TRADE SHOW REPORT
Project’s Lineup Includes Returning Exhibitors, New Brands
NEW YORK—On the heels of the first-ever New York Fashion Week: Men’s, Project New York held its 12th show July 19–21 at New York’s Javits Center.
Under the direction of Tommy Fazio, the Cadillac-sponsored show spanned the gamut of contemporary menswear, recruiting returning brands such as Ted Baker, Cat Footwear, Vince, Mackage, Scotch & Soda—and new faces such as Goorin Bros., Clarks and Rhone Apparel.
With a 14 percent increase in booths over the January show, Project New York’s attendees included key decision makers from top retailers.
Newcomer Bachelor Shoes, now in its second year of business, came to Project to expand its brand and make retailer connections.
“We’ve created shoes that can take you from relaxing at the pool to closing a business deal at the restaurant,” said Christian Robles Garza, cofounder and chief executive officer of the Houston-based company, which specializes in loafers and slippers.
Also new to Project is Jakarta-based Adamist, whose founder, Jacky Rusli, designs unique ready-to-wear. (Picture a classic white button-up with a silhouette of two eyes stitched across the chest.)
“Twenty-five percent of our online business is U.S.-based,” said the first-time Project exhibitor, who said he was looking to expand the company’s U.S. presence and awareness.
New York–based S’well Bottle has exhibited at Project for the last four years. The insulated beverage bottle company is looking to grow its men’s business, estimating that 70 percent of its current customers are women. Project has introduced S’well to many notable retailers over the years—including Cole Haan and Nordstrom. Earlier this month, S’well launched an exclusive bottle with swimwear designer Mara Hoffman to coincide with her new activewear line.
Varied partners lined the halls of the show, including Project ambassador Marcus Troy, who curated digital talent to chronicle each day. The live, biannual Blogger Project Awards took place, with awards such as “Best Denim” going to Baldwin.
ShopTheFloor, the online marketplace operated by Project parent company UBM Advanstar, partnered with contemporary retailer Halls and subscription service Sprezzabox to host a live photo studio featuring curated looks from varied brands. The show’s intimate Workroom section connected emerging men’s and women’s brands with seasoned retailers and boutiques.
Watch company Daniel Wellington—which calls itself the most-followed jewelry brand on Instagram, boasting 1.1 million followers—has been around since 2011, although this was the company’s second year at Project.
“The men’s accessories market is growing, so the pie is getting bigger,” said Wellington’s U.S. manager, Frans Sjo.
“Every measurement of success is up for us,” Sjo added, citing an increase in meetings, attendance and general interest at Project.
As Sjo discusses the brand’s growth, a buyer and a sales manager from Coachmen Clothiers in Knoxville, Tenn., approached the Daniel Wellington booth. When asking if the men had any questions about the company, they smiled and rolled up their sleeves to show they were both wearing Wellington’s Classic Canterbury style with the NATO-striped band.
“Project is perfectly curated and aimed at facilitating meetings, both from an attendee perspective and exhibitor perspective,” Sjo said. “It’s lovely to return.”