Finding a Wholesale Fix at Stitch
As the sibling show to the larger women’s show, Stitch @ Project Womens afforded options in resort and contemporary lines. Hosted at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Feb. 5–7, the event attracted buyers who wanted stylish apparel that would meet the needs of the contemporary customer.
Visiting from St. Louis, Mo., Nellie’s Closet owner Tami Vanmeter searched for pieces that would suit her clientele, which includes women up to 105 years old. While she has a bricks-and-mortar location, Vanmeter also buys for another segment of her business—women in retirement communities in 15 states including Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Texas and her home base of Missouri.
Inspired by her mother, Nellie, who passed away from breast cancer and couldn’t visit stores to shop for clothes, Vanmeter feels that she keeps these women feeling stylish despite their mobility challenges.
“My customer wants to be comfortable but stylish,” she explained. “For Fall, there is a lot of faux fur and little, cute jackets. A lot of snakeskin and animal prints.”
In addition to buying Fall, Vanmeter also bought Immediates and Spring, where she noticed a lot of neutrals and linen. A few of the vendors she visited were Fate, Gina’s Boutique Paris and Love Token. Accommodating sizes 2–3X, with interest in wholesale price points from $40 to $100, she feels that her customers aren’t as concerned with cost at this time.
“The customer isn’t looking for a bargain anymore. She wants something unique for her price point. Her closet is full already,” she said. “Stay on trend. You have to stay up to date, even though you have your classic customers, but stay as close with the trend if you can.”
Business at the booth for Montebello, Calif., Liverpool Los Angeles was busy as representatives fielded a great deal of interest for knits and denim. The sweet spot for wholesale pricing ranged from $34 to $38 for staples. In addition to Fall menswear influences—vests, utility and camouflage and its shirt-jacket hybrid, the shaket—the brand saw interest in its sustainable-denim line 5.0.
“It starts with the yarn,” said Ron Perilman, the company’s president. “All the denim is recycled BCI denim. All the polyesters are Repreve. There is less than a half a glass of water being used because we use lasers and we use Ozone.”
Customer response for the jean was strong, said Perilman, who also revealed that the vegetable-based indigo dye incorporates aloe and the recycled-paper hangtags include a code to trace the jean’s impact.
“If you’re under 39, you’re really environmentally correct. Most jeans are around 300 or 400; this is an 11,” he explained. “The notions are not plated so they can be used again."