Emerging brands such as Aknvas welcomed the virtual format, which offered them a global reach and the opportunity to exhibit in personalized ways. | Photo courtesy of Aknvas
As of Thursday, April 1, 2021
The Coterie trade show for contemporary women’s fashion wrapped up its month-long Coterie Digital marketplace on March 16. It was the second run for the online marketplace. Such prominent brands as Bella Dahl, French Connection, Marine Layer and Barbour exhibited. Attending the show were buyers from Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Shopbop and Carbon38, said Courtney Bradarich, vice president of events at Coterie.
The digital show was also notable as a place for emerging brands to make trade-show debuts. Danish-born Christian Nielsen started the contemporary brand Aknvas in 2019. The name is a play on words regarding how a Dane might say the words “a canvas,” he said. He was relieved that the show was online. “Standing in a booth, selling a product, stresses me out.” At a digital show, Nielsen believed that he was more effective through his Zoom meetings.
“I had the chance to show clothing on a model in my studio,” he said. “I got to navigate who I wanted to spend time with and what they could see.”
Nielsen took a handful of orders from United States retailers and also started talks with retailers in Paris and Hong Kong.
The emerging Montreal brand Selfish swimwear also exhibited its 2021 Blooming Renaissance collection at the show. “The Coterie group gave me the opportunity to pitch to Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, said founder and designer Naomie Caron. “It really validated my hard work, everything to keep me going. Business was good. I can’t say I got tons of orders, but the show helped my brand’s awareness, which is a great value.”
Bradarich said that the digital show also offered content such as category-centered shoppable curations, Coterie look books and market insights shaped by industry forecasters.
“Through customer feedback, we identified opportunities to activate features and services such as seamless credit-card checkout and bespoke matchmaking services that helped to optimize our brands and buyers’ experiences. Additionally, what makes this season’s digital event so important is that it not only served as an environment to continue business connectivity, exchange goods and assist in driving commerce opportunities for brands and retailers but also provided an environment that encourages and fosters a true globalization in wholesale commerce, irrespective of the continued limitations of in-person opportunities, especially for international clients,” Bradarich said.