NEW YORK—Looking out at a room packed with booths lined with the trendiest pieces of the season, complete with a spa bar and dining section, you might think you’ve stepped into a high-end fashion gala, but it’s really the backstage for boutiques and department stores across the globe.
The fashion trade shows of Moda Manhattan, AccessoriesTheShow Pavilion, and Fame are showcasing over 900 fashion brands at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center for buyers from almost every state and more than 44 countries.
The event, which opened on Tuesday and will continue through Thursday, is only open to buyers and storeowners, who are purchasing for the fall/winter 2012 season.
Turn out for the February show is moderate, according to the sales representatives at the fashion booths.
“This show overall has been slow for everyone,” said Lauren Robinson, sales assistant of New York-based fashion line sharagano noir.
Nonetheless, she said that the company plans on showcasing every year at Moda Manhattan in the city hereafter. “If people are in town for a little bit longer, they can come to our showroom because it’s so close.”
Fame presents contemporary junior selections while Moda Manhattan is a higher priced modern contemporary women’s ready-to wear show. AccessoriesTheShow features accessories from scarves and bags, to different types of jewelry.
“They have a great selection,” said Thuyvan Bui, the owner of Gift Fanatics in Lafayette, La. She also pointed out that the exhibition was less crowded than the many others that she attended in Atlanta and Dallas.
“I like it. It’s not overwhelming, it’s relaxing,” she said.
The trade shows provide free breakfast, lunch, and beverages for the buyers. There is also a beauty spa section toward the back of the exhibition that provides massages and hairdressers doing dry blowouts.
“The idea is to keep the buyers happy and on the floor for as long as possible,” said one of the staff members in the beauty-spa bar, standing next to a sign that read “Buyers Get Free Cupcake!”
The timing of the trade show is specially selected to follow fashion week to accommodate buyers who live away from the city and flew in for runway shows. Fashion Week for Fall 2012 ended last Thursday.