Consumer Demand Is Queen at Project Womens
At the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Feb. 5–7, Project Womens saw buyers searching for unique goods that would draw in their customers. For buyer Dana Applebaum, owner of the Commerce Township, Mich., women-and-girls shop Full Moon Greetings, the goal was to invest in pieces with her trusted exhibitors such as Democracy and Chaser but also find at least five new partners. In addition to maintaining existing relationships and forging new connections, Applebaum felt the education she receives at Project Womens is invaluable.
“The reason I love Vegas is the seminars,” she said. “There is such a wonderful opportunity for the learning part of it.”
While shopping the show, searching for pieces under $30 wholesale in sizes 8–3X for ages 8 through 80, Applebaum mentioned that she remains mindful of her customers’ demands while walking through the large event.
“We’re in suburban Detroit,” she said. “As much as I love the festival look, my girls tend to dress more East Coast New York style—mix a concert tee with a leather jacket or a blazer, so I have to be very careful and very thoughtful.”
At the booth for the Niche LA Showroom, founder Suzie Hart represented a few brands, including the denim line Washlab. The key to launching a successful denim brand, said Hart, is the ability to present fresh washes and takes on styles such as sportswear, dresses, skirts and blazers.
“What we showed was different from most of what they had seen,” she said. “We had the elements of basic five-pocket fits. But we offered a bit of something different in wash and trim treatments and denim sportswear.”
She found that buyers wanted Summer deliveries but were receptive to Fall’s leopard-print, over-dyed denim dress and blazer.
Preferring the February edition over the August event, Lisa Drouin, owner of Corner Closet in Cedarburg, Wis., enjoyed the selection at Project Womens, mentioning that it afforded many options for her customers, aged 30 to 65. Shopping for wholesale price points between $30 and $65, Drouin was interested in some Summer, in blues, blushes, lavender and floral patterns, with washable silks checking, but she was mostly interested in Fall for her clients who want special pieces.
“These women want to feel beautiful and confident in fabulous clothes. They are women who want to be inspired and fall in love with things but have things that fit them,” she said. “Be open-minded to new brands to see what’s new and different. One of the places we went to was here for its first show. Your customer can have something that not everyone else is wearing.”