The Accessories Council was proud to host a booth at the August PROJECT Women’s show in Las Vegas. The Council began a partnership with the MAGIC trade show in 2012 and has continued to show in Las Vegas each season since. The Council commits to a booth space and divides it into smaller spaces, offering their members a chance to try out the show before committing to a full booth. The Council coordinates the details with the show, helps prepare the attendees, promotes the collective group actively before and during the show. After a few seasons with the AC, the brand, should they want to continue a particular show, must go out on their own.
Council President, Karen Giberson, feels this is an important membership benefit and over the years has allowed hundreds of their companies to try new shows. The Council attends approximately 12 shows a year, from jewelry focused shows to the PGA Show in Orlando to Premiere Classe in Paris. They take designers to India for a leather fair and are committed to continuing to find opportunities to help their members sell more product.
A side benefit for participants is the support network that develop in the booth. “We have seen collaborations amongst our members continue far beyond the show,” explained Giberson. “From PR collaborations, to mentoring and group trunk shows, our members genuinely enjoy working together and we love to watch it in action!” For the Council, the shows allow them to stay in touch with members, assist on the ground and meet new companies.
A few participants from the August show include:
- Piccolo New York, an upcoming cashmere accessories brand that’s getting a lot of positive response from buyers – Calyso St. Barth, Walin & Wolff, Frances Kahn & Julian Gold to name a few. As a New York based collection, we wanted to expand our exposure further to the West Coast and by showcasing with Accessories Council @ Project Womens, we have been able to get in front of a lot of West Coast based and international buyers. Accessories Council has been a great platform and has been tremendous in helping us increase visibility, and in networking with others in the fashion accessories industry. We believe in helping women and children’s initiatives, and are currently very actively involved in supporting 2 amazing organizations with that goal – Hearts of Gold, and Zimele USA. We hope to continue increasing our support for these charities, through the success of our business.
- Elle & Jae Gypset newly launched in Fall 2016 is actively looking to grow our boutique business and the showcase at PROJECT is a great way to introduce the brand to the buying community. We picked up boutiques both on the east and west coast, but one of our main objectives was to meet with accounts that may not travel to New York for market. Elle & Jae Gypset is a line of ethically produced handbags for bon vivants who live and play around the world…whether she’s off to the next music festival in Europe or surfing the beaches of Montauk, she likes to look and feel good about what she’s wearing.
- Angel By L. Martino is a new handbag line launched by L+ Leung Design Group. The bags are all leather and made in India. This new line has a beautiful artisan feel that is designed for a relaxed lifestyle with a modern edge. The Accessories Council Showcase at PROJECT Women’s is incredibly valuable to a new brand such as ours. Being able to test out a show at a reasonable rate while gaining exposure for our newly launched handbag line is an incredible opportunity for us.
- Ollie Quinn’s fashion introduction has been momentous. Our award-winning O-shape silhouette handbags are inspired by vintage hatboxes and uniquely celebrate heroines from yesteryear in Modern Americana. Following a series of major press and honors, the opportunity to join the Accessories Council for the showcase at PROJECT was a timely introduction to wholesale business. Joining the AC Showcase enabled the introduction of our brand where we sit at retail while allowing us to nurture professional relationships across the globe. Our trade-show experience gave prestige in building B2B with new retailers and prospects. Ollie Quinn is found in an international sensibility; the Ollie customer is a global nomad in heels with a handbag. We had an awesome experience receiving introductions and orders from across the globe. The exposure of fashion’s largest trade event was invaluable.
- Exhibiting with the Accessories Council at Project initially meant growing brand presence and sales. However, an unexpected yet truly great experience was meeting the other designers sharing the booth. Hearing their stories, processes, and insights is truly invaluable for a young brand like STYLESTRING. Though these relationships are new, having an open dialogue with contemporaries can lead to a positive support network and even collaboration down the line. I am so happy to have met such a wonderful group of dynamic, creative women.