Buyers and press assemble for energetic men's market week in NYC
After spending weeks in Florence, London, Milan and Paris, buyers, brands and press flocked to New York City for men’s market week. Trade shows Project and MRket, Agenda, Capsule and Liberty Fairs and MAN kicked off last week ushering in the conclusion of men’s market.
The overall response from attendees this season was that the shows were very busy, and rightfully so since men’s market kicks off New York City’s fashion calendar. The hustle and bustle was also refreshing considering the uncertainty in retail with department stores and brick-and-mortar locations barely making it past the holiday season and uncertainty in the country as a whole following the election of President Trump.
This season, Agenda returned to New York City and Capsule, Liberty and MAN reverted back to their original show schedule. Last season, the latter three trade shows held their shows during NYFW: Men’s in an attempt to make market week easier for buyers and press. Compared to the slow start of last season, Capsule, Liberty and MAN had very busy opening days.
Project, which was bustling on its first day this season, was impacted the most by the schedule overlap last season. Most show attendees flew to New York City for the overlapping schedule, but could not stay an extra week for Project. No longer an outlier, Project had a remarkable showing this season with MRket, which marked as their second show in New York City together.
Capsule, MAN and Agenda occupied new show venues this season. Agenda took over Pier 92, Capsule's venue in 2016, while Capsule shared Pier 94 with Liberty Fairs. Capsule shifted its layout to accommodate its brands, which allowed for more prominent brands to really stand out such as Woolmark Prize nominee Matiere, Gen Art Fresh Faces in Fashion winner Bristol, and longtime collaborator Assembly New York. MAN, which held their show at Artbeam in Chelsea last season, moved back to Lower Manhattan at Spring Studios.
Denim by Vanquish & Fragment and Osklen were two of the many standout brands this season, and they both happened to be at Liberty Fairs. Denim by set the tone for many international brands that were at the shows this season, particularly brands from Japan, and Osklen debuted a capsule collection of footwear and accessories made from pirarucu fish skin. Kei Stanisiere, VP of Wholesale for Osklen, explained that the fish skin is often discarded after the fish are consumed, so the brand sourced the tough, rich material with sustainability in mind. This season is also the first time Osklen has attended a trade show.
Kenneth Cole was also present during market week selling its many footwear lines. Their showing followed the announcement of its store closures and its new focus on e-commerce and its international business. NYFW: Men’s brands Engineered for Motion and Palmiers du Mal also told Fashion Network that they had successful showings during market week, with the former nabbing a ‘best in show’ award at Project.
If men’s market is any indication of the season, then expect women’s market in February to be even more energetic.
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