FMNC Buyers and Exhibitors Welcome a Return to Business as Usual
Fashion Market Northern California, a marketplace for contemporary women’s apparel and accessories, was held June 27–29 at the Embassy Suites in South San Francisco. “It went very well,” said FMNC Executive Director Mary Taft. “Buyers who attended were there to buy so exhibitors were successful.”
Now celebrating more than 60 years, FMNC offers the largest open-booth venue on the West Coast and was a welcome sight for buyers and exhibitors after the COVID-19 pandemic stymied the retail industry. “We had close to 200 stores, with over 30 of them being new to our show,” Taft said.
Joey Miller of Joey Miller Sales was experiencing booming business. As an exhibitor, Miller said he worked 47 stores, and it was the first time in a long time that he actually had to turn people away because of space. “I’ve done FMNC for 30 years, and I believe that territory is the best,” Miller said.
Karen Tonascia, owner and buyer of Irma’s Fashions in Hollister, Calif., attended FMNC for two days and echoed similar sentiments. “I am thankful that through the chaos of last year the [FMNC] shows—or most of them—still went on,” Tonascia said. “They got creative with their venues and layouts to ensure safe interactions between stores and reps, but I felt like they never missed a beat.”
Tonascia also noted that she found people shopping almost as if they were making up for the lost time from the pandemic. “People are no longer shopping like they’re in ‘survival mode,’ just buying sweats and quarantine clothing,” she said. “They are now dressing up and are thankful to be getting on with their lives. It seems that we are all a little more thankful for our ‘normal’ than we ever could have been before this pandemic.”
During the pandemic, FMNC held an outdoor event in October 2020 but will be reverting back to indoor events moving forward. “The thing that I hear over and over is how much buyers love shopping at our show,” Taft said. “We can’t wait to see them at our August show at the Embassy Suites in South San Francisco.”