Atlanta Apparel Delivers With Variety and Vibrance
Attendees from 41 states, three U.S. territories and six international countries traveled to Atlanta Apparel, held Oct. 11–15, at the AmericasMart. More than 27 percent of the buyers were new to the market, and a high percentage of visitors hailed from the Southeast.
Abby Payne, owner of the Knoxville, Tenn.–based Josie’s Boutique,said, “I’ve attended the Atlanta market since 2000. They treat me very nice and make travel easy for me to get here.” Payne described her store as a one-stop mini department store serving women ages 12 to 80 as well as babies. “I carry the basics and come to the market for inspiration and to see the newest trends.”
Atlanta Apparel showcased over 350 permanent showrooms and over 300 temporary exhibitors from contemporary apparel, ready-to-wear and young contemporary to men’s, children’s, plus-size and footwear. Brands included Los Angeles–based companies TOL Clothing, Intro, She + Sky and Illa Illa.
The show celebrated the first full year of its temporary-exhibitor expansion to five floors. Buyers focused their efforts on stocking up for the Spring/Summer 2023 fashion season, sprinkled in with a bit of Holiday Immediates and gift items.
Susan DelPriore, CEO of the Franklin, Ind.–based Magnolia Boutique, a women’s online outlet that has attended the Atlanta market approximately 15 to 20 times over the years, said, “It was a good show, easy to walk around, and we did find some beauty items, which we do not normally carry. We purchased lip and eye masks from Beaut and lip gloss and makeup brushes from TMLL Beauty co that we plan to sell as holiday gift items.”
Los Angeles–based women’s lifestyle brand En Crème is inspired by the bohemian lifestyle of the free-spirited individual. “We love attending market because it gives us the opportunity to showcase our brand and get direct feedback on our products,” said Sales Director Kathy S., who added, “we do really well with our dresses because our prints are fresh and our silhouettes are unique. We also love using novelty fabrics with fun textures that are difficult to find in other brands.”
Other notable California-based brands included GLAM, Mustard Seed/Do & Be and Sofie the Label.
Greenwich, Conn.–based footwear exhibitor Marc Fisher LTD showcased S/S ’23 along with some Immediates for those customers who wanted to purchase at-once items. Sales rep Cary Hack said, “The show was really good for us. I had 12 accounts write the line, and returning customer orders were good as well.” Hack added that top sellers included “the espadrille wedges and flat sandals, and platforms were sprinkled in on almost every order.”
“Green is a huge trend for Spring, pretty much everything from dresses to tops, blazers, jackets and even shoes,” said DelPriore. For Payne, this season was all about pant trims “with a focus on bigger, baggier pants coming back—from cargo pants to those with below-the-hipbone waistlines and wide legs.” Novelty sweaters were also hot. “Next year you can expect to see the midriff trend continue with shorter cropped tops and sweaters with vibrant checkerboard prints,” said Payne. For Kathy S. it was about purpose. “Utility with a touch of glam and flirtiness. Think of a long, flowy maxi dress with cargo pockets. Stylish and so practical.” For women’s footwear, Hack added, “Wedges and platform sandals.”
On Thursday, buyers and brands lined John Portman Boulevard for the standing-room-only fashion show, which previewed upcoming Spring/Summer 2023 trends. The safari-themed show featured 74 different looks, styled by Atlanta Apparel’s in-house stylists and longtime collaborator Mireille Beckwith of City Peach Blog, along with complimentary jungle-themed cocktails and snacks.
A first-time collaboration with the Atlanta Fabric Show extended business opportunities and added production resources for both buyers and exhibitors attending Atlanta Apparel. “This makes a difference for me; I like to see the fabric options,” said Payne.
“Atlanta Apparel exhibitors brought the Spring/Summer heat to Atlanta this October, and popular lines across contemporary, footwear, and resort categories were in high demand all week long,” said Caron Stover, International Market Centers SVP, apparel. “Between the heavily attended fashion show and our successful first-time collaboration with the Atlanta Fabric Show, we closed out the year on a high note and look forward to another great year in 2023.”