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Coterie 2017: A Reflection and Preview

Just a glimpse of my brand STYLE UNION that I will be taking to this year’s Coterie.

I am super excited that I will be attending Coterie this year for my fashion brand, STYLE UNION. Coterie is the premier global marketplace that connects women’s apparel, accessories, and footwear designers with international retailers – it’s a must for designers and buyers who want to set new trends.

This year, Coterie runs from February 27th to March 1st at the Javits Center in NYC – this West Coast girl is heading to the (cold) East Coast!

My first Coterie was with my fashion brand Bella Dahl, in 1997 – I remember feeling so nervous and overwhelmed, and yet I was so excited because I was proud of the work we put into Bella Dahl and wanted buyers to see it.

This time, I’m back promoting STYLE UNION, my new luxe lounge wear that I believe will make every woman feel good, comfortable, and sexy. The pride I felt in Bella Dahl in 1997 is the same pride I feel in STYLE UNION – and having that love for what you do is only going to help you when advocating your brand to buyers.

If you’re a new  designer going to Coterie, don’t take it too seriously, but you should know your brand inside and out. And make sure to have as much fun as possible with the experience. The best part about Coterie is walking in and feeling that buzz that only the fashion industry has; witnessing people, other designers, and buyers enjoying and purchasing the line; meeting with old friends; and making new ones.

Sure enough, I discuss Coterie in my book, so here’s a little “throwback” insight for you…

Some thoughts on Coterie from Gold Standard:

If you only attend one show twice a year, my suggestion would be the Coterie show. To have one rep you will essentially pay rent for their showroom. In that case, you become the landlord of that showroom. You pay for the building, the staff, and getting the samples to your reps to sell.

Say a garment costs twenty dollars to make in bulk. To get one garment made as a sample, it’s two and a half times the price it would be at the bulk rate. It’s an expensive venture to start off on and if you don’t know your fabric and it shrinks, you could lose your shirt. No pun intended.

Then there is the question of quantities to order. If you sell one hundred units at the Coterie show, do you want to make ten or fifteen percent over the hundred pieces you are going to have manufactured? If you do, then you have pieces to give away to editors, friends, and reorder business.

Of course the scale of money will depend on your fabric, your rent, if you are working out of your home, printing your own look book and will only have an online presence. There’s certainly more ways of doing it now, but you have to do your research before going in.

Everything in that excerpt still applies to today, so take note, new designers!

Check back soon on my website, where I will have a blog post about this year’s Coterie.

-Kym

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