Los Angeles Market Week took place Oct. 10–13 in downtown Los Angeles and brought with it a number of designers and brands previewing their upcoming products and collections. Buyers gathered at the California Market Center, The New Mart and the Cooper Design Space to see what designers had in store for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2022 season.
Fresh designs at the CMC
At New Designers Space the brand showcased its newest foray into sustainable fashion by debuting hoodie-and-sweatpants sets, each made using 108 recycled plastic bottles.
“We use 42 percent recycled plastic, 20 percent polyester and 38 percent cotton to make the set feel soft like traditional hoodies and sweatpants,” said Bob Chun, executive director at New Designers Space.
Located in The Loft, the CMC’s new event space on the 10th floor, was Label Array, a showcase featuring on-trend fashion apparel in the contemporary and young-contemporary categories by both established and emerging designers.
Emerging L.A.-based designer Keirstin Selváge brought pieces from her brand, SELVÁGE,to display at her first show. Pieces in the collection are designed to be classy, elegant and versatile for any occasion, with pieces named after women whom the designer respects and admires.
“I want women to feel feminine and beautiful with this line, no matter their shape or size,” Selváge said.
Also at Label Array was FIT:MATCH, a new technology platform that uses 3D-mapping technology to take 150 body measurements to match shoppers with products from brands that are guaranteed to fit them. The platform aims to ease the minds of online shoppers and allow them to make a more informed decision on purchases.
“For example, denim is a hard-to-fit category. FIT:MATCH helps provide context around size variance. You might have a size 27 pair of jeans that fits differently than a same-style size 27 in a different brand due to things like stretch and inseam differences,” said Hillary Littleton, senior growth marketing manager at FIT:MATCH.
Buyers at the CMC were looking for a wide range of items, from luxury goods to skateboarding pants. Debra Carrington, owner and founder of Summer Colony Living in Palm Desert, Calif., was at the CMC shopping for her boutiques and mentioned she had placed Immediate orders to fill her stores.
“We’re a luxury boutique so I’m looking for luxury brands,” Carrington said. “I’m not necessarily price driven but more quality and construction driven. I’m also looking at things that are creative or unusual.”
New relationships at the Cooper
At the Cooper Design Space, Mayola Martinez and Jen Derrick, who were at market taking notes to curate for their store, The Finerie in San Francisco,said they liked the variety they saw throughout the building.
“We’ve seen a lot of nice knitwear, and we’re glad to see more workwear that isn’t super dressy. It’s like a soft workwear,” Martinez said. “There have also been a lot of good denim brands.”
Madalyn Brim, account executive for the New York–based Derek Lam 10 Crosby,said buyers at market were looking for colors and cotton poplin for spring but were also going in and asking for novelty pieces and other specialty items. Derek Lam shared a showroom with ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo as both brands are owned by the same parent company, Public Clothing Company Inc.
“A good thing about sharing the room is the buyers for ATM get a chance to see Derek Lam, even if they had never bought from it before,” Brim said.
On the Cooper Design Space’s 11th floor, Brand Assembly showcased a roster of contemporary brands and designers. Catherine Gee, who has been exhibiting her eponymous label at Brand Assembly since 2016, said that despite the current climate of the ongoing pandemic L.A. Market had been very successful for the brand. During this market, Catherine Gee opened a new account with Girl Boy Girl, a boutique in Carmel, Calif., that specializes in on-trend women’s apparel.
“It’s a phenomenal store, and I’m really excited,” Gee said. “It’s one of the most reputable stores in the nation. She has an impressive array of everything from lower contemporary, advanced contemporary and designer, so to be included in the mix is a huge honor.”
On-trend at The New Mart
Buyers at The New Mart were able to browse a wide selection of brands and showrooms. The M Showroom on the 11th floor featured brands including Olive Hill, Sisters and Paparazzi by BIZ. On the fourth floor, representatives at the denim and sportswear brand Kut from the Kloth noticed the different trends buyers were looking at for Spring/Summer.
“Wide legs, flares, culottes and faux leather are probably the most popular pieces,” said Jamie Dufour, West Coast sales account executive for Kut from the Kloth.
Susan Testa and Debbie Hurley, shopping for Romantiques in Los Gatos, Calif., said they were browsing the building for blouses and other products that would attract their target customers, who are women ages 25–55.
“I also feel the quality of fabrics are better. There is more of a demand for soft rather than stiff fabrics, at least at the vendors we’re looking at,” Hurley said.
Taking place on the third floor of The New Mart was Designers and Agents, an independent trade show that showcases advanced-contemporary and emerging-designer brands. The Aubrey Company showed its brands Epice, MJ. Watson and H+ Hannoh Wessel.
“Buyers really welcome the opportunity to touch fabrics. Some people like to try them on or have you try them on so they can see how it looks,” said Jakki Fink, senior account executive for the Aubrey Company. “They’re really excited to be able to do a more thoughtful and considered buying process.”
By Tyler Schultz