A quick and painless personal note....
I'm now on both sides of the table when it comes to trade shows. As a vendor you stand around trying to look welcoming and hoping that you've got what buyers want, as press you notice that welcome look is really a manic desperation..."BUY MY LINE...please".
Yesterday I visited Project and Pool for the first time from the "press" point of view. I saw only a few people I know (Hi Rena!!), but all around it was a very slow show. Most buyers wait until Las Vegas to do exhaustive buying all at once instead of taking two trips to see the same thing. Here's where I vent...the contemporary industry is loaded with designers trying to plug themselves into a very crowded space. Truly of the 10 or so new denim/tee shirt collections I saw yesterday there was little difference between them and their neighbors...the wash? the fit?..not really. What would make me walk to your booth rather than the next? Some people went for gimmicks, soem tried with tricked out clothing, others even laid their products in the aisles.
Very few designers 1) expand and improve an existing product or 2) create a product that fills a space...whether for function or design. The contemporary design world is one steriods right now, small designers are competing against brands like Nicole Fahri, JPG -Jean Paul Gaultier, etc. What??
You may not be the next True Religion or Seven but you will begin to create a name and signature for yourself if you stick to your guns instead of hopping on the trend wave. In the end I enjoyed Pool because it consisted of people who are putting their heart and soul into their work. It has to be tough buying for a store but I think it's even harder determining what vendors to introduce to customers when most of them look as though they'll be around for this season only.