corset styles, high-low hemlines, flutter sleeves and metallics. Soft and neutral colors for the season will enhance the romantic feeling brides are expressing: lilac, black, white, pink, chocolate brown and a full range of pastels.

Social Occasion Trends

For homecoming—one of the largest categories sourced across Formal Markets—popular designs will include: two-piece sets; playful necklines, glitter and sequins. Broad-scale social occasion trends, including homecoming, quinceañera and prom, will mirror bridal and bridesmaid trends, with a resurgence of pastel colors, neutrals, brights, metallics, three-dimensional floral details, exaggerated sleeves, ruffles, corset-style tops and romantic and nostalgic silhouettes. Quinceañera-specific trends will include tulle, tiered ball gown skirts and longer trains. For prom, beaded designs, high slits and feather details will be prominent.

May 2024 FM | 49
Photo courtesy of Ghrail Photo courtesy of Ladyfinch Gloves

Under the leadership of Justin Warshaw, the “Verses in Contrast” campaign aims to rejuvenate and reframe the concept of marriage, making it relevant and cool to today’s generation. It’s about bridal fashion that honors marriage traditions while boldly stepping into the future. Justin Alexander Signature is celebrating the harmonious blend of traditional, timeless bridal gowns with modern innovation.

“Verses in Contrast” is an encapsulation of dreams, inspired by love and beauty. Each gown tells a unique story, capturing modern romance and contemporary beauty. From the excellence in tailoring through modern seaming, structured corsets and flattering ruching, to the statement details like pearl accents and exposed boning and floral artistry illustrated with brocades, oversized rosettes and 3D florals, these gowns are art at its fi nest, with unexpected elements that excite and energize. Brides dressed in Justin Alexander Signature are the canvas upon which dreams are painted and the gowns are the brushstrokes that bring those dreams to life.

Justin Warshaw and Milan-based graffiti artist, Sexsdreams, or Gioele Corradengo, are bridging the gap between the world of bridal and the world of street art. With Sexsdreams’ vibrant, raw energy that brings the streets of Milan to life, this bridal collaboration will transform timeless elegance into contemporary edge.

“The bridal industry is considered traditional and conservative – I have always sought out ways to express my spirit and interests through each of the collections. ‘Verses in Contrasts’ allowed me to dig deeper. As a child I was influenced by Hip Hop culture, and as a New Yorker for 15 years, I was influenced by street culture and the arts,” said Justin Warshaw, CEO and creative director of Justin Alexander. “I was captivated by Gioele’s work and loved the idea of collaborating and introducing something out of the box and unexpected.”

Making history during Milan Bridal Fashion Week, Justin Alexander Signature and Sexsdreams debuted a new perspective on the way bridal proves its righteousness of marriage traditions in a reflection of the timeless essence of love through the lens of artistry. This campaign proves to be bold, creative and modern. And, it offers a new take on bridal fashion that honors the past while audaciously stepping into the future.

“This collaboration is great for both the bridal and art community because it is a cultural mix between two things that are so different and something that people have never seen before,” Sexsdreams said. “I’m so happy to be working with Justin Alexander Signature on this incredible experience. I have discovered a new facet of my art and fell in love with these white garments which for me were a canvas to paint my emotions.”

For the fi rst time in bridal history, Sexsdreams blended graffiti art and bridal fashion, turning the traditional wedding dress into a dynamic canvas before our eyes. “It came as a big surprise to the entire audience, and it was great to present all these dresses together with the juxtaposition of this art form and bridal dresses,” Warshaw said. “Look out for how we infused graffiti in creative ways on the new collection’s gowns and accessories.”

Photos courtesy of Justin Alexander Signature




In an era of accelerated fashion, several brands are striving to slow down with a more intentional approach to the materials they use and the processes they implement. Hive & Colony offers more mindful menswear solutions with its environmentally conscious textile offerings and reduced waste through careful customization. In 2024, the brand is prioritizing practices to provide a timeless product with a positive impact.

At its core, Hive & Colony emphasizes quality, long-lasting items in its design and production process. Every piece is custom from the fabric, to the buttons, to the lining and so on. With an appointment at one of their 11 showrooms, the Hive & Colony journey begins. An expert stylist walks each customer through what is known as the bespoke process, guiding one through customizing every suit element, selecting textiles, lapel and pocket styles, buttons and stitching and interior lining. The initial fitting also includes hand measurements which can take up to two hours to get done and receiving a bespoke suit can take anywhere from six to eight weeks. But, it’s important to remember that the tailors are taking the time to create a one-of-a-kind garment that will offer one the perfect fit. Hive & Colony represents their individual customer and their unique style with offerings that are elevated and sleek while infusing personal style.

Kevin Scott, chief operating officer at Hive & Colony said “bespoke suiting provides our clients with a satisfactory experience because of the immaculate finished product, while also ensuring we are intentional with the materials we use and the impact they have on the planet.” By designing each customer’s garments from scratch based on their unique measurements, the brand prevents the waste of unnecessary materials that often come with generic patterns in ready-to-wear fashion.

In addition to the bespoke process, Hive & Colony offers textiles carefully selected with the environment in mind. Bamboo, one of the brand’s most popular fabrics, is a vegan textile that eliminates waste as it requires very little water and has natural pest resistances mitigating the need for large amounts of pesticides. In 2024, Hive & Colony doubled its 100% Bamboo Collection, making the eco-friendly fabric a key brand offering. Bamboo’s breathable, moisture-wicking properties makes it a favorite among customers. In addition, Hive & Colony partners with fabric mills that use recycled materials like hemp and viscose to make their wool fabric stronger and better.

“Our commitment is to provide our customers with an exceptional product they can feel good about purchasing and will have for many years to come. Quality and care is of the utmost importance to us and these are values we will continue to uphold and advance as we grow our selections,” said Scott.

In addition to suiting, other Hive & Colony offerings include ready-to -wear, knitwear, handcrafted accessories and more. Hive & Colony anticipates a heavy expansion within the United States and ultimately going international.



Photos courtesy of Hive & Colony



Neiman Marcus, in partnership with Balmain, introduced Balmain Beach Club, an exclusive collection and immersive customer activation in Dallas, Texas. Debuting in ten stores, online and through remote selling channels, the 14-piece collection of ready-to-wear styles and handbags is inspired by the French Riviera.

“Through the distinctive creative lens of Olivier Rousteing, Balmain continues to be the pinnacle of French style with a modern perspective,” said Lana Todorovich, chief merchandising officer of Neiman Marcus. “At our core, we are a relationship business and Balmain Beach Club represents the latest chapter in our longstanding history with the Maison that, time after time, has engaged and delighted our customers.”

Evoking the spirit and colors of the South of France, the collection features a summery palette of soft yellows, blues and whites with the house’s signature gold details. For this exclusive offering, Balmain surveyed its archives to reintroduce a baroque print by the Maison’s founder, Pierre Balmain. The elegant motif is translated onto diaphanous dresses, a bold canvas and leather handbag, among other pieces.

The partnership supports Neiman Marcus Group’s growth strategy to revolutionize luxury experiences by offering an expertly curated product assortment for customers.

“My team and I wanted to keep this special limited-edition collection chic, light and easy for upcoming summer days and evenings,” explained Olivier Rousteing, Balmain’s creative director. “But, of course, we wanted to ensure that the connection to the house’s incredible design history remained evident for those in-the-know. So, we started out by riffing on some singular archival references, including Monsieur Balmain’s beloved baroque flourishes and the signature labyrinth motif. Then, we mixed in some of the strongest themes that we’ve sent down our most recent runways, such as an array of eye-catching bright pastels and some unexpected twists on camouflage patterns. And, we’ve ended up with an offering that definitely channels the distinctive modern spirit of today’s Balmain.”

The collection is complemented by a full-scale installation in the retailer’s Dallas NorthPark store. Customers have until May 5 to be transported to a sumptuous beachfront clubhouse complete with black and white striped umbrellas, lounge chairs, an ivy-covered pergola and visual details using the Balmain archive print. To celebrate the collection, the retailer hosted a private dinner for top customers in Dallas. Guests were treated to an unforgettable evening with references to the glamour of the Côte d’Azur. The activation is the latest iteration of Neiman Marcus’ “retail-tainment” strategy.

Neiman Marcus has the largest assortment of the French fashion house’s collections worldwide. The partnership dates back more than half a century when, in 1955, Pierre Balmain won the prestigious Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion.

In support of Neiman’s strategy to deliver a personalized, luxury experience however its customers choose to shop, the collection comes to life across all three facets of its integrated retail model: in-store, online and through remote selling. The collection will be amplified digitally through a full 360-degree marketing campaign across NeimanMarcus. com, the NM App and the retailer’s social media channels. Style advisors are also empowered to interact with their customers through its proprietary remote selling platform Connect.

Photos courtesy of Neiman Marcus
FEATURE Photos courtesy of Hot Minute Hair


Not everyone can be salon ready on a daily basis. Sometimes people are too busy or too tired to go get it done or do it themselves. And sometimes, the oily or frizzy hair creeps up and they end up looking a mess—a hot mess.

Hot Minute Hair, the only two-in-one on the go hair care solution on the market, is redefining the way we care for our hair with innovation and convenience. Their mission is to empower individuals to look and feel their best anytime and anywhere with their hydrating hair serum on one end and volumizing dry shampoo powder on the other. Hot Minute Hair is committed to delivering salon-worthy results in just a minute—being the ultimate solution for busy lives and lifestyles on the go.

Founders Jacqueline Lacuone, Julia Mc Kenzie-Smith and Blanche Haintz of Hot Minute Hair identified a gap in the market where women struggled to find effective, dependable solutions for their daily hair care needs. Their consumers are predominantly females around 25-45. With a broad age range, the founding ladies wanted a product that could cater to the various stages of life their consumers would be in such as the beauty conscious mom or active gym gal, as well as your full time worker who needs quick touch ups. No matter the stage of life their consumer was in, they all desired something quick that would make them feel their best.

When creating Hot Minute Hair, “we drew inspiration from a simple, yet potent idea—to create a product that not only enhances beauty but empowers women to feel confident and unstoppable,” said the founding ladies. They wanted a two-in-one product that was compact, could fit in your handbag and convenient enough to use on the go. The bright orange color was chosen because it was reflective of confidence and happiness, which is something the founding ladies want their consumers to feel the minute they see the product. The founding ladies worked with chemists to create a product that not only worked, but gentle on the skin and could safely be used without their consumers having to be worried about their overall health. It was also vital to have the right volume properties for the dry shampoo to ensure they were effective enough for consumers and to have the quick dry serum be less oily than others on the market. The right ingredients ensure the product works on all hair types and is inclusive of all Hot Minute Hair consumers.

Making an environmentally friendly product was important, with Hot Minute Hair having a big focus on sustainability. A non-aerosol product with no carcinogens or benzenes was needed to so that the product could be confidently labeled as a “no nasties.” Furthering sustainability practices has included the launch of Hot Minute Hair refill products, giving consumers the ability to refill their products easily and minimize the waste of the tubes as they are reusable. They can be purchased based on consumption as the dry shampoo and serum refills are to be sold separately. This lowers the carbon footprint of Hot Minute Hair products dramatically. Hot Minute Hair would also love to expand their range of products to include some bundles and size options as well as accessories to suit their consumer’s needs.

Through their own experiences, the founding ladies of Hot Minute Hair have been taught the value of resilience and the strength that emerges from supporting one another. Their brand extends beyond the need to craft exceptional products. To nurture a sisterhood, a community of women who uplift each other, having a shared vision to make a meaningful impact in the lives of women worldwide—that’s what matters. And because of this, having partnerships with women-led businesses and charities is important for Hot Minute Hair to have a worldwide impact, not only in sales, but as a respected brand that gives back.

Look good, feel good—in a hot minute. May 2024 FM | 57 FEATURE Photo courtesy of


Knot Standard, the global leader of “made-to-wear” and leader in AI-powered custom clothing solutions, announced its direct-to-consumer business will become part of esteemed fashion retailer Billy Reid. This strategic move not only signifies a significant step forward in the retail industry but also showcases Knot Standard’s commitment to expanding its innovative technology and custom clothing solutions on a global scale.

“Joining and rebranding our stores with Billy Reid represents more than a business decision; it’s a fusion of craftsmanship and innovation. As CEO of Knot Standard, I am incredibly proud to bring our cutting-edge, AI-driv-

en custom menswear and womenswear to Billy Reid’s esteemed clientele and iconic brand. Our combined strengths will not only elevate the madeto-measure experience but also expand our reach, bringing exceptional quality and personalization to more people across the nation” said Matt Mueller, CEO of Knot Standard.

The merger brings together Knot Standard’s advanced technology and client experience with Billy Reid’s strong national presence. Billy Reid will take immediate control of Knot Standard’s eight retail locations, integrating them into its existing operations to offer a combined total of 19 loca-

58 | FM May 2024

tions nationwide. This expansion is set to enhance the retail experience for customers across the country, providing them with unparalleled access to custom-made clothing that perfectly fits their individual style and measurements.

“We’re excited to build upon our already existing partnership with Knot Standard and begin working directly with their eight locations. We were initially attracted to the product quality, similar customer and unique business model, all of which complement the Billy Reid business and will create a stronger consumer offering than each brand could have achieved alone.” – Jeff Zens, CEO of Billy Reid.

Knot Standard’s proprietary AI-powered made-to-measure software, which includes sophisticated measurement and ordering tools, will be a cornerstone of the merger. This immersive experience, already available at leading retailers such as Brooks Brothers, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, will be available in all Billy Reid locations. The integration of this

software will dramatically enhance the made-to-measure business, offering a level of personalization and quality previously unattainable in readyto-wear collections.

“Leveraging the Knot Standard technology and sourcing capability, we have an opportunity to add the most bespoke in-store brand experience enabling the highest level of product personalization. We enable brands to offer a customized option without having to own the inventory—can’t think of a more profitable solution.” said Ken Pilot, who joins the Knot Standard team as an investor, advisor and board observer.

In addition to the merger, Knot Standard announced its plans to launch with six additional retail brands, expanding its presence to over 60 additional retail stores by the end of the summer. This expansion underscores Knot Standard’s ambition to bring its cutting-edge technology and bespoke clothing options to a wider audience, revolutionizing the way brands worldwide approach retail and made-to-measure offerings. May 2024 FM | 59 TECH
Photo courtesy of Knot Standard



Anthropics Technology, a London-based AI technology solutions company and the world leader in AI clothing software, has announced a trial of Zyler, its AI-powered virtual try-on technology, with Moss, a leading United Kingdom retailer of men’s formalwear. As part of an A/B test, customers will now have the opportunity to experience this cutting-edge AI technology firsthand. Zyler redefines the online shopping experience, offering users a realistic way to try on clothes without a physical product.

By uploading a headshot and inputting their measurements, shoppers can see themselves on the screen in various outfits. For retailers, this personalized approach not only increases browsing time, but also results in higher engagement levels. Additionally, with Zyler on one’s website, around 35% of shoppers will see themselves in the clothes online before they arrive, which has led to retailers seeing a reduction in returns of more than 10%. With Zyler, items on a website get viewed more and lead to repeat customers.

Powered by the latest advancements in AI, Zyler sets a new standard for virtual try-on experiences. It creates a lifelike representation of the user, allowing them to see how different outfits appear on their unique body shape.

Anthropics’ CEO, Alexander Berend, is excited about the potential impact of Zyler Virtual Try-On in the men’s fashion industry, having stated that “by offering a more convenient and realistic experience for trying on clothes prior to purchasing, we believe Zyler has the potential to redefine the entire landscape of the menswear industry. Our goal is to empower customers with a seamless, lifelike virtual try-on experience that not only enhances their shopping journey, but also increases confidence in their purchasing decisions.”

This innovative AI technology is set to give retailers an advantage in a competitive market and serves as a valuable tool for boosting customer engagement, satisfaction and loyalty.

60 | FM May 2024 TECH 411
courtesy of


Humane Inc. announced the general availability of the Humane Ai Pin, the world’s first wearable artificial intelligence (Ai) computer. Available to customers, the Ai Pin is a wearable computer designed to act as an assistant and second brain. It harnesses Ai to seek answers, take notes, capture moments, make calls and send messages all while allowing users to remain present.

“At Humane, we see the world not as it is, but as it could be,” said Imran Chaudhri, chairman and co-founder of Humane. “We work tirelessly to integrate intelligent technology into daily life, with the goal of freeing you from repetitive, mundane tasks and enhancing the way you interact with the world around you.” The launch of Ai Pin is a significant moment in the evolution of personal technology by bringing Ai computer capabilities in a new wearable form factor with a smart operating system to anyone, everywhere they go. Ai’s operating system, Cosmos, will unlock new ways to interact with all of one’s devices while allowing them to stay present in the world and surrounding people.

Ai Pin

“The potential of Ai Pin is it learns from you and understands you. You can naturally capture a moment, it can remember something for you, or answer questions,” said Bethany Bongiorno, CEO and co-founder of Humane.

“The more you tell your Ai Pin about you, the more useful it will become for you.” The Ai Pin is a standalone wearable device and is powered by a monthly plan that provides unlimited AI queries, unlimited talk, text and data.

Humane Operating System — Cosmos

Humane Ai Pin is powered by Cosmos, the Humanedeveloped proprietary Ai operating system that merges intelligent technologies with user-friendly interaction and advanced security. Cosmos was uniquely designed to operate both on a device and in the cloud to provide fast and easy product updates. Humane’s unique Ai Bus cloud architecture and Context System eliminate the need to download or manage apps, instantly and intelligently connecting users to the appropriate Ai experience based on their actions and context.

Humane Plan

Humane offers a service plan which includes a dedicated Ai Pin phone number and cellular connectivity through the Humane network connected by T-Mobile. The Humane plan is an unlimited wireless service plan which enables screenless Ai-poweredd texting and calling and includes cloud data storage.

May 2024 FM | 61 TECH 411 Photo courtesy of Humane Inc.


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(212) 887-7999 | | CONTACT US CONTACT US May 2024 FM | 63 Newly Built, High-end Full Floor 561 7th Avenue Northeast Corner of West 40th Street 212.398.1888 | Darell Handler, COO | 646.597.6171 | Kyle Galin, Vice President | 646.998.6012 | Isaac Leader | 646.747.4686 | The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed reliable. While we do not doubt its accuracy, we make no guarantee, warranty or representation about it. The prospective tenant should carefully verify each item, and all other information herein. ENTIRE 11TH FLOOR: 3,944 RSF • New Building Installation • Landlord will Build to Spec for Qualifi ed Tenant • 3 Sides of Windows • Flooded with light • 24/7 Building Access • Owner Occupied • Access to all transit


FEATURE Photos courtesy of Angelus



An ode to the golden age of timed races, the new Angelus Instrument de Vitesse mono-pusher chronograph watch appears to have been plucked from the dashboard of a vintage GT car. The Instrument de Vitesse timepiece joins the Angelus La Fabrique collection and offers two distinctly sporty dial options in ivory-white or ebony-black, with each colorway limited to just 25 timepieces each.


Dedicated to the renaissance and reinterpretation of classic timepieces from Angelus’ past, the La Fabrique collection unveils its second model, following in the footsteps of the Chronographe Médical. Once again, the house draws on its aesthetic heritage and showcases historical design elements and affi nities. As a result, Angelus has designed a monopusher chronograph that seems to belong on the dashboard of a beautiful English or Italian vintage car, with the roar of a V12 engine as its soundscape.


Instrument de Vitesse presents the look of a classic three-hand chronograph, but the tachymeter scale running around the outer edge of the dial reveals the watch’s true chronometric function. This is a chronograph presented in its purest expression, dedicated to timing short bursts—a measuring instrument designed to take average speed readings over a maximum of 60 seconds. This, in turn, casts new light on the crown, which also acts as the chronograph’s single push-piece to set the slender center second hand in motion.


Released in a twin series of 25 timepieces each, Instrument de Vitesse is available with a steel case measuring 39 mm in diameter and just 9.27 mm thick. It features a domed dial divided into two functional zones. The peripheral indications are dedicated to the tachymeter scale, graduated from 60 to 500 with a base metric of 1,000 (typically one kilometer). The more central indications, meanwhile, are designed to display the time, with a fi nely graduated minutes circle. In both cases, the typography, specially chosen for the La Fabrique collection, is clear, contrasting and elegant.


Instrument de Vitesse is available in two versions. The fi rst, presented on a caramel calfskin strap, features an ebony-black dial with rhodium-plated applied Arabic numerals that stand out with their striking white hue. The second version is presented on a midnight-blue nubuck strap. Its ivory-white dial is punctuated with applied Arabic numerals outlined in black to create an incredible three-dimensional effect. The hour and minute hands, together with the applied numerals, are coated with luminescent material.


Inside, Angelus operates its own A5000 chronograph movement. With a new variant of this caliber, the technical stalwart of La Fabrique once again demonstrates its adaptability. Presented in this manually wound version without totalizers, it offers a reduced thickness of just 4.20 mm. Set to a frequency of 3 Hz, it functions by way of a column wheel and horizontal clutch in the purest chronograph tradition. 49 FEATURE May 2024 FM |

Please join us to celebrate the FGI Rising Stars in Fashion, Beauty, Accessories, Fine Jewelry, Technology and Content Creation.

FGI Rising Star Awards Luncheon MAY 13, 2024

Reception: 11am-12pm Luncheon and Awards: 12-2pm

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More information FGI.ORG May 2024 FM | 51 561 7th Avenue Northeast Corner of West 40th Street 212.398.1888 | Darell Handler, COO | 646.597.6171 | Kyle Galin, Vice President | 646.998.6012 | Isaac Leader | 646.747.4686 | The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed reliable. While we do not doubt its accuracy, we make no guarantee, warranty or representation about it. The prospective tenant should carefully verify each item, and all other information herein. ENTIRE 6TH FLOOR: 3,944 RSF • Fully Furnished | Available Immediately • New Building Installation • 24/7 Building Access
Landlord Will Build to Spec for Qualifi ed Tenant • Owner Occupied
3 Sides of Windows • Flooded with Light • Easy Access to All Transit Newly Built, High-end Full Floor

One of my closest friends works for a huge company. She always received excellent evaluations. A few months after her 25-year work anniversary, her manager handed her something and said, “By the way, I keep forgetting to give this to you.” She felt disappointed and unappreciated.

Have you ever given your all but did not receive the reward you sought? Pursuing a reward and having our efforts go unrecognized can be disheartening. It is gratifying when others let it be known that our contribution made a difference. In previous articles, I introduced three of the four significant categories of fear: Relationships, Reputation and Responsibilities. Now it’s time for me to present the last one: Rewards. Yes, we can have anxieties about rewards. Curious? Let’s start by learning more about these fears.

Reward Fears

As I wrote this article, my eyes glanced around my office at my MBA degree, coaching certifications, and leadership awards. Feelings of pride rose. Then I thought about some that were missing. Those that I was fearful to pursue or never received.

Reward fears emerge when we are apprehensive about acquiring a desired outcome or believe what we have earned may be withheld, taken away, or decreased in value. It could be a higher position, more significant influence, or autonomy. My close friend felt the reward she sought, recognition for her many years of exemplary service, was of little value when finally received.


Despite our best efforts, changes in leadership, company direction, or qualifications could result


in potential rewards being minimized or denied. Health or family concerns may suddenly arise, diminishing our ability to reach the finish line. Maybe someone we depended on may no longer be able to assist. Or it just may be our doubts. Several years ago, I heard about an award I believed was unobtainable. Without my knowledge, someone submitted my name. I was mortified that the person would discover I wasn’t qualified. When I received the leadership award, I was shocked. Yes, reward fears have a strong connection with our doubts.


After receiving the award, doubts resurfaced again. Along with the recognition came increased expectations from others. Their congratulatory comments included, “I can’t wait to see what you do next.” Once received, our desire for a reward, such as a promotion, can morph into questioning our abilities. Do you ever wonder if you could live up to certain expectations?

On the one hand, if we rise above our anxieties, we may feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment besides the possibility of obtaining the reward. Conversely, frustration and disappointment may surface if we give up because we think the reward is unobtainable. Regardless of the reason we might not achieve our desired goal, our self-worth often takes a hit. Below is a technique to help you empower your mind to overpower the emotions surrounding reward fears.

Fearsome Foursome Strategies - Part 4 First, reflect on why a particular reward is important and what achieving it could mean. Contemplate the types of tangible and intangible prizes you could obtain. Financial compensation may quickly come to mind. However, dig deeper and be more expansive. Include both external and internal recognition. Also, calculate how the outcome can help fulfill today’s needs and tomorrow’s vision.

Second, reflect on the steps you must take to create forward movement. For instance, if one

of your goals is to be invited to join a leadership team, you might need to make them aware of your presence and worth. Building or strengthening your relationship with a team member could be one of the steps. Don’t wait until you have achieved the award to celebrate. Always remember there are several prizes along the way to your desired outcome. Never cheat yourself out of what they mean.

Third, fill in the blanks to complete the following statement before pursuing your reward. When I accomplish a specific, measurable reward, I want to be celebrated in this way (public/private, email/ meeting). Of course, how we receive awards or recognition is not always in our control. However, sharing this information and why it is important to you with those with authority may get you closer to what you want.

In conclusion, I hope learning about the Fearsome Foursome: Relationships, Reputation, Responsibilities and Rewards has given you new or additional insight. You can apply the strategies and techniques this four-part series shares to many professional and personal situations. When you discover what is beneath your anxieties, choosing how to respond provides a pathway from simply reacting to emotions to rational thoughts and accelerated success.

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It’s a mixed bag of openings this month, with apparel, dining and home—and look for me at ICSC Las Vegas from May 19 to 21. Email me for a meeting so I can learn your story!

All About Apparel and Accessories

Sunglasses brand Revo has come to 436 West Broadway. Mens’ clothing DXL Big +Tall is relocating to 675 Avenue of the Americas.

Great Buys

Global lifestyle brand Miniso opened a new popup in Times Square, New York—the brand’s second location in the shopping district. Located next to the Disney Store at 1540 Broadway, New York, the new pop-up will be open for a year, bringing Miniso’s design-led and affordable products to long-time fans and first-time shoppers.

Wining and Dining

BurgerFi unveiled its newly renovated Better Burger Lab concept at 1571 Second Ave., featuring the New York City exclusive Everything Bagel Burger (with natural Angus beef, havarti and grilled onions topped with a cage-free fried egg and served on an Everything Bagel with garlic and herb Boursin cheese) and the NYC Hot Dog made with American Wagyu beef topped with spicy brown mustard and sauerkraut.

Home Sweet Home

Arts and crafts retailer Michaels is coming to 22,000 square feet at Post Road Plaza in the Village of Pelham Manor, New York. Hobby Lobby has made its New York City debut with a 42,000 square-foot


retail facility located at 280 Marsh Ave. in Staten Island. The location is Hobby Lobby’s 25th location in New York State.

To Your Health and Beauty

Italian hair and skincare boutique Barberino’s launched its first U.S. location at 520 Madison Ave., the one-million-square-foot Plaza District office tower. High-end gym Continuum Club will debut its first location at the Archive Building, 666 Greenwich St. Meanwhile, Fitness Factory will cross the Hudson River, as the New Jersey gym opens its first New York City location at 362 West 125th St.

Around the U.S.

Los Angeles-based contemporary womenswear brand Cult Gaia has opened its fifth store, this time at 135 NE 40th St. in the Miami Design District. British luxury streetwear brand Represent will open its first brick-and-mortar location in, believe it or not, the West Hollywood area of Los Angeles. The store at 461 North Robertson Blvd. also will be home to its U.S. offices. A few miles away in Silver Lake, U.K.-based menswear brand Suspel debuted its third U.S. outpost at 3312 West Sunset Blvd. Curacao, the largest Hispanic-serving retailer on the West Coast, will celebrate the grand opening of its newest store location at the Chula Vista Center.

Mattel Inc., through a licensing partnership with Epic Resort Destinations, announced plans for a second Mattel Adventure Park location in an allnew entertainment resort destination located in Bonner Springs, Kansas. The family-friendly themed entertainment destination is set to open in 2026, with plans to break ground later this year. Mattel Adventure Park Kansas City will offer the attractions of Mattel Adventure Park Glendale, Arizona, including fully themed Hot Wheels roller coasters such as the Hot Wheels Bone Shaker: The Ultimate Ride and the Hot Wheels Twin Mill

Racer. The park will also host attractions from other Mattel brands including Thomas & Friends: World of Sodor, which includes five family-friendly experiential attractions and rides including a dedicated indoor play space for little adventurers.

Donatos Pizza—the premium pizza franchise famous for its abundantly topped pizzas spread “Edge to Edge”—has announced plans to enter Texas via four franchise groups positioned throughout the region, initially opening up to 20 new restaurants. Minnesota-based fast-casual restaurant Crisp & Green, which serving healthy, whole meals including grain bowls, salads and smoothies, will open 11 new restaurant locations across the Chicagoland area beginning next year. These new locations—slated to break ground in the fall—will cover the Milwaukee suburbs of Waukesha and New Berlin as well as the Chicago suburbs of Wheaton and Bolingbrook.

Academy Sports + Outdoors remains in expansion mode, announcing plans to open 15 to 17 new stores in fiscal 2024, starting with two new stores in Knightdale, North Carolina and Greenwood, Indiana. The grand opening festivities for the Knightdale store took place on March 22 to 24 while the Greenwood store will host its grand opening on April 12 to 14.

Debra Hazel

Debra Hazel Communications North Las Vegas, NV 201-618-5247

70 | FM May 2024

Did you know that there are more clothing options available for dogs than there are for people with disabilities? It took a long time to come, but the fashion industry is finally addressing the needs of the disability community, which is known today as Adaptive Fashion.

The University of Fashion (UoF) is launching its fivepart Adaptive Fashion series to help educate the industry in the Adaptive Fashion marketplace. It’s new series covers the history of adaptive fashion, how to design and develop adaptive fashion and how to merchandise and market products for the adaptive fashion consumer. The series begins with the terminology used when referring to various types of disabilities. Expert Tracy Vollbrecht offers a downloadable Terms and Definitions document to help people understand appropriate language and terms used in this specialized market segment.

Ms. Vollbrecht’s history of the adaptive market covers innovators such as Helen Cookman, who in 1955, began researching the market potential of adaptable clothing at New York University’s Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after being recommended for the role by The New York Times’ style editor Virginia Pope. Cookman would spend the next four years developing a collection called Functional Fashions, which was a collection of 17 items designed to help disabled people dress independently. However, Ms. Vollbrecht explains that upon the passing of Helen Cookman and Virginia Pope, the functional fashion movement began to fade and was replaced with clothing intended to make dressing easier for the elderly. It wouldn’t be until 2004-2007 that The Adaptive Fashion Showroom and the company Wheeliechix-Chic, founded by Louisa Summerfield, came into being and would take adaptive fashion to the next level. UoF founder, Francesc Sterlacci sat down with


Tracy Vollbrecht to learn why she became interested in designing for the adaptive market and her thoughts on where the market is headed.

Francesca: Were you formally trained as a fashion designer and if so, where? What motivated you to pursue a career in adaptive fashion?

Tracy: I am! I graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design. At Kent, I had the opportunity to conduct research on adaptive fashion, speaking to over 75 people with varying disabilities to learn about their challenges with clothing. My research culminated in a universally designed collection shown at Kent’s annual fashion show, a published research paper and presenting my research at various conferences, including the International Textile and Apparel Association’s annual conference. The work I did at Kent showed me that clothing challenges weren’t just an issue experienced by individuals like my dad who had MS, but an issue that so many people face. Clothing should allow everyone to express themselves and feel good, not just some of us.

Francesca: How in demand are designers with adaptive fashion expertise? How did you connect with the companies that you have designed for in this space?

Tracy: Unfortunately, adaptive fashion is still very much a niche portion of the fashion industry, which is what myself and others are working to change. There isn’t a high demand for adaptive fashion designers yet. I’m hopeful that the niche will grow and there will be more demand for designers, merchandisers, buyers, marketers, etc. with adaptive fashion experience. The companies I’ve worked with have either sought me out, were referred to me, or I connected with them through network connections.

Francesca: Can you name the companies that you have designed for? Are their online and brickand-mortar stores exclusively selling adaptive fashion?

Tracy: My first adaptive fashion role was with Juniper Unlimited where I designed and helped launch their brands’ Yarrow and Ulex. In my consulting work with Vollbrecht Adaptive Consulting, I’ve developed training resources for Target, taught lectures at IFA Paris, conducted research for Open Style Lab and more. At this

stage, adaptive fashion is almost exclusively online. It’ll be great to see brands start to carry adaptive products in store, where the shopper can find them organically.

Francesca: What are the biggest challenges in designing for people with physical challenges?

Tracy: The biggest challenges for creating adaptive fashion are the variety in needs and the fashion cycle. Within the disability community and even within the same disability (physical or not), there is so much variety in clothing needs, body shape and challenges. No two disabilities are the same, which is why it’s so important for brands to work with people with disabilities. However, the time and effort needed to properly develop clothing that works for all is at odds with the fastfashion, trend driven nature of the fashion industry currently.

Francesca: Do you see the adaptive market growing since companies like Tommy Hilfiger and other big brands have become more inclusive?

Tracy: Definitely! There is so much potential for brands to tap into the unmet needs of consumers with disabilities. Just because a few brands have gotten into the space doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more brands, all brands really, to get into the market. There will be “enough” adaptive fashion when consumers with disabilities have the same amount of choice in brand, price and style as consumers without disabilities.

Francesca: What advice do you have for our students who may be interested in designing adaptive fashion?

Tracy: My advice to any student is that adaptive fashion is more than just adaptive design. Every role within the fashion industry (merchandising, product development, buying, marketing, etc.) is needed to make sure adaptive fashion gets into the hands of the consumer. If you have an interest in adaptive fashion, pursue it! Follow disabled creators on social media; stay up to date on what brands are doing; volunteer for fashion shows. For designers specifically, adaptive fashion is still fashion. Getting experience working for fashion brands is essential. Since the adaptive market is still growing and there aren’t many adaptive design roles, take advantage of learning the process of design and development for non-adaptive fashion as that process still applies to adaptive fashion.

72 | FM May 2024
Photo courtesy of Vollbrecht Adaptive Consulting

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SAVE THE DATE JACK MARTIN FUND ANNUAL GOLF & TENNIS TOURNAMENT JOIN US AT FRESH MEADOW COUNTRY CLUB & DEEPDALE GOLF CLUB MONDAY | MAY 20 | 2024 HONORING THE LITTLE & SWERDLICK FAMILIES SPONSORED BY KAMCO SUPPLY CORP. & SEAVIEW MARKET For more information, please contact the Jack Martin Fund 212.713.9807 | P.O. Box 4952, New York, NY 10085 In support of the Jack Martin Fund Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Mount Sinai.


• Dallas

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| May 2024


The Las Vegas destination for top young contemporary brands and unmatched hospitality returns in 2024 with more resources than ever before. Starting this February, buyers can source from even more top lines and categories with the co-location of Womenswear In Nevada (WWIN) alongside Las Vegas Apparel at The Expo at World Market Center. Plus, gift and lifestyle crossover brands will be on display in the permanent showrooms that make this market unique among Las Vegas Fashion Week offerings. Together, the collaboration will create a new and exciting destination, filled with resources and amenities for buyers to enjoy. Don’t miss it!


February 13–15, 2024

August 18–21, 2024

@apparelmarkets |

80 | FM May 2024 TRADESHOWS
Photos courtesy of Functional Fabric Fair



The concluded spring edition of Functional Fabric Fair, powered by Performance Days, marked a significant success for product sourcing, networking, innovation and education with over 2,100 attendee visits, as it wrapped up on April 18, 2024, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

This edition featured over 260 highly vetted textile suppliers from all over the globe, offering sustainable functional fabrics for the apparel industry’s spring 2025/2026 collections.

“This spring’s event exceeded all expectations—the success of the first day has laid a solid foundation for what led to be an unforgettable event, filled with inspiration, creativity and groundbreaking advancements,” stated Steve McCullough, event director of Functional Fabric Fair.

Attendees had access to explore key areas on the show floor for opportunities to learn, discover and be inspired by the Trend Forum, showcasing a carefully curated collection of 100% sustainable trend fabrics and accessories, handpicked by a panel of experts with QR codes to garner more information, request samples and visit the exhibitor and the Footwear Area, highlighting the latest in shoe design and construction techniques as well as materials. The Innovation Zone showcased never-before-seen products and technologies that are soon to hit the market, while the new Sustainability Lounge provided a collaborative environment shaping the future of sustainability. The Outdoor Recreation Archive from Utah State University highlighted the trends and innovations of the 1990s, showcasing four different genres of outdoor clothing that emerged during this decade, including urban outdoor, grunge, heritage and climb-inspired. It was a space where attendees could reflect upon the history of some of these key innovations and ignite ideas for the future.

New to Functional Fabric Fair was a stimulating exhibition highlighting the NASA Technology Transfer Program, which ensures that innovations developed for exploration and discovery are broadly available to the public, maximizing the benefit to the Nation. Additionally, the Utah State University’s Outdoor Product Design & Development student projects showcased revolutionary designs using the NASA Technology patents.

Functional Fabric Fair also debuted the “Day (0) Zero: Sustainability Workshop,” which opened one day before the fair opened, drawing over 140 attendees eager to learn about critical topics like supply chain dynamics and transparency, facilitated by sustainability experts like Jill Dumain of Fractal CSOs.

“I want to thank the industry for supporting this inaugural Day 0. I was so happy to see such a full house with a great mix of people and companies all up and down the supply chain. The speakers did a great job of presenting information in their areas of expertise to a very receptive audience. I am hopeful that this will become a gathering place for the community to engage in sustainability conversations that lead to solutions well into the future,” said Jill Dumain of Fractal CSOs.

In addition to the sustainability workshop, the fair also saw the debut of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) Testing and Standards Exhibition. This new feature provided practical demonstrations and educational insights across five key topics, including Visual Color Evaluation and Water Resistance, and was accessible to all fair attendees.

Throughout the two-day main event, industry professionals had the opportunity to engage with suppliers and partake in a series of comprehensive Expert Talks sponsored by Ashford x Intai. This year’s spotlight “Beyond Bottles,” discussed the need for alternatives to polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling amidst impending legal regulations and circular economy principles. With the complexity of polyester variations, concerns about microplastics and the urgent demand for PET replacements, the expert-led sessions confronted significant hurdles.

The Expert Talk sessions also covered various industry-relevant topics from trends to new textile developments. According to a trend expert, Nora Kuehner’s “Performance Colors” forecast for Summer 2026, titled “Eruption,” reflects a vibrant palette energizing positive emotions amidst global turmoil. She noted predominantly featuring reddish and yellow hues, anchored by classic black or dark teal, the color trends evoke the creative spirit of graphic novels with chalky summer brights. Complete details, including color codes and estimates on wash & light fastnesses, will be accessible from May 10, 2024, on The Loop – Digital Sourcing.

Lounges throughout the show floor and a complimentary coffee inflatable igloo sponsored by Thermore as well as a Happy Hour sponsored by Drirelease added to the event’s vibrant atmosphere, fostering networking opportunities and relationship building.

McCullough noted, “We’re thrilled with the success of this spring edition, which underscores the dynamic nature of our industry and the importance of face-to-face interactions in driving forward-thinking developments. The positive feedback and energy from attendees and exhibitors alike have laid a solid foundation for future editions and we cannot wait to see what is to come.”

The next editions of the Functional Fabric Fair will take place: Summer 2024 | July 16-17 at the Javits Center, New York Fall 2024 |November 19: Day 0 Conference and November 20-21: Exhibit Hall |Oregon Convention Center, Portland May 2024 FM | 81 TRADESHOWS


Look ahead to bright days and sunny styles as you source Spring/Summer ’24 and more at Atlanta Apparel this October. See full collections for the next season as well as top brands for Resort, Accessories, and Shoes. Don’t miss the one market where you can find everything you need in one place, with affordable hotels and plenty of award-winning dining and entertainment options nearby, trend presentations to inspire you, and fun activations to make your trip memorable.


October 10–14, 2023

February 6–9, 2024

April 9–12, 2024

June 4–7, 2024

July 30–August 2, 2024

October 15–18, 2024

82 | FM May 2024 #atlapparel | @apparelmarkets


Hundreds of trend and young contemporary women’s fashion brands were on display at Magic Nashville—a two-day wholesale fashion event filled with shopping, networking and entertainment. Over 450 exhibiting brands across apparel, accessories and footwear offered new immediates, local collections, a vast assortment of gameday apparel and much more. Magic Nashville welcomed over 3,500 attendees, with most representing single-store boutiques, specialty, online retailers as well as chain stores to preview up- and-coming and established brands across young contemporary, trenddriven and modern sportswear categories. The top five represented states among attendees were Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Illinois and Indiana. Over 35% of brands on the show floor were new to Magic, including designers like Marfa Boots, Vera Bradley, Esprit and French Dressing Jeans, (FDJ) among others.

“Magic Nashville continues to bring the vibrant energy it is known for and unbeatable market access to the Southeast and Midwest that is essential to the MMGNET community,” states Jordan Rudow, vice president of Magic. “Providing the latest trends and resources for the retailers with local emphasis, is what makes Magic so versatile in meeting customer demands and needs where we see the opportunity and growth.” Attendees at Magic Nashville lavished an array of exclusive onsite activations ranging from customizable bracelets, networking happy hours and must-have permanent jewelry to create memorable personal moments. Educational sessions on key industry topics included protecting business economic challenges, presented by The Boutique Hub founder and CEO Ashley Alderson and insights presented by MMGNET on the MMGNET 2024 U.S. Fashion Consumer Outlook Report. As fashion remains consistently within the top five categories U.S. consumers have active purchase intent in 2024, MMGNET is the trusted industry expert voice and platform to inform and empower fashion professionals on consumer purchasing preferences amidst a changing business landscape.

Known for its community of influential retailers, boutiques and specialty stores, Magic Nashville delivered on brands’ critical demand for mid-season access to online and key regional retailers. Top retailers at Magic Nashville include national and global retailers like Urban Outfitters, Boot Barn, Lulus, Dry Goods and Apricot Lane, among others. Magic returns to Las Vegas this August 1921, 2024, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Magic New York will take place September 22-24 at the Javits Center.

May 2024 FM | 83 TRADESHOWS
Photo courtesy of MMGNET/MMGNET Group

86 | FM May 2024 TRADESHOWS Cat Workwear Cat Workwear



The largest Western marketplace in the world continues to add to the list of exhibitors opening permanent showrooms on the reimagined tenth floor of the World Trade Center. Thorogood and Cat Workwear are the latest companies to invest in new showrooms at Dallas Market Center for the first time. Thorogood will be showing work boots and accessories in their showroom and Cat Workwear will carry Thorogood workwear in their showroom. These exciting brands will join additional exhibitors on the tenth floor, opening in January 2025.

“It is with great pleasure and excitement that we welcome our new exhibitors to Dallas Market Center’s Western expansion,” said Cindy Morris, president and CEO of Dallas Market Center. “Thorogood and Cat Workwear are known for the outstanding quality and craftsmanship of their products. Their showrooms on our reimagined tenth floor will contribute to the ongoing success of our marketplace.” When speaking of the new showroom at Dallas Market Center, Ty Harris, national sales director of Thorogood said “it’s an exciting step forward for Thorogood. It will allow us to showcase our work boots and accessories and it will give us a controlled, custom space to connect with more retailers and industry professionals.”

Established in 1892, Thorogood boots are known for the craftsmanship, durability and comfort of their boots, which are made with premium, full-grain leather. Thorogood boots cater to various industries and prioritize all-day comfort in styles built to last. Thorogood continues to deliver rugged and reliable footwear that provides lasting comfort and performance. “This new showroom will create an opportunity to connect our brand with loyal customers and a new audience of buyers that come to Dallas Market Center, especially those in the Western arena seeking workwear from a trusted name. We look forward to debuting in January,” said KC Tolliver, CEO of SRI Group.

Cat Workwear is a respected maker of high-quality, durable workwear products. Cat Workwear offers a wide range of apparel and footwear designed with a focus on functionality and performance. Their products combine rugged construction, innovative features and contemporary designs, making Cat Workwear a trusted choice for hardworking individuals around the world.

The Western showroom expansion to the tenth floor will debut in January 2025 and will feature a wide array of prominent Western brands in the newly reimagined space, including Signature Products Group, Levi’s and Cinch, who were previously announced. Additional exhibitors will be shared in the coming weeks. May 2024 FM | 87 TRADESHOWS
Thorogood Workboots Thorogood Workboots Photos courtesy of Cat Workwear and Thorogood




Andmore presented overlapping season-break markets—Atlanta Apparel and Formal Markets—showcasing the top Autumn/ Winter 2024 styles across contemporary apparel, accessories, bridal, homecoming and more with intentional buying reported across the markets.

“Andmore’s Apparel and Formal Markets once again have effectively connected sellers with focused buyers across key apparel categories, as well as bridal, homecoming and quinceañera,” said Caron Stover, Andmore SVP of apparel. “In true Andmore fashion, we continue to bring together dedicated retailers and exhibitors and to solidify the Southeast as the go-to sourcing destination for all things apparel and formalwear.”

The concurrent apparel and formal markets attracted visitors from 42 states and ten countries, with the Southeast and Midwest drawing the highest attendance rates. Notably, 20% of buyers at the April markets were new to Atlanta.

Atlanta Apparel launched Autumn/Winter 2024 with reports of strong order writing.

April Atlanta Apparel showcased a breadth and depth of the newest cool-weather styles, summer immediates and accessories across its 350–plus temporary exhibits and over 475 permanent showrooms. Top categories sourced at the April buying event included: accessories, denim, contemporary and young contemporary apparel and shoes.

“Our market experience this week has been great. Fleet Plummer has been in business for 75 years and I have been a buyer for five of those years and we always come to every Atlanta show. We have had so much success finding new lines which was exciting,” said Shawna Hart of Fleet Plummer in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“We source for all ages, from college-aged women to contemporary,” said Emma Waters, sales manager at Viginia Luxe in Statesboro, Georgia. “This market, we found many great gameday pieces and athleisure. On top of a great buying experience, the events at market were phenomenal and the vendors all treated us like royalty.”

Brands reported robust order writing spanning across diverse geographic regions, as hundreds of buyers traveled to Atlanta to engage with notable exhibitors, fostering ongoing relationships.

Brad Hughes, co-owner of Brad Hughes Showroom said, “In Atlanta, we see dedicated retailers and a business model that we don’t see anywhere else —Atlanta is at the intersection of resort, mountains, country club and more.”

88 | FM May 2024
Photos courtesy of Atlanta Apparel/Andmore

“We are really impressed with the caliber of customers that we have here in Atlanta. They are relationship driven, appointment-driven and they buy with gusto,” added Michael Singer, co-owner of Brad Hughes Showroom.

Kellie Carlson, wholesale manager of Teleties, added, Georgia is our number one selling state, and we have been at all five Atlanta Apparel markets per year since the brand launched seven years ago. We get buyers from all over, and more recently, from the Northeast which has been great to see in Atlanta. In addition to our normal walk-by and returning clients, we also sell the highest quantity of our gameday collection here.”

Homecoming, Quinceañera and Bridal Categories Shine at April Formal Market

Formal Markets showcased over 250 individual collections across AmericasMart Atlanta’s permanent showrooms and temporary exhibits, bringing thousands of social occasion buyers together to source at the semi-annual presentation.

“Atlanta is my go-to location for sourcing. Everything from the exhibitor displays to the convenience of having all the brands I need to see under one roof allows me to get my work done better and faster,” said buyer David Ramcharan, CEO of Alexander Couture Bridal.

Buyer Erica Eickhoff, owner of Styles by Erica in Yankton and Vermillion, South Dakota, noted sourcing across both general apparel and formal categories, with growth in her most newly launched category, formalwear.

“We launched formalwear in the store in December 2023, and the return has been amazing. We came to Atlanta this April to source both formalwear and womenswear, and I was blown away by the homecoming resources available. This market was a ten-out-of-ten experience and we will be back as we dive into more formalwear,” added Eickhoff.

Brands reported connecting to a strong and dedicated Southeastern buyer population, writing orders with both new accounts and connecting with existing accounts.

Exhibitors Sydni Dion, owner of Diverse Style by Sydni Dion and Stefanie Somers, owner of Stefanie Somers Jewelry, joined forces for Formal Markets in Atlanta with a combined showroom, merchandising products together in complementary categories to become a destination for formal accessories and shoes. This permanent presence marks an important return for these two brands after several years’ hiatus that began when Covid impacted the social occasion industry.

Dion said, “The decision to open a showroom in collaboration with Stefanie Somers was pretty obvious. I have the shoes and she has the accessories and Atlanta has the prom, homecoming and pageant buyers, so we both have always had the biggest turnout here.”

Beyond exhibits, Formal Markets launched its new semi-annual fashion event, the Revolving Runway, showcasing 40 looks across bridal, mother-of-the-bride, flower girl and men’s. Market education, including the full-day, pre-market Mon Cheri Academy presentation, also had full attendance, with buyers noting the importance of curated market events.

“I love attending the educational classes available at market because I am both CEO of a bridal store and an event producer. Getting the insight from professionals on both sides of the industry here in Atlanta helps me grow my business,” added Ramcharan.

Formal Markets now presents its collection of bridal, prom, quinceañera, mother-of-the-bride, accessories, homecoming and special occasion lines three times annually: April and August in Atlanta and August in Las Vegas. The next edition of Formal Markets runs July 29 – August 2, 2024, at AmericasMart Atlanta and August 11 – 13, 2024, at The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas. May 2024 FM | 89


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MMGNET, the fashion industry’s B2B ecosystem and go-to resource released its 2024 U.S .Fashion Consumer Outlook Report. As the first data and market-researched backed insights report released by MMGNET, this outlook report is offering authoritative insights on U.S. fashion consumer preferences, behaviors and trends. The insights reveal key market shifts, methods and discovery, preferred categories and the journey to purchase that will define the U.S. fashion market in the year ahead.

Having launched in February 2024, MMGNET, new parent brand to Magic, Project, Sourcing and Coterie, exists to help the industry further tap into the limitless potential for partnerships, growth and innovation by creating more touchpoints and opportunity for connection throughout the year. Its Actionable Insights pillar, driven by exclusive survey data and research-backed content, is at the heart of MMGNET efforts in empowering and informing fashion stakeholders across the industry. The 2024 U.S. Fashion Consumer Outlook Report focuses on consumer insights, providing information that will support business decisions every type of fashion stakeholder makes across the fashion landscape, from supply chain to retail, from clothing designers to marketing executives, CEOs and more.

Kelly Helfman, president of MMGNET Group, stated: “MMGNET is the evolution of how we support the industry and our customers, not just through opportunities for commerce and connection, but by providing year-round resources that drive better business decisions and shape informed strategies.”

MMGNET 2024 U.S. Fashion Consumer Outlook Report Highlights

Based on a nationally representative survey of U.S. consumers, exclusive expert interviews and a survey of fashion industry professionals, the consumer insights report offers an authoritative view on U.S. fashion consumer preferences across the mass-market, mid-market, luxury and secondhand segments. Some highlights include:

Overall Fashion Spending Outlook

76% of U.S. consumers say they plan to spend as much or more on fashion in 2024 compared to 2023. Consumers plan to spend more on beauty, apparel, home and footwear in 2024.

Category Spending Outlook

Handbags are top of the accessory wish list for women aged 18-24, while jewelry is the most sought-after for those aged 25-34.

Approximately 40% of women and 30% of men under 34 plan to buy performance sneakers, reflecting a surge in demand for performance-wear brands for both exercise and everyday wear.

Consumer Purchasing Triggers and Influences

Consumers are primarily driven to shop for fashion due to functional needs or when they see major sales or discounts. Young consumers (18-34) are more likely to shop for fashion ahead of special occasions or to secure coveted,limited-edition items.

Fashion Discovery & Purchase Channels

Consumers say browsing fashion online and in-store is their top source of inspiration on what to buy, while social media has less sway. Online will continue to gain share of fashion sales, but in-store shopping remains dominant.

Fashion Resale Outlook

Overall, shoppers are most likely to donate, hand down, or throw away used garments — however younger consumers are more likely to sell via resale platforms.

“Understanding your target consumer, their challenges, their journey to purchase and key spending priorities is more critical than ever to success in today’s market conditions,” explains Teodora Nicolae, vice president of marketing for MMGNET Group. “This report will inform and empower fashion companies of all sizes and help industry professionals across all functions and specialties make the data and research-driven business decisions that help meet consumers’ wants and needs, solve customer pain points and ultimately deliver a better product or experience.”

The MMGNET 2024 Fashion Consumer Outlook Report is the first report of its size and is representative of the data and researched backed resources MMGNET delivers as a part of its “Actionable Insights” program. In addition to the report, industry professionals can utilize the MMGNET Seasonal Trend Program, complete with segment aligned color, silhouette and key item forecasts alongside event buyer guides, for an additional layer of insights and direction on apparel and footwear categories for the Fall/Winter 2024 seasons.

In addition to the digital report and content programs, MMGNET will take the next step towards truly making these insights actionable by delivering live presentations on report findings and contextualized takeaways at on-site sessions during events through the rest of the year across markets, including tentpole event Magic, Project and Sourcing at Magic Las Vegas, August 19-24, 2024, as well as Coterie and Magic New York, September 22-24, 2024.

Many more data and expert-backed findings and insights can be found in the full report, available for free download at

92 | FM May 2024 REPORTING
courtesy of MMGNET/MMGNET Group
Photo coutesy of Luke White


When creating homes for billionaires and celebrities, Nicola Fontanella often adorns living spaces with elements inspired by haute couture and high jewelry. When your clients are ultra-high, net-worth individuals, royalty and A-listers like Madonna, Guy Ritchie and Naomi Campbell, it makes sense to draw inspiration from their wardrobes to create their bespoke interiors. Adopting this outside-ofthe-box approach, Nicola Fontanella, founder and CEO of Argent Design, infuses spaces with a sense of opulence and visual interest.

Fontanella is an expert in luxury. Argent Design’s portfolio spans residential, commercial, hospitality, retail, marine and aviation. Her projects can be found in New York, Miami, London, St. Tropez, Melbourne, Beijing and Hong Kong. This month, she sat down with Fashion Mannuscript to discuss the elements – inspired by haute couture and high jewelry—that she incorporates into her projects, which fuse art deco with a contemporary flair. The results? Interior spaces that rise to the level of masterpieces, command attention and transcend conventional interior design.

Lighting—The Jewelry of The Home

When creating the lighting of a home, Fontanella compares her approach to getting dressed and carefully selecting jewelry to adorn and enhance an ensemble. Argent Design projects often include custom-made crystal chandeliers, reminiscent of high-jewelry earrings or bracelets. These one-of-a-kind pieces, crafted with stunning detail, are collectable items in their own right. Lalique lamps, also designed by Fontanella and functioning as art, complete the effect.

Chanel Pearls

There’s a reason curtains are referred to as window dressing. When dressing the windows of Argent projects, Fontanella has employed pearls, a reference to Chanel. The pearls, meticulously embroidered from a drapery’s top to bottom and complemented by a pearl-tied, add a level of detailing that elevates the overall aesthetic.

Hermès Fabrics

By including touches of vintage designer fabric throughout a space, via cushions, curtains and armchairs, Fontanella adds a sense of history and sophistication to her projects. In one instance, Hermès fabric featured jungle animal motifs, with each animal embellished with Swarovski crystals in various colors representing precious stones. Red for rubies, yellow for yellow emerald stones and green for agate.


Mirrors are commonly associated with fashion, but in Fontanella’s designs, mirrors serve not just as reflective surfaces, but as strategic accessories to accentuate living spaces and views. In her recent project, a $15 million Miami Beach home, each mirror was thoughtfully positioned to amplify the abundant natural light and biophilic elements of the home. These mirrors play a crucial role in accentuating the home’s distinctive textures, forms and shapes.

Raffia Fabric and Coconut Shells

Incorporating wallpaper and textured inlays are a tried-and-true interior design technique, but Fontanella takes it a step further by introducing luxury high-fashion materials. Incorporating raffia fabric sourced from raffia palm trees, as well as palm raffia straw typically reserved for bags and garments, Fontanella applies marquetry techniques to wardrobe doors, infusing her 2000 North Bay Road design with a natural, earthy vibe. In the same home, Fontanella also incorporated coconut shells into the lighting fixtures, adding a touch of local flair. May 2024 FM | 95 LAST LOOK
Custom-designed Lalique chandelier by Argent Photo courtesy of Joas Souza (JS Photo & Video) Room inspired by Chanel including pearl embellished drapery Photo courtesy of Joas Souza (JS Photo & Video) | May 2024 T WE NT Y- NIN TH ANN U A L GOL F OUT I NG Monday, July 22nd, 2024 SAVE THE DATE In vite/ Registration information to follow Ever wonder where the people with all the answers get all the answers? Ask MARCUM MARCUM’S NATIONAL CONSUMER PRODUCTS GROUP LEADERS: MICHAEL SACCO, CPA Partner & National Consumer and Industrial Products Leader
& California Consumer RONALD
and Industrial Products Leader


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