wish me luck ! wednesday night we fly to nyc for a small but well attended trade show i’ve done once before there. i’ll be showing my spring ’11 collection to buyers i’ve known awhile now and hopefully some new ones. i’ll be honest, i get very nervous at trade shows but this one is perhaps the easiest to do. i have done Designers & Agents in LA and nyc and the last time nearly stole my soul. i’ve also done Pool in las vegas, a huge show of proportions i couldn’t even convey. that one broke my heart when my sign hit the ground, bent and then broke. there are literally thousands of buyers going through the big shows and unless you have a sales rep doing your sales at them it is you fragile, exhausted designer standing in front of your collection, smiling and trying to make small talk with anyone who passes by. kind of like a prostitute !
i think i talked a little about this when i first started my blog awhile ago. i was in a deep slump after my partner oami quit modaspia. i was with my second showroom and sales rep and absolutely hating every second of it. the demands of a showroom can become expensive as they attempt to peddle as much product in a short amount of time as possible. they require that collections be BIG with MANY color variations. there is also a constant dialogue going on about what is working, what’s in and what’s out etc. i realized about a year into working with showrooms that i am a sale’s rep’s nightmare on wheels. i am better attuned to doing capsule collections with no more than 8 styles and love using fabrics that there could quite possibly be only 30 yards left of in existence. modaspia is often just a limited edition run of something that struck my fancy. we made it and it’s gone and can quite possibly never be repeated. most of the stores i sell to now embrace this and know to pounce when they like something. lately i’ve tried to integrate more organic fabrics so there is a better supply available and it’s been working (the goddess dress in hemp/silk for instance).
so after the game was up with the showrooms i tried my hand at sales again, old school style. i email a lookbook to buyers then send a hard copy version later. i usually do a postcard for posterity’s sake and because i love fashion postcards. i usually go see my stores in san francisco in person because it’s close and i enjoy it. there are always new and intersting boutiques opening up there. last year i was asked to do the small eco designer trade show NOW Showcase in nyc. it was small, maybe 15 or 20 designers? the location was a few blocks from where the big scary tradeshows are going on so buyers just walked over to see us afterward. the designers were all very sweet and unassuming. and talented ! i’m super excited to meet the boys at Turk & Taylor this time, they’re from SF too.
what else? we’re taking our daughter giulietta to ny this time and renting an apt. in brooklyn’s park slope district for a week in lieu of a cramped hotel room. i’m super excited to have most of my family with me. it was hard to imagine going without her. she wants to go to the very top of the empire state building and “see the whole world”.