Majors Market Sees New Trends & Changes
Retailers searched for juniors and young contemporary styles that featured tie-dye looks and utility-workwear silhouettes during the L.A. Majors Market, which ran Oct. 2–4 in Los Angeles’ Fashion District.
For the biannual trade show devoted to department-store buyers and large specialty retailers, the utility look and styles reminiscent of 1980s and 1990s looks were in vogue, said Janie Martin, a buyer for Ross Stores Inc.,who was shopping The Gerry Building. While the hippie-era favorite, tie-dye, is gaining popularity, also surging in popularity were soft-textured fabrics and waffle-textured materials, which seem to be popular in any decade, said Brittany Anderson, a senior buyer for Beall’s Inc.,during her time at the California Market Center.
If the market was marked by new styles, vendors said it was also shaped by a decline in buyer attendance because of the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah was celebrated in the days preceding the market, and many vendors and buyers did not attend the market because of the holiday, according to show vendors. The show also was marked by a spreading out of where the show’s action took place.
Within recent memory, the Majors Market only took place in the CMC showroom building. For the recent market, buyers found temporary showrooms on the CMC’s 10th floor, as well as permanent showrooms on the CMC’s 8th and 5th floors.
But the CMC is in the midst of a $170-million renovation that is scheduled to be completed in 2020. Due to building construction, some space was not available in the CMC. Buyers increasingly worked Majors Market appointments at surrounding showroom buildings and even outside of the district.
For 18 years, YMI Jeans rented sprawling temporary showrooms at the CMC during Majors Markets. For the two markets in 2019, YMI exhibited at its headquarters in Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights section, which is a 10-minute drive from the Fashion District. David Vered, YMI’s president, said that the move was no problem.
“Most of our buyers were receptive to visiting us at our headquarters,” he said. “They see us in our natural surroundings.”
The Gerry Building, located across the street from the CMC, enjoyed a surge in Majors Market traffic. Juniors label Stony Apparel moved there before the market started. The Jerry Leigh of California label rented a temporary showroom at the Gerry for the market, said Paula Unger, a creative director for the Dickies Girl label, which is licensed by Jerry Leigh.
She said it was harder to find temporary space in the Fashion District’s cluster of showroom buildings during the market, but it was worth it. The workwear-focused Dickies is one of the stars of the utility trend, and the temporary showroom featured visits from retailers such as Dillard’s, Tilly’s and Pacific Sunwear of California. However, some retailers still haven’t gotten used to going to buildings outside of the CMC, Unger said. Walk-in traffic was not as heavy as at the CMC.
“Our meetings were mostly by appointment,” she said. “You had to know that we were here.”
The Miss Group company also exhibited outside of the CMC. The company specializes in making knits, sweaters and other items at a factory in Brooklyn, N.Y. It exhibited at The New Mart. George Gati and Danielle Stang showed Miss Group’s sweaters and fabrics during the show. They said the show’s business was steady and was supported by their regular customers.
Gati said that there was a lot of product on the market, which made market business slow.
“A lot of retailers were cautious in placing new orders,” he said. Stang agreed. “The market was better than April [the previous Majors Market] but not as good as last October,” she said.
Gati, who observes the Jewish holidays, flew in from New York on Oct. 2, after the New Year holiday ended. He believed that the holiday had affected attendance at the show.
Alison Budow of the Alison Showroom said that the holiday made the show feel like a one-day market.
“The right schedule is a three-day market,” she said. “One day is insanely busy.”
After 20 years in the CMC, Budow said that she is scheduled to open her showroom in the Gerry.
The Majors Market served as something of a homecoming for the Barbara Fields Trend Report. Barbara Fields of the Barbara Fields Buying Office had been producing the event in the CMC for more than 30 years but moved out of the building earlier in 2019. In April, she produced the report for retailers at her home in West Los Angeles.
During Majors Market, she produced her trend forecast at a mezzanine showroom in the Cooper Design Space. Her forecast focused on some of the season’s overarching trends such including tie-dye and utility looks.
She also discussed other looks for Spring and Summer 2020, such as the popularity of pants and shorts with cinched—or “paperbag”—waists. Loose-fitting mom jeans would be popular, and denim would not be distressed moving into Spring and Summer 2020.
Dresses, jumpsuits and rompers would remain popular. Camisoles and clothes with ruffle details and smocking would gain favor this season, while clothing using lace fabrics as well as mesh and crochet would perform well. Bright colors would be in demand during the upcoming season, along with unique colors such as a rust-hued terra-cotta hue.
“It’s very Victorian,” Fields said. “No more grunge.”