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At FMNC, Attendees Enjoy Comfort and Get Excited About Spring by Dorothy crouch

Jamie Prince Booth

Held Aug. 18–20 at the San Mateo County Event Center in San Mateo, Calif., Fashion Market Northern California saw buyers placing orders for Immediates, Holiday and into Spring 2020.

“A big draw is Spring,” FMNC Executive Director Mary Taft said. “You have to write your business—especially for European lines. You can’t wait for October.”

Echoing this sentiment was Erin Mavis owner Erin Turko from Cloverdale, Calif., in Sonoma County, who attends all FMNC shows and was shopping for her customers, who range in age from their late 20s to more than 70 years old.

“This show was important because most of my Spring and Summer lines were breaking,” she said. “My favorite thing the consistency of lines and reps. At a lot of other shows, you never know if a line will return or if you can write. [At FMNC], I can book my appointments and know I will see the lines I want to see every time I go.”

First time is a charm

Exhibiting at FMNC for the first time since she began representing the Denmark-based luxury jewelry line Monies several years ago, sales representative Joyce Williams decided to exhibit at the show after a recommendation from exhibitors Banana Blue and Edda Jockisch of Curate International Collections NYC.

“The show is a completely manageable, encouraging atmosphere,” she said. “This was worth a trip, and it opened me up to new stores that I didn’t know.”

First-time attendee Camille Depedrini said she would also return after she headed up from her Pasadena, Calif., shop Camille to see Edda Jockisch for the Elemente Clemente and Itor lines. In addition to meeting with this established partner, Depedrini discovered new lines.

“I found two new lines—Dance in Paris and Blue Sky from Oregon,” she said. “I took notes and was happy about finding them because Blue Sky doesn’t show anywhere else. It’s a small line geared to the Pacific Northwest.”

Searching for pieces priced between $60 and $80 wholesale, Depedrini felt that encountering the lines in a setting different from Los Angeles Market Week and the Las Vegas trade shows was helpful. She bought for 2020 with a few Immediates for accessories.

“It’s a very easy show to do,” she said. “It’s the smallest out of the five shows, and it’s a pleasant atmosphere in which to buy. The way it’s laid out in one room makes it simple.”

Noticing trends in color, Depedrini mentioned that yellow tones had an enormous presence for Spring, particularly with mustard continuing to trend and acid greens growing in popularity.

Dependable without distractions

Visiting the show from Oklahoma City, Okla., Jeanette Koenig of Route 66 shopped for her clientele, who range in age from teenagers shopping for prom to women over 100 years old. In business for 30 years, Koenig has attended FMNC for approximately six years. As a veteran, she realizes the arduous task retailers face to find the appropriate lines to suit their clientele. 

“People can buy ordinary stuff anywhere. I like to have items that you wouldn’t expect to see. I am at the point in my business that I’m going to smaller and more-special labels,” she said. “There isn’t a lot of repetition. You see something unique in each booth. It’s a beautifully curated show throughout all price ranges.”

While Kathy Jeter of Petaluma, Calif.–based Ethical Clothing wasn’t searching for particular trends or seasons, she found goods to fill in for Holiday in addition to buying for Spring. As she searched for Spring linens, cottons and silks that wholesale from $30 to $100 for her fashionable contemporary clients age 30 and up, Jeter noticed a trend toward cognac colors that yielded a copper or rust appearance.

“During this show, I didn’t go in looking for particular things. I like to see what the companies are doing,” she said. “I try not to go in with any expectations. I am never disappointed.”