• Home
  • News
  • Fairs
  • The trends the MAN/WOMAN trade show vendors are seeing

The trends the MAN/WOMAN trade show vendors are seeing

By Kristopher Fraser

31 Jan 2022

Fairs |Interview

Image: manwomanshows.com

Man/Woman, a tradeshow of curated global brands, returned to New York City from January 26 to 28. With many brands returning to New York for the first time since COVID-19, there was a focus given to what was now trending, as most of the world has emerged from lockdowns and people are returning to shopping. The key to success in retail is giving the customer what they want.

Crescent Down Works, an outerwear business started in 1974, has a core set of 15 styles that they made year after year in different fabrications. They also do custom products and collaborations with brands. The Seattle-based brand , has seen an increase in custom requests for heavyweight fabrics and indigo dye workwear fabrics from Japan. Customers have also found a passion for reused military fabrics.

“We’ve had customers send us in their own fabrics of military sleeping bags and tents, and we reuse those to make parkas,” a representative for the brand said. “We haven’t received any requests for recycled or upcycled fabrics yet, but people expect reused or repurposed scrap fabric from us, since we are a heritage brand.”

Many shops that Crescent Down Works sells to are also vintage shops, even though their pieces are firsthand. Most of their fabrics currently come from Japan and Korea as they have a strong customer base.

YMC, a contemporary British brand, tries to stray away from aesthetic trends like colors and patterns, but they have noticed a trend in silhouettes since COVID-19. People want more relaxed, easy work wear because they have become more conscious about working from home. A representative for the brand said one major trend they have seen are pants in elastic waistbands, which have increased in sales for the past two seasons.

“The U.K. is still the strongest market for us, but we have seen an increase in online traffic since COVID-19,” a representative for the brand said. “Our brick-and-mortar is still going strong, and the online is still increasing, even with people able to go back into stores. COVID-19 was a struggle, but now everyone is going back to doing what they need to be doing. Both our online and brick-and-mortar are strong.”

Corridor, a Brooklyn-based American sportswear company, has become well known for their knitwear, denim, and long-sleeve wovens. One of their best sellers is their acid plaid, which is a blown-up plaid pattern with a very loose fit. The brand recently noticed a demand for more crocheted style pieces. Their hometown of New York is their biggest market, followed by Los Angeles.

“There’s been a higher demand for more niche pieces,” a representative for the brand said. “We still have the more run of the mill consumer who asks for basics, but even customers who want something simpler are looking for technical fabrics.”

The fashion consumer’s tastes have evolved since COVID-19 to ping pong between comfort and items that not everyone else has. It is clear athleisure isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, comfort will be prioritized, and designers will have to find their niche if they are to compete in the market.