FMNC Brings Together the New and the Veterans at Its Latest Show
In fashion, context is everything: Resortwear demands flowing shapes and carefree colors while nights on the town can showcase tailored jackets. And for the middle-aged consumer, comfort is just as important as style.
It was all on display Jan. 29–31 at the Fashion Market Northern California show, held at the Embassy Suites a stone’s throw from San Francisco International Airport—far more comfortably located, noted Executive Director Mary T. Taft, than the exhibition space previously used. The show featured 84 exhibitors targeting “a sophisticated woman, not a girl,” said Taft. “We’re very friendly here, and the show is easy to shop. We draw a lot of reps from L.A. and are looking to expand our guests from not just Northern California.”
The Amy James showroom offered plenty of sophistication via the newly launched, L.A.-based brand McKayla. The collection consists of versatile, comfortable, sophisticated and easy-to-wear silk blouses, joggers and blazers for those who want to look polished in the age of Zoom. “I think the line is really cool,” said showroom owner Amy Summerson. “Women in their forties can dress it up or down, work in it and then go out in it, and yet it still looks sporty. The blouses are really comfortable.” Summerson also had a budding collection under the Amy James brand including a faded-denim jean with a retail price of $150.
Dance in Paris has an odd name given that the line consists entirely of Italian silks. But founder Carmen Barros is half French and half Italian, so perhaps that explains it. Based in San Francisco and in business for 27 years, it offers flowing shapes in one-size-fits-all. “Anyone size 0–16 can put these on and they’ll look amazing; it’s like magic.” Even more magic is the price—$24–$39 wholesale—for not only Italian fabric but made in Italy as well. Barros said how she does it is even more of a secret than the collection’s magic fit.
David Perlman of Perlmanrep was showing the denim brand Jag, originally founded in Seattle in 1960 and currently owned by a Canadian apparel company. Jag is a value-oriented brand for “real women,” he said, with a price range of $74–$94 retail. “Jag is known for a signature pull-on jean that has great ease and comfort, a flattering look and minimal stretch for tummy control. But it’s recently become known for a revolutionary fit innovation they call ‘a best-kept secret.’” A new, modern denim model has a five-pocket look but comes with a high rise “for a target customer who’s 60 to 70 years old and, yes, still wearing jeans!”
Based in Los Angeles, M. Rena has been in business for over two decades, and its current bestsellers include ruched and ribbed camis and bralettes in spring and summer colors. “They’re great layering pieces, with the shorter popular among our younger customers,” said sales rep Nicole Hooper. “Once it’s on it lays nice and smooth and also smooths out your curves as opposed to constricting.” They also pair well with M. Rena’s printed leggings, one of its perennial bestsellers. The current selection includes denim looks with floral overlays plus other bohemian and romantic prints. The fabric is a viscose-polyester-spandex blend.
The San Francisco–based Ginny-Mary showroom presented the vast collection of Montreal-based Renuar, which was founded in 2007 but whose business practices are delightfully old school. “The company ships beautifully, and you never have to ship anything back,” said Ginni Henry. “Great quality and customer service—it’s just a solid, good old company. People come back every year for the sweaters and pants.” The popular sweaters are made of a rayon-viscose blend that is super soft as well as washable. “A lot of women have resistance to wool for being itchy and not as easy to care for.”
Founded two years ago in Miami, Be Boho showed a wide range of dresses and resortwear made of sustainable cotton in bright colors and flowing shapes, not to mention exclusive prints. “We design ourselves, and I’m the owner and designer,” said Sai Thukral. “We also have our own manufacturing in India. We’re doing good, especially in Florida. We want to bring that color, vibe and freshness you get with resortwear to everyday dress.”
Photos courtesy of Fashion Market Northern California.