OC.Mix Retains Intimate Feeling, Draws More Retailers
The Jan. 10–11 run of the OC.Mix trade show drew a mix of returning exhibitors and newcomers to the small, regional trade show held in the Irvine, Calif., headquarters of Z Supply.
The show featured a tightly edited mix of brands including Z Supply and its sister brands Rag Poets, White Crow and Black Swan as well as Free People, Chaser, Johnny Was, L*Space, Level 99, Chan Luu, Havaianas, Lavender Brown, Project Social T and Olive & Oak.
This was the fourth edition of the show, which first launched last April, and exhibitors reported seeing focused buyers from Southern California and further afield.
“We see more traffic each time,” said Debby Martin, national sales manager at Irvine, Calif.–based L*Space, which has exhibited at OC.Mix since the launch.
“It’s a great show,” Martin said, describing the show as a “tried-and-true working show.”
Tali Levy, designer representative with the Sue Goodman showroom in The New Mart in Los Angeles, was at the show for the first time with three collections: Project Social T, Lavender Brown and Olive & Oak.
“Orange County is a great territory for us. We have a lot of stores in the area,” Levy said. “For a small show to bring so many stores, it’s amazing. I’m very impressed. I opened three new accounts in the first half of the first day.”
Johnny Was also has a strong business in Orange County and San Diego, said Bree Stanley, account executive for the Los Angeles–based line. Stanley said the Irvine venue proved to be a good meeting point for those accounts as well as several new ones. On the morning of the first day a store from Portland, Ore., stopped by as did a San Diego–based buyer for a Canadian retailer.
“We’re always looking for new stores,” Stanley said. “We didn’t know what to expect [at the show], but it’s a beautiful venue. It has the comfy, cozy, quality feel to it that a lot of the buyers like.”
Plus, the lines showing at OC.Mix complement each other, Stanley said.
“We all hang well in here,” she said. “That’s what makes it nice for buyers. Going to a big show you don’t always see new lines. Here, you can stop and see someone new.”
Sandy Ramirez, account executive with the WBC Showroom in The New Mart, returned to the show for the fourth time with denim brand Level99. Ramirez said, in addition to drawing out-of-state retailers from Arizona and Oregon, the show is a good place to meet with Southern California stores.
“It gets local people that would be hard to see on the road,” she said. “And it’s more personal. It’s small, so they’re not feeling rushed.”
It was a similar story for L*Space’s Martin, who described the show as a place to meet with existing stores, as well as a “platform to seek out new accounts” from Southern California, Northern California and Arizona.
This was the second time at OC.Mix for Los Angeles–based accessories collection Chan Luu.
“We have good business in Orange County,” said Account Manager Lanae Mackey. “And there’s so many people to see at LA [Fashion] Market.”
Mackey said she opened a few new stores at the last OC.Mix show in September and was meeting with both existing accounts and potential new ones at the recent show.
This was also the second time at the show for retailer Patricia Illing, owner of the Beverly Hills Bikini Shop.
“I like the vibe,” she said. “It’s smaller, more intimate; you can get things done.”
The Beverly Hills, Calif., store carries a mix of swimwear and contemporary lines. Illing said she was meeting with some of her existing brands, such as Z Supply and L*Space, as well as writing orders for new lines, such as Chaser.
In all, 45 retailers shopped the show, including Sunny Days, Prism Boutique, LF Stores, The Fort & The Clubhouse, Eva’s Trunk & Denim Bar, Inspyre, Nordstrom and Tillys.
The next OC.Mix show is scheduled for April 11–12, followed by shows in June and October.