Capsule

#CapsuleVegas Influential Showroom Series: Parts 1-7

August 16, 2013 BY MAIA SCHOENFELDER

Capsule is home to not only a myriad of amazing brands, but also a swarm of showrooms who host those brands. Without these bad-boys the industry just wouldn't be the same. Here's to the start of a showroom series! Every day until Capsule Vegas, we will post an inside look at the showrooms who bring the noise. Who's up? Aging Young Rebels-- AYR showroom brings International brands from Canada, Scandinavia and France to the American market.

photo (14)We Are The Market: When founded? Bram Robinson: January 2012

Who is the owner? Bram Robinson

What is the focus of the showroom? International brands from Canada, Scandinavia, and France

What brands do you carry? How do you select the brands you work with? The Hudson Bay Company of Canada, Mads Norgaard, Smith-Wykes, By Ti Mo, Juma, Wonderland Sun, Sabre Sunglasses, The Leather Atelier, Munsoo Kwon, Upstate Stock, and Hidden in Plain Sight. The showroom is highly curated and reflects the international nature of having a showroom in New York City.

What stores do you sell to? Stores across the U.S., Canada, and Japan.

What services do you provide besides wholesale? Pr & Marketing

munsoo railWhat sets your showroom apart ? The International aspects of our brand lineup and th

Tell us about the showroom décor if relevant? Minimal

What are some of the challenges faced in running a small business and how did you overcome? I was quite shocked that in my first year most of my problems arose from working with designers, rather than my actual retail customers. It's a tricky business balancing personalities and keeping everything together through the season. It's unfortunate that so much can go wrong from the point of a store placing an order, to the time those goods are delivered, and the brand pays the showroom.

IMG_3251Advice for someone wanting to start a showroom? Don't do it...get in to Real Estate

How do you build your brand's businesses? We are pretty grassroots and rely on our relationships with the best stores worldwide. We focus on a lot of international majors, which may take more time to create a business with, but is worth it in the long run.

Owner describe your personal style? Whatever is in the showroom

Tell us about the neighborhood your showroom is in? Where do you like to go for lunch? Midtown Manhattan. The food is pretty much the only plus side to being in Midtown, great places like Curry Go-Go, Bon Shon, Shake Shack, Dig Inn, etc.

425675_10150556661151139_1210711771_nWho's next? The Idiel Showroom!

Capsule is home to not only a myriad of amazing brands, but also a swarm of showrooms who host those brands. Without these bad-boys the industry just wouldn't be the same. Here's to the start of a showroom series! Every day until Capsule Vegas, we will post an inside look at the showrooms who bring the noise. Who's up? IDIEL-- the showroom focuses on bringing overseas talents from Asian and the likes to the American market.

13We Are The Market: When founded? Richard Chun: Year of 2008

Who is the owner? Richard Chun

What is the focus of the showroom? The focus of the showroom is representing oversea talents to US market, especially from Asia (Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia etc.)

What brands do you carry? How do you select the brands you work with? We carry over 20 brands. General Idea, KYE, CY CHOI, Drink Beer Save Water, Tee Library and more.

What stores do you sell to? We work with everyone from specialty boutiques to department stores. Think Opening ceremony, Odin, and Atrium, Saks, Urban outfitters and Bloomingdales. Just to name a few.

15What services do you provide besides wholesale? We provide and organize global business consulting, buying services for Korean retailers, the government projects in Korea & Singapore which help young designers.

What sets your showroom apart? We are focusing on the young talents that are not exposed yet in this market. I travel to a lot of countries to find the new brands.

Tell us about the showroom décor if relevant? Very simple and straight forward decor. Nothing too fancy =)

What are some of the challenges faced in running a small business and how did you overcome? Advice for someone wanting to start a showroom?

Like I mentioned before, targeting a new country that is not exposed in the market yet is the most important thing to do in order to compete in the ourshowroom industry. Obviously, the hardest part of running our showroom business in the beginning was bringing buyer traffic to the showroom. Patience is very important for success in this industry.

12How do you build your brand's businesses? We participate in tradeshows around the world and are also organizing runway shows for NY Fashion Week.

Owner describe your personal style? Korean guy who loves fashion, haha!! I love the black esthetics of the brands like Damir Doma, Yoji Yamamoto, Guidi, Paul harden. I love to shop at Atelier and IF in New York.

Tell us about the neighborhood your showroom is in? Where do you like to go for lunch? Our showroom is located in tunnel building in Chelsea where many other showrooms are housed. I go to lunch at Botino, Chopshop and Americano Hotel.

Who's next? The CD Network!

Capsule is home to not only a myriad of amazing brands, but also a swarm of showrooms who host those brands. Without these bad-boys the industry just wouldn't be the same. Here's to the start of a showroom series! Every day until Capsule Vegas, we will post an inside look at the showrooms who bring the noise. Who's up? The CD Network,'a store for stores', boasting an amazing brand list.

4bwWe Are The Market: When founded? CD: CD Network was founded in 2000

Who is the owner? Christophe Desmaison

What is the focus of the showroom? The focus of the showroom is to be a store for stores, offering interesting, authentic, quality driven Fashion. Our idea was not to have a categoric focus by price or end consumer, but rather to find brands which we would want to find when we went shopping.

What brands do you carry? Alexandre Vauthie r, Balmain, Brochu Walker, Ç x Façonnable, Carven, Castañer, Cher Michel Klein, Cimarron, Crippen, Duro Olowu, Frank & Eileen, Giada Forte, Golden Goose, Harris Wharf London, Hancock, Henry Cuir, Jay Ahr, Jean Colonna, Joseph, K Jacques, Massimo Alba, Mugler, Parabellum, Pedro Garcia, Peter Pilotto, PT01, Rake, RDM, Revillon, Rue du Mail, Santoni, Tila March, Tricot 1.0, Yves Salomon

How do you select the brands you work with? I love brands that are artisanal; Passion, Quality, and Design are the three attributes I seek in brands. Also, I typically try to start fresh with a brand so that we can make strategic decisions that are not affected by past relationships.

What stores do you sell to? That is an incredibly long list, however there are both existing clients and new stores that we would be honored to do business with.

What services do you provide besides wholesale? We also provide distribution and merchandising services. In addition we provide general business advice for our European partners looking to gain a foothold in the US market. We do not do Public Relations, a very conscious decision was made on my part early on, to leave that to the experts.

What sets your showroom apart? According to our accounts, it is our ability to always showcase beautiful and inspiring product. More important than your order, after a walkthrough, is your affirmation that you were exposed to something new. That you walked out of the showroom with a slightly different perspective than when you walked in. When your objective is to build long lasting relationships with clients, then you have to be 100% confident in what you are offering, and when this is the case, people can feel it.

Tell us about the showroom décor if relevant? The showroom is a luminous, beautiful, blank canvas, on which the designers express themselves through their collections. We partner with each of our brands in order to provide them with an environment which suits both their brand and their seasonal collections.

What are some of the challenges faced in running a small business and how did you overcome? The biggest challenge was gaining the respect and attention of store owners which I always admired. These were overcome by having strong convictions, never resting on my laurels, and refusing to be complacent.

Advice for someone wanting to start a showroom? Identify one product that you are passionate about that you believe you can grow into a large business, and surround it with product that complements it.

How do you build your brand's businesses? First is to find stores willing to partner with you. Then actually partner with them, by doing events, and visiting the stores, becoming friendly with their associates and the clients. At the end of the day, sales is a relationship business, and the relationship with an associate is just as important as the relationship with a CEO.

Owner describe your personal style? Elegantly understated

Tell us about the neighborhood your showroom is in? Chelsea Arts District

Where do you like to go for lunch? For an honest non nonsense lunch I like Pepe Giallo, and for some delicious tapas I like Tia Pol.

 

Click here for our Interview with Indigo Showroom!

Capsule is home to not only a myriad of amazing brands, but also a swarm of showrooms who host those brands. Without these bad-boys the industry just wouldn't be the same. Here's to the start of a showroom series! Every day until Capsule Vegas, we will post an inside look at the showrooms who bring the noise. Who's up? Indigo Showroom, your one-'shop'-stop for modern menswear.

Indigo Showroom-4

We Are The Market: When founded? Laura Baker: June of 2009

Who is the owner? Laura Baker

What is the focus of the showroom? Modern Menswear- we also push our designers to meet, share best practices, resources and strive to work in a more sustainable manner.

What brands do you carry? Chapter, Ecoalf, Kai Aakmann, Krane, Nicholas K ,Novemb3r & Stroble ( as well as a small selection of accessories that compliment the apparel brands).

How do you select the brands you work with? The brands all harmonize together which the buyers appreciate when making their selection; they can see how each and every brand merchandises with each other. They can easily envision how the brands will look together in their own stores. The majority of our brands are US based- from there, it was really through referrals. Once referred, we look to make sure the brand is not just another apparel brand but that they have a reason, a view-point and of course a strong financial plan to see them through at least the first 2 years. In the past 2 years, we have been gaining a lot of international exposure and have been introduced to some great designers through very loyal buyers that we work with. We cant wait to share what is in store for FW14!

What stores do you sell to? United States (top department stores and mid- top specialty stores)- Barneys, Bloomingdales, Odin, Atrium, Oak, Fred Segal Man, Ron Herman, Totokealo, American Rag, Brigade International (top department stores)- Harvey Nichols, Oki Ni, Merci, Bon Marche, Galleries/Lafayette & United Arrows

Indigo Showroom-8

What services do you provide besides wholesale? Though our team is small each sales agent has their own personal strength that allow us to be a dynamic force. As the owner, I am responsible for all client relations and building their business in a larger way. I focus on co-branding projects and big ideas for each brand outside of wholesale. Nicole focuses on merchandising and brand development with the designers and Tannia oversees all wholesale relations creating tighter bonds with the retailers. In the near future, we will be partnering with a great PR & Events company that will represent our agency and everything within it.

What sets your showroom apart ? I truly believe we are good at what we do because we have strong, loyal and long- time relationships with both our designers and our retailers. We have on many occasions worked with our retailers in developing their businesses as well. There are many similarities between the businesses and we know that in order for us to be profitable they need to be as well. Aside from our stellar relationships, we are a true emerging agency that caters to up & coming designers. In the past 4 years, we have seen some of our brands grow to be CFDA nominees as well as present their collections during NYFW, Paris Fashion Week and Seoul Fashion Week.

We give the designers a platform to do what they do best- design and we handle the rest. We understand how to manage sales and how to have a strong steady growth in order to survive in this industry.

Every one in our agency has become family to one another.. We love, we fight, we help each other and in the end we all are grateful to have one another.

Indigo Showroom-5

Tell us about the showroom décor if relevant? We recently just moved our showroom! For the past 4 years- our showroom was in midtown but we made sure the look was as downtown as a midtown space could get. Our new space encompasses all that we had in our midtown showroom but on a larger scale! Our showroom is Industrial and Modern (just like our brands). The showroom is an open loft type space in Tribeca. We are partnered with UHURU, a Brooklyn based design + build company who has strategically placed UHURU furniture within the showroom that 100% elevate the brands. There is a cohesive feeling between UHURUs design, Indigo Showrooms designers and Townes (our west coast partners) aesthetic and office.

What are some of the challenges faced in running a small business and how did you overcome? The biggest challenge for the overall business was finding enough capital to do all the things you need to do when you need to do it. In sales, you are the last to get paid so it was just a matter of coming to terms with our clients in making them understand that this was a partnership where both companies have to grow together. We both win. We both lose.

The 2nd issue in starting a showroom is that you dont own any of the brands so now matter how much you grow a specific brand there was always the chance they could leave. It was our job to make sure that the designers believed in us, depended on us and valued everything the showroom had created for them. This makes our bond with the designers stronger and our sales staff confident that their hard work was paying off.

Indigo Showroom-7

Advice for someone wanting to start a showroom? Be sure you make the showroom a reflection of who you are, your style and what you believe in... Dont just take on any brand because you need to cover your over head. This is a mistake I see in many agencies. Retailers respect and depend on the showroom to present to them a strong curated selection each market. They should know what they are finding when they come to visit. There shouldnt be BIG surprises or you wont have repeat buyers.

How do you build your brand's businesses? At the launch of a brand it is important that you understand what the designer wants and where they want to see the collection. (Most designers know who we work with and want to be represented in those retailers). From there, we create a strong A, B & C target list and 3 year plan based on what they want to achieve. At the end of every selling season, we sit and go through all the good and the BAD and what we need to achieve their goals- it has to be a partnership. Every market is different, so we expect the designer to be flexible yet never lose sight of who they are.

Owner describe your personal style? I am very much a t shirt and jeans kind of girl and always with a little boot. I am a day to night person.. I dont really differentiate much. Lots of white, grey and black. I ending up tying in our mens pieces from the showroom as do many of the girls we work with.

Tell us about the neighborhood your showroom is in? Where do you like to go for lunch ? Our showroom is in Tribeca (401 Broadway).... Tribeca is a great area for a showroom as it is a nice break for the buyers to come and view the collections in a more relaxed manner.

As for lunch... Nicole stocks us up on Juice Press while Tannia is always pushing for a sit down lunch at Jacks Wife Freda. Beau and I always sneak off to the corner for a quick slice of pizza.

Indigo Showroom

 

Click here for our Interview with Addison Crescent!

Capsule is home to not only a myriad of amazing brands, but also a swarm of showrooms who host those brands. Without these bad-boys the industry just wouldn't be the same. Here's to the start of a showroom series! Every day until Capsule Vegas, we will post an inside look at the showrooms who bring the noise. Who's up? This haven for womenswear, Addison Crescent

LA Flowers

We Are The Market: Who is the owner? Addison Crescent: Jessica Kruse

What is the focus of the showroom? To cultivate emerging designers while maintaining the brand's image and integrity.

What brands do you carry? How do you select the brands you work with? We try not to have any cross over with our brand mix. We carry what we would want to have in our closet and brands that we believe in and stand firmly behind. We want to provide our market with the best leather jacket, the best sweater, the best tee. Our goal is to be a one stop shop.

What stores do you sell to? We sell a wide range of boutiques from contemporary to designer. We work with department stores, clothing websites and international accounts.

What services do you provide besides wholesale? Consulting, merchandising, self-healing and reiki. Just kidding.

What sets your showroom apart ? We want to help develop brands and help them grow. However, a large focus of ours is on keeping the integrity of the brand. We want to build brands slowly to promote longevity with a strategic game plan.

Tell us about the showroom décor if relevant? Minimal - cement and steel with white furnishings. We want the clothes to be the artwork - not the decor.

What are some of the challenges faced in running a small business and how did you overcome? Striking a balance between what we like and what is relevant in the current market. And then waiting to see if it sells. Shipping is a big problem, cash flow is tough because it is commission based.

LA ShowroomLucky CatAdvice for someone wanting to start a showroom? To make sure that you have capital to float you the first year. Start small and build slowly. Surround yourself with wonderful people you trust and love working with. Never burn bridges. BE PERSISTENT and POSITIVE.

How do you build your brand's businesses? Slowly and strategically. Lots of jet lag emailing in foreign cities at 3am. Lots of coffee.

Owner describe your personal style? Clean, classic and season-less with Japanese and Scandanavian aesthetics. Draping shapes and silhouettes.

Tell us about the neighborhood your showroom is in? Where do you like to go for lunch? Our New York location we love Olive's for their special Thursday Veggie Sandwich. Its our favorite. For Los Angeles we order take out from local Japanese hole in the wall Nabeeya.

Outside11279_544689628895760_658300315_nSageClick here for our interview with Flagship Agency!

Capsule is home to not only a myriad of amazing brands, but also a swarm of showrooms who host those brands. Without these bad-boys the industry just wouldn't be the same. Here's to the start of a showroom series! Every day until Capsule Vegas, we will post an inside look at the showrooms who bring the noise. Second on our list, this beautiful LA multi-use showroom, Flagship.

DSC_2214-Edit

We Are The Market: When founded? Flagship: Flagship was born in 2013 as a union between 722 and Ford&Ching, sister companies formed in mid-2000s.

Who is the owner? Partnership between Andrea Ching, Chris Josol, Willard Ford.

What is the focus of the showroom? At the end of the day, it's to help premium lifestyle brands sell product.

What brands do you carry? How do you select the brands you work with? Geneva, RS, SLVDR, Holden, Weekend Offender, David Trubridge, Orchill, Modfire, DLP, Solé, Lifetime Collective, Leibal, UNDZ, Grover, Marshall Artist, K-Way and RESQ/CO. We look at a brand's relevance to our audience, look for distinctive designs, quality of the products, and if they're nice people to work with.

What stores do you sell to? From DWR to Urban Outfitters, Restoration Hardware to Fred Segal, REI to Lombardi's our relationships allow us to sell into numerous channels.

What services do you provide besides wholesale? We consult with brands to get them to market, create marketing strategies through collaborations and PR campaigns and we provide creative services. Our home base, the Kim Sing Theatre, is a dynamic platform for creating memorable experiences whether they be art shows, musical performances, exhibitions, product demonstrations or cultural events.

DSC_2226-Edit

What sets your showroom apart ? Our combined expertise allows us to open a broader range of accounts. We seamlessly operate between the apparel, outdoor/lifestyle and design channels.

Tell us about the showroom décor if relevant? The Kim Sing Theatre is a historic landmark in Downtown Los Angeles, originally built in 1926. It was a former vaudeville house and later a movie theater and was completely gutted and re-imagined by owner Willard Ford and XTen Architects. The space retains original bow and truss ceilings and neon marquis at the entrance, but has been modernized into a dynamic space with a large kitchen/serving station and outdoor courtyard.

What are some of the challenges faced in running a small business and how did you overcome? To be perfectly honest, the hardest thing to manage is cash flow. Even though 722 Figueroa and Ford & CHing (previously FORDBRADY) have been in business for some time, Flagship is a new entity that requires all the care, planning, and financial backing of a start-up. With our re-branding behind us, we can now focus on the disparate needs of our clients. Disparate is probably an understatement. Cavernous might be a better choice. With marketing side clients as big as they get and lifestyle brands in various stages of development, everyone at Flasgship needs to be very nimble.

KS6

Advice for someone wanting to start a showroom? Well, that's hard. Starting a showroom is like having multiple girlfriends/boyfriends. The agent/brand relationship is complicated and requires a steady hand. Try to keep emotion to a minimum and make sure your brands align as much as possible. I'm not saying you should get similar brands. Think of your buyers and what they need. Then choose brands that you like, want to work with, and align with the needs of the stores you sell to. It's not easy.

How do you build your brand's businesses? Every brand we work with has a unique set of circumstances that make it different from the next. We work with them to create a strategy that's right for them. It's a combination of vision, timing and tenacity. A more nuts and bolts answer is we look at the map, find the best stores to sell into, organize a plan and attack. I've heard we have a soften touch than some showrooms, but I have no idea. I like to think we treat our buyers well and help them with their jobs. This in turns helps the brands. ON a more macro-level, we consult heavily with all of our brands to make sure they are creating demand for their products through thoughtful marketing strategies.

Click here for our Interview with The Clop Showroom!

Capsule is home to not only a myriad of amazing brands, but also a swarm of showrooms who host those brands. Without these bad-boys the industry just wouldn't be the same. Here's to the start of a showroom series! Every day until Capsule Vegas, we will post an inside look at the showrooms who bring the noise. First up, Barcelona's sister-sister run showroom, The Clop.

SHOWROOM THE CLOP BCN

We Are The Market: When was The Clop founded? The Clop: 2011

Who is the owner? The Clop twins sisters Helen & Irene Clop from Barcelona, Spain.

What is the focus of the showroom? To search new trends through selected brands focused on the global fashion market with the aim to generate long lasting brand awareness.

What brands do you carry? How do you select the brands you work with?

We are specialized in fashion accessories. Our brands are DIEPPA RESTREPO, ETNIA BARCELONA, SIMONA VANTH, THE WHITE BRIEFS, TWINS FOR PEACE and ZUZUNAGA.

Our brand selection process is a result of in depth research and analysis in order to identify the best match opportunities for our customers demands.

showroom terrace

What stores do you sell to? We try to look for that perfect partnership for our brands, from specialty boutiques to department stores such us Santa Eulalia in Barcelona, Colette in Paris, Lane Crawford in HK, Neiman Marcus in USA, 10 Corso Como in Milano & Shanghai, Boon the Shop and My Boon in Seoul, United Arrows in Japan, etc.

What services do you provide besides wholesale? Customized marketing research and analysis, account management and PR to fashion brands.

What sets your showroom apart? We provide boutique services from dedicated sales road shows to customized client services.

What are some of the challenges faced in running a small business and how did you overcome? We face most of the issues of young entrepreneurs such us budget limitations to develop new businesses and P&A restrictions. The overcome comes through creative thinking, smart finance, hard working and the deepest in believe in what we do.

Advice for someone wanting to start a showroom? To be focused, narrow and deep..and always try to have some fun along the way!

How do you build your brand's businesses? Understanding their needs and wants.

THE CLOPs sales road tripOwner describe your personal style? Smart casual.

Tell us about the neighborhood your showroom is in? Where do you like to go for lunch? We are a Barcelona based company with a permanent showroom in Born, the most bohemian, artistic and fashion neighborhood; and a temporary showroom in Paris, at 19 Rue Vivienne 75002, from where we manage all our international sales.

When in Barcelona we like to go for lunch to Bar Mut for some catalan tapas, Dos Palillos for delicious asian food and to Eslice Pizza at Mercat de la Boqueria.

Go see the list!

To celebrate the powerhouses behind some of the amazing brands at Capsule Vegas, here's to the start of a Showroom Series. Each day we will be posting an interview with accompanying photos from a participating Capsule showroom.

Check out the list below, and click here for the interview series!

BPMW_showroom2

BPMW

Featuring Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen, Laer, Mark McNairy, Lightning Bolt, Penfield, Gloverall, Norse Projects, Elka, Cash Ca

BPMW builds brands by connecting an international selection of the best progressive mens and womens designers to the world's top stores.

 

cd

CD Network

Featuring Frank & Eileen, Castañer, Harris Wharf London

Known for their stellar roster of industry giants, CD Network brings tomorrows fashion stars to Capsule.

 

theclop

The Clop

Featuring Etnia Barcelona, Monsieur Madone, Thinking Mu, Zuzunaga

Fashion and art find a happy coexistence at this Barcelona based showroom.

 

idiel

Idiel

Featuring Stolen Girlfriends Club, KYE, General Idea, Gold Dot, Grafik Plastic, Nooy, J Apostrophe

Idiel discovers and represents talents from overseas with a focus on Korea.

 

flagship

Flagship

Featuring Orchill, Geneva, Lifetime Collective, Weekend Offender, Grover, SLVDR

The result of a merger of 2 powerhouse companies, 722 Figueroa and Ford&Ching, Flagship specializes in premium lifestyle brands.

 

oc

Opening Ceremony

Featuring Opening Ceremony, Hentsch Man, Rivieras Leisure Shoes, Maslin & co, Vanessa Arizaga

Theres always something to discover at OC--the wholesale arm of one of the most influential stores on the planet, featuring a hyper-curated selection of emerging designers.

Head back to the latest interview!