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Retailers know they can rely on PROJECT for exciting new brands mixed with innovative established collections to keep their sales floors fresh and shoppable. Footwear and accessories round out the mix, and this season’s event offered a wide selection for everyone. We spoke to exhibiting brands GREATS, Barbieri, and Golden Meteors as well as experts from the Business of Fashion and Highsnobiety about opportunities within these categories. Stay tuned for more market trends and community highlights from PROJECT Las Vegas.
Greats launched as a direct-to-consumer casual footwear collection with men’s, women’s, and unisex styles, now stepping into wholesale. “Coming to the show has allowed us to see what the customer likes,” says Sales Director Ashley McCormick. “It’s been interesting to see what people like here. For Fall, they really seem drawn to color, as well as our mixed patterns and materials.” The brand also has an emphasis on sustainability (popular on its website), including a best-selling group that is made from recycled plastic. The brand is definitely onto something: The Rock wore Greats’ sneakers to this year’s Super Bowl!
Barbieri is a scarf collection founded in 1945, manufactured in Como, Italy. “The company uses all natural materials, and is really well-known for its silks and wools,” says U.S. sales representative Angelique Wohman. (Barbieri produces luxurious silks and accessories for some of the major European designer houses.) “The scarves are top quality with hand-rolled edges and are a great price point for the quality.” Smaller scarves start at $38 wholesale and go up to $153 for larger styles. Kimonos were getting quite a lot of attention for the event first-timer.
Golden Meteors is a multi-brand showroom launched 18 months ago in New York City by founder Steven Wildenberg. “We represent emerging modern brands across fashion, lifestyle, beauty, and wellness. The agency’s name is inspired by the fact that when the earth was being formed, meteorites striking the planet brought gold with them, so it's quite literal.” The agency currently represents 11 brands, including Dad Grass CBD products, 1969 unisex fragrances from Sweden, sneakers, eyewear, candles, and more.
PROJECT: Within streetwear and specifically footwear and accessories categories, are you seeing any sort of trends or changes that are shifting from where we were and how consumers were reacting, how they were dressing, and what they were consuming in 2021 to now? Are there any sort of predictive things that you're seeing going forward that you think we may start seeing within the streetwear community?
Corey Stokes, Fashion Director, Highsnobiety: “OK, so what I've noticed is a lot of nostalgia in terms of old silhouettes and revamping them, with new colorways or tweaking the design a bit. I feel like that's been a trend for the past two years, and I think it kind of went into overdrive recently.”
PROJECT: There's interesting opportunities, specifically for the footwear category in what's happening with the growth of the metaverse. Can you talk a little bit more about that, maybe the opportunities specific to that category and/or other categories as well?
Rahul Malik, Business of Fashion: “I think one of the fascinating things about sneakers in particular is so much of what we have seen with regards to the buying and selling of sneakers has been scarcity driven. And especially with regards to physical sneakers, and you can apply that to other types of footwear. That has been a subcategory where, for the past 10 or 15 years, you've seen new types of business models that are drop-oriented. You see new types of platforms that are resale platforms, that didn't exist for other categories. And the reason I mentioned that is because I think when we now look at digital fashion, so much of digital fashion actually builds upon those same themes and builds upon themes of scarcity and builds upon very creative collaborations. So that's something we see pretty frequently, which is people are actually looking for what works really well for physical sneaker and applying those concepts when they start to think about their digital future.”
Check out the “Special Events & Show Highlights” from PROJECT Las Vegas February 2022.