October L.A. Market Week Delivers on Celebrity, Energy, Buyers
The vibe was positive as buyers converged on the L.A. fashion district for Los Angeles Market Week, held Oct. 9–12. By all accounts, the largest and busiest market of the year was well attended as buyers shopped for Spring ’24.
The energy was decidedly upbeat with an abundance of amenities and opportunities for attendees to enjoy, mingle and shop traditional, top-tier contemporary and on-trend luxury collections.
There was a buzz on every floor at The New Mart, which also hosted Designers and Agents; at the Cooper Design Space, which hosted Brand Assembly; and at the California Market Center, which hosted the fifth annual Vegan Fashion Week.
High-tech fashion at New Mart
Global Brand Solutions, which offers high-tech digital showrooms to view lines with headsets and joysticks, introduced the Turkish brand KNTLGY at the show with unique styles and color groupings. “I believe the U.S. market is very interested in having innovative ideas for sustainability, 3D sampling and using AI technology, so we are proud to be here,” said Tamer Tamturk, a GBS partner. Its technology recorded the voice of the knitting machines to create the blue design on the legs of KNTLGY’s slouchy-cut organza pant.
This edition of Designers and Agents attracted some of the best independent retailers in the country looking for inspiration from brands such as Los Angeles–based Jaga, a luxury satin and linen California-lifestyle collection in neutral colors with a pop of turquoise. A Lilly dress with a raw-edge finish was priced at $295. “The show is very selective who they choose to go with; it’s amazing, that’s why I come back!” said designer Jaga Buyan.
“We maintain creative integrity, originality and brands that our retail audience can buy and be excited about,” said Meryl Mandelbaum, D&A managing and creative director.
Made-in-L.A. brand Asher, a contemporary fashion-basics collection and collaboration between Simon Miller and Asher Fabric Concepts, was receiving good reaction to its cropped silhouettes. “People are looking for something that’s more basic yet interesting,” said Lori Lindsay, Asher global sales director. Cropped tanks and T-shirts ranged from $28 to $30.
The show’s other exhibitors included Detroit-based Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese, which offered an animal-print boiler suit in Tencel and linen priced at $204; France-based Diega displaying a sheer button-up blouse with pleated sleeves priced at $75 and a cotton viscose and silk patchwork skirt at $130; Los Angeles–based and -designed G1, which showed lawn-cotton button-up shirts in solids and in blue with printed bird designs priced at $105; and Italian-made Roncarati, which displayed a vintage vegetable-leather crop-top jacket with fringe priced at $690.
“It’s exciting to see the building full and robust,” said Tom Keefer, New Mart general manager.
Cooper a-buzz with an eclectic mix of brands
A hot Spring seller for Japan-based Mousy Vintage was its short with ripped-in pockets lined to expose the branding, priced at $225.
“There’s a good and bigger energy here with more happening,” said Kristn Tarnol and Michelle Gagnon from the Emerald Forest lifestyle and gifts store in Studio City, Calif., who were picking up plenty of unique products at Brand Assembly.
“It’s awesome, traffic is up, energy is high, said Hillary France, founder and CEO of Brand Assembly. “We love to produce an environment that people enjoy being in and do their business.”
A lifetime passion came to fruition for musician Gavin Rossdale, who created Sea of Sound, a made-in-L.A. collection of elevated streetwear for adults and children with a punky London attitude. The hoodie with a play on nutritional labels was priced at $78; a red and black mohair-sweater hoodie at $225. “I want people to wear these clothes and feel empowered, feel strong, use my years of curation, travel and international life to develop a style so when you put on this mohair you feel different about life,” said Rossdale.
“For a celebrity to get out there to promote their line is pretty big,” said Fraser Ross, founder of Kitson, who recently opened a new store in Beverly Hills. “Retailers are up against a much bigger battle, particularly in Los Angeles between the smash and grabs and strikes in the entertainment industry. There’s a better ebb and flow at the Beverly Hills store with much more foot traffic,” added Ross.
“This is the fun part of retail—the buying, shopping on a grand scale, and I love it!” said Jennifer D. Harris, manager of Adorn in Portland, Ore.
Huntington Beach, Calif.–based Cleo Bella received a lot of love with its crochet placement prints with an organic-linen blend priced at $127.
After exiting the market in 2003, New York–based Esprit relaunched its brand for Spring ’24 with a collection that included sweats, bags and black jeweled-denim pants at $47.60 with a matching jacket at $67.60.
In addition to viewing a variety of top-tier contemporary fashion ideas and products, buyers, creators and designers enjoyed time to share thoughts and ideas through unique and fun food and drink offerings,” said Margot Garcia, general manager of the Cooper.
CMC wraps up on a high note
“Buyers represented a higher quality mix of department stores, chain stores and independent boutiques mainly from California and the Southwest,” said Moriah Robinson, CMC director of events. “Buyers expressed their appreciation for a fresh mix of brands.”
New additions since March included Milio Milano, a classic contemporary collection of sweaters, linens, slipdresses and cozy soft knits made in Italy. “Our tiered linen pants, priced from $22–$50, do well and are on nearly every order,” said Brittany Burroughs, corporate sales.
The Sea & Grass Showroom featured Los Angeles–based and women-owned Bali Prema in figure-flattering sizes inclusive of Bali-inspired resortwear. “We’re excited to offer our Ingrid Bergman hybrid dress/caftan priced at $42,” said Diana Clark, brand director.
Vegan Fashion Week included a designer pop-up shop to browse plant-made vegan leather as well as sustainably made collections from participating apparel, handbag and footwear brands. The runway show focused on reducing the impact on the environment and proving that luxury does not have to equate to cruelty. Designers Guillaume Larquemain, Nikki Green and A Perfect Jane cowboy boots made from apples and bottle tops were highlighted.
Dominique Side developed the Los Angeles–based Nikki Green with business partner Anthony Hall and designer Christian Allen. “I’m a serial entrepreneur in the executive space. I go on speaking engagements, but I’m also an entertainer and recording artist going from the board room to the red carpet,” said Side, who added, “I want to find all of the ways to make vegan clothes luxury.” Side uses organic cotton, viscose, which can be responsibly sourced from tree fiber, along with different plant-based textiles. An iconic piece from her signature collection was the green suit play on a tux.