Trade Show Wrapup
February was a busy month for childrenswear buyers and vendors.
February marked a whirlwind of childrenswear trade shows which kept buyers and vendors busy for much of the month. In early February, NY NOW took place at the Javits Center, offering retailers childrenswear products ranging from teepees to toys and footwear to apparel. Traditionally, NY NOW hands out many awards and a number of children’s brands took home accolades in this edition. Puppet-maker Cate and Levi won an Eco Choice Award for its penguin stuffed animal kit while Rookie Humans Crib Sheet from Rookie Humans and the Tooth Fairy Kit from Inklings Paperie each won a Best New Product Award. “Each market, we continue to see tremendous enthusiasm and excitement across the board from buyers and designers to exhibitors and press alike,” states Randi Mohr, NY NOW co-show director and vice president of Emerald Expositions.
Mid-month, Playtime New York brought its tony group of vendors to the Metropolitan Pavilion and Altman Building in Chelsea. The range of lines on display was bigger than show organizers expected—42 percent of the brands took part in the show for the first time. During this edition, held over Valentine’s Day weekend, more than 200 exhibitors hailed from all over the world. Show organizers report 37 percent of attendees were American brands while 63 percent were overseas brands. One of this winter’s biggest storms, Niko, hit over the weekend and made travel difficult for some show-goers. However, in the end there was a total of 1,956 visitors, or a slight .5 percent increase over last year’s February show. Most of the buyer attendance were Americans (87 percent)—the majority hailing from the East Coast—while 13 percent were Europeans.
And, finally, Children’s Club Magic took place in Las Vegas at the end of February. “We had a very decent show,” notes Evan Hakalir, partner and cofounder of Andy & Evan. “A good mix of orders written, paper out, and some bigger opportunities that require follow up. I’m pretty pleased with the result, and especially enjoy the connectedness to the industry (at-large), and the opportunity that comes along with it.” Edward Harrison, managing member and chief executive officer of Egg by Susan Lazar, echoes the sentiment. “For a lot of our customers from certain a geography, Children’s Club Magic provides a great alternative to the New York venues,” he says. “While the show is young, it is growing in popularity and Egg is committed to supporting its development. Finally, its proximity to the rest of Magic allows a new demographic of prospective clients—stores for which children are not the focus— to be exposed to our brand.”