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WWD News: Capsule New York Show Hits Record Size, More-Focused Project Reflects Subdued Mood


Capsule New York Show Hits Record Size


Posted THURSDAY JULY 23, 2009

From WWD ISSUE 07/23/2009



Naked & Famous (Photo by Robert Mitra)

Naked & Famous (Photo by Robert Mitra)

The Capsule New York show swelled to a record 75 vendors, seemingly shoehorned into every last nook of the Angel Orensanz Foundation, a former Lower East Side synagogue. Among them were numerous fledgling labels and first-timers to New York market week. And these progressive fashion labels were focused not on rapid expansion but on attracting a dedicated following. 

Perhaps only die-hard denim aficionados see the allure of 24-oz. denim, for example. But such connoisseurs were abuzz about Naked & Famous, the Montreal denim label, which claimed the heaviest pair of jeans in history. 

The Fred Perry by Raf Simons line keeps gaining followers and the bright color, avant-garde cutting and sheer overlays brought his fashion-forward vision to classic polo shirts. 

General trends at Capsule were very much in line with those on the European runways. Relaxed tailoring, light texture, washed fabrics, tight organic patterns and transparency were dominant themes. Workwear and outdoorsy Americana remain influential, as seen in the collections of Garbstore, Yuketen and Post Overalls, to name a few. A bestseller for Post Overalls, a Japanese label marketing to the U.S. for the first time, was a denim utility smock. 


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More-Focused Project Reflects Subdued Mood


Posted THURSDAY JULY 23, 2009

From WWD ISSUE 07/23/2009


JW Brine (Photo by Robert Mitra)



















Civil Smith

Civil Smith (Photo by Robert Mitra)


With retailers hunkered down and girding themselves for an uncertain economy, Manhattan??™s Lexington Avenue Armory, home of the 69th National Guard regiment, served as an apropos new venue for the Project show. The space was markedly smaller in scope than the show??™s previous incarnation at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, and hosted about 150 brands, according to show organizers.

???We were a lot more focused this year, and I think the smaller space was appropriate for this new economic environment we are in,??? said Sam Ben-Avraham, founder and president of Project, which is a division of Advanstar Fashion Group. 

Ben-Avraham viewed the general mood of vendors and retailers as positive but tempered by the financial troubles of CIT, which finances a large swath of the independent brands and boutiques serviced by the exhibition.

???Business isn??™t back to normal, but I think people have gotten past the bad energy of last season and are focused on what needs to get done,??? noted Ben-Avraham. ???I think things were actually looking pretty positive a few weeks ago, but the recent news about CIT has people worried. If CIT goes down, a lot of people are going to have trouble with financing.???

J Brand

J Brand (Photo by Robert Brine)


In that vein, a no-frills mood permeated the drill hall that housed the show, with decor-free booths and the elimination of The Area, a white-carpeted special section previously dedicated to directional brands. ???They told us not to bring any props, they want all the booths to be uniform and focused on product,??? said Scott Morrison, chief executive officer of Evisu.

Morrison was displaying his revamped Evisu lineup of vintage denim with downplayed branding markers. Evisu is relaunching at Barneys New York this holiday, and Morrison expects eventually to be in about 125 specialty store doors in the U.S. as he works to energize the brand here.

A cleaner denim aesthetic was on view at J Brand, where unadorned, minimally treated styles provided a counterpoint to the vintage washes that prevailed at competing brands. ???We are about clean, classic and timeless,??? said Illanit Semberov, men??™s sales director at the Los Angeles-based label. As with many companies, lower prices were an emphasis at J Brand, where jeans were priced to retail from $169 to $198. 

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–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Jul 23 2009 in Uncategorized
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