Designer Betsey Johnson puts it perfectly: If fashion week is when designers "wow" editors with runway shows and spectacle, then the days to come -- most commonly referred to as Market Week -- are when designers "romance" store buyers in hopes of selling their wares for seasons to come.
If you've been skimming our Follow the Buyers runway notes, you've spotted a few clues about what to expect in-stores for fall 2011. Over the next week or so, we'll shift the focus to the retail front to see what's being bought (or in some instances, not), tweaked, and translated from the runways to our closets come fall.
Lines including Nicholas K and Camilla and Marc at The Globe Showroom's Garment District loft.
First, A Few Terms to Know:
Market: Refers to a venue- or category-specific arrangement of shows across a city, the country, or globe. (See: Apparel-focused Fashion Coterie, lingerie- and swimwear-focused CurvExpo, and sportswear-focused Project., which have show dates throughout Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, and New York.)
Sample: Runway or runway-based examples of a particular design; displayed within showrooms as a reference point for buyers to see what they're purchasing for stores. Also, physical reference point for fits, proportion, and construction. (See: Among the samples shoppers eventually find at sample sales.)
Showroom: A studio space, tradeshow booth, or co-op style home base for designers' samples. Buyers make showroom appointments, handle clothing, and write orders. Showrooms "represent" certainl lines by carrying and displaying them during appointments. (See: The Globe Showroom, which represents lines including Camilla and Marc, Smythe, and Nicholas K.)
Production: The process of creating multiples of a design sample. Once a store places an order, designs go into domestically- or internationally-based production to meet retail store demands.
Writing an Order: The act of placing an order for amounts of clothing to ship to clothing stores. A written gaurantee and impetus for designers to manufacture pieces in bulk.
Check back for interviews, quotes, and pics from influential buyers and the boutiques you'll be shopping come fall.