What’s Next? Success Strategies for After Market

For those of you who missed our Director of Trade Marketing, Laura Cave, give her very informative presentation on Success Strategies After Market, below is a brief recap.  For more inside information check out The Knot B2B Blog and for the entire presentation CLICK HERE: Couture April 2013 – Success Strategies

COUTURE: What is the biggest mistake bridal boutiques are making today?
LAURA CAVE: So many boutiques have the right advertising and fabulous gowns, but their website doesn’t communicate how professional and knowledgeable they are. A streamlined website with a fresh design could entice more brides to make appointments.

COUTURE: Social Networking is constantly evolving and can be very confusing! What are the basic networks every retailer should be a part of?
LAURA CAVE: Facebook is the most important social network because 95% of brides use it. But Pinterest and Instagram are also great places to connect with customers around photos of all those gorgeous dresses and accessories!

COUTURE: With the internet and social marketing on a constant upswing there is a fear that print is dying.  Do you agree or disagree?
LAURA CAVE: I disagree. Bridal magazines are still insanely popular and they get dog-eared and passed around to more readers than any other type of magazine.

COUTURE: Websites are the first glimpse consumers get inside a business.  What are the key elements that every site must have?
LAURA CAVE: Every bridal salon website must have contact information on every page (add it to your header or footer!)–so many people miss this. Also, it’s important to have detailed information on your collections—brides want to know in advance that you have dresses that fit her style and price point before they take time for an appointment. Information about the gown shopping and ordering process would also be helpful to let brides know what to expect.

FOLLOW LAURA ON TWITTER! @theknotb2b and @LauraCave!

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Spotlight on Rosa Clara: The Face of the Show

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Every year COUTURE picks a designer to be the Face of the Show. What does that mean exactly? The Face of the Show is the designer we use for all our marketing materials and serves as the main representation for that market.

Why did we choose Rosa Clara? This is Rosa Clara’s 8th show and not only does are her beautiful marketing align with the The Knot’s aesthetic but her collection is a very popular destination for our attendees! With consistent financial growth, “The Spanish Vera Wang,” has achieved much international success and acclaim. She was even named “Bridal Designer of the Year” at the 15th annual Miami Fashion Week! What should we expecting this fall? Their press office released the following teaser:

 “The fashion-forward 2014 collection is inspired by times of joy, optimism and prosperity, defined by the 1920’s fabulous flapper looks in TV shows like Downton Abbey and timeless Hollywood celebrities of the 1950’s like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly”

This year we are even fortunate enough to have the designer herself at the show! Stop by suite 210 in American Hall II in order to view the new collection and see why celebrities like Mischa Barton, Monica Cruz, and Amanda Hearst are in hot pursuit for her gowns!

DESIGNER DISH: A Sneak Peek at Intuzuri’s New Collection

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COUTURE: What was the inspiration behind your collection and what elements are you most excited to share?
INTUZURI: The 2013 collection is an ode to romance, with the designs capturing a real luxuriousness and opulence. As a London-based brand the designs are very much influenced by an English sensibility, with a combination of traditional and more fashion-forward elements. The embellishments really showcase the passion and quality finishing which has gone into each and every gown, with elements such as hand-beading, three-dimensional flower appliqués, and delicate “eyelash” detailing.

COUTURE: How do you present your collection to the press vs retailer?
INTUZURI: There are of course certain key differences between how the collection is presented to the press and to retailers, but ultimately it’s not that different between the two. It is a case of emphasizing the design quality, couture finishing, and luxuriousness of the dresses, as these are the things which really make an Intuzuri gown stand out.

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COUTURE: Bridal Fashion Week may only last 7 days but proper preparation take weeks and sometimes months! What steps have you taken this market?
INTUZURI: As well as the huge amount of organization which goes into the event beforehand, it’s also a case of making ongoing marketing efforts to create a buzz about the collection amongst brides and retailers.

COUTURE: What are the three main goals you want to accomplish every market and are there any specific goals you introduced this season?
INTUZURI: (1) Maintaining the same sense of excitement about the dresses as when the first collection came out (2) Catching up with our retailers, finding out which designs have sold well, and seeing which trends are popular in different areas (3) Forging new and mutually rewarding relationships with retailers

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COUTURE: There are many bridal markets to choose from across the globe. What brings you to New York Bridal Fashion Week and more specifically?
INTUZURI: With the size and influence of the United States’ wedding industry, and the fact that New York is really the fashion epicenter of the world, it’s an easy choice for us to be here. And of course, the location is hard to beat!

Welcome Coordinates by LUKA to COUTURE

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We are thrilled to introduce Coordinates by LUKA to COUTURE! The most beautiful and treasured jewels often possess the most meaning . This collection of customized jewelry is engraved with the geographic coordinates of meaningful locations in your life such as a destination wedding or honeymoon! The journey towards a marriage is also filled with touching and unique moments (i.e your first kiss or first meeting) so why not memorialize those places as well! This is a pre-launch to their collections so stop by to get an inside peek into what is sure to be the next big thing in bridal accessories and gifting!

DESIGNER DISH: A Sneak Peek at Justin Alexander’s New Collection

COUTURE: What was the inspiration behind your collection and what elements are you most excited to share?
JUSTIN ALEXANDER: The inspiration this season is pure sophistication. The use of elegant laces, fine silks and vintage details are the  handwriting that customers have come to know about Justin Alexander.

COUTURE: How do you present your collection to the press vs retailer?
JUSTIN ALEXANDER: For our retailers, we know how their time is limited so we showcase all our new designs on mannequins. They love this! For the press- we have them pick their favorites and we have a model on site for them to photography. Best of both worlds!

COUTURE: What trends are you currently loving and how did you incorporate them into your Fall 2013 line?
JUSTIN ALEXANDER: The trend we are loving are diverse necklines. The Justin Alexander has incorporated Queen Anne, Sabrina, Bateau necklines into this new collection.

COUTURE: Bridal Fashion Week may only last 7 days but proper preparation take weeks and sometimes months! What steps have you taken this market?
JUSTIN ALEXANDER: We take months in the preparation before market. The Justin Alexander collections are finely tailored to make sure they are perfect for our retailers. This season we have had custom mannequins for Justin Alexander Signature!

COUTURE: What is the main goals you want to accomplish this market?
JUSTIN ALEXANDER: Every market our major goal is for our stores the love the collection as well as our company.

COUTURE: There are many bridal markets to choose from across the globe. What brings you to New York Bridal Fashion Week and more specifically COUTURE?
JUSTIN ALEXANDER: There is no other place like NY Bridal Fashion Week. We love Couture because it allows us to have an intimate setting to showcase our collections and spend time with our customers.

A Special Thanks to Group 868

Thanks to showroom Group 868, we are welcoming some of the the industries hottest designers including Halo & Co, Francesca Miranda and Cocoa Voci! In 2007, CEO/Founder Mindy Woon and Vice President Ivan Meza combined their years of experience to create a showroom that “prides itself in providing its clientele with the tools needed to have proven sales growth and market penetration.” Neither were strangers to the glamorous world of luxury bridal before their collaboration. With over 20 year of experience, Woon was a renaissance woman in the industry with experience as a designer, pattern-maker and buyer. Directly prior to  Group 868, Mindy was the Buyer/Manager of the iconic Bergdorf Goodman bridal salon and was responsible for their booming business. Meza started his career at a young age by being recruited by Federated Department Stores’ Executive Training Program. After getting his feet wet in the industry,  he was then scouted to become the Northeast Region Account Executive of Pronovias, one of the most influential bridal design houses in the world! With their combined knowledge and impeccable eye for fashion, they have created a fabulous atmosphere for wholesale buyers looking for fresh and original designs.

 

Welcome Cocoe Voci to COUTURE

Cocoe Voci  is  another fabulous designer  brought to us by our friends at Group 868. Voci  is a west coast designer  with a delicate, feminine aesthetic and fabulous attention to detail.  In her early 2o’s, fresh out of design school, Cocoa began her career as a retailer and eventually gained the following of many local brides. It wasn’t long until her success reached the Hollywood Hills, dressing A-list actress and even having her garments featured in a variety well known films and television programs. In early 2012 Voci launched a “Reprise Debut” of her bridal collection and continues to be a rising star in the industry. What will she have in store for us next?

DESIGNER DISH: Interview with Valentini Spose

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COUTURE: What was the inspiration behind your collection?
VALENTINI SPOSE: When designing the collection I had a very specific bride in mind. She is a young and modern woman who values unique and strikingly different details. At glance she appears to be an ingénue but she secretly holds the ability to seduce with a single look. Nothing short of perfection will satisfy her tastes.

COUTURE: How do you present your collection to the press vs. retailer?
VALENTINI SPOSE: The press is looking for “buzz” while retailers want what’s sellable.  Our brand tries to satisfy both needs by offering two beautifully unique collections. Valentini Spose focuses on classic elegance while EGO appeals to the youthful and trendy.  Combined the two collections are a representation of today’s modern bride.  We strive to showcase the latest trends while emphasizing beauty and femininity that can be appreciated by both parties.

COUTURE: What trends are you currently loving and how did you incorporate them into your Fall 2013 line?
VALENTINI SPOSE: Glamour never goes out of style! Elegant Lace and dazzling crystals are the core materials we are using for embellishment.  We want our brides to sparkle and feel radiantly beautiful on her special day.

COUTURE: Bridal Fashion Week may only last 7 days but proper preparation takes weeks and sometimes months! What steps have you taken this market?
VALENTINI SPOSE: Our brand is a constant love of labor ranging from original design concepts to global marketing efforts.  This is the first collection we are previewing at New York Bridal Fashion Week and we want everything to be perfect! It has been a very exciting achievement for us. We aim to tell a cohesive story that provides innovation through exciting details and designs.

COUTURE: What are the three main goals you want to accomplish this market?
VALENTINI SPOSE: (1) To satisfy our clients and create relationships with the US retailers (2) To better familiarize our brand with the American bride (3) To become an international brand and main player in the US market.

COUTURE: There are many bridal markets to choose from across the globe. What brings you to New York Bridal Fashion Week and more specifically COUTURE?
VALENTINI SPOSE:  Where else would we display our haute couture fashions? The name says it all! New York is a worldwide fashion capital with an electrifying energy that inspires creativity. We are looking forwarded to meeting with the retailers to show off our fashion forward Italian designs!

COUTURE CHAT with Danielle Bobish: Founder/Creative Director of CUE & Mastermind Behind COUTURE’s Design

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Left: Danielle Bobish  Right: Moodboard for COUTURE Fall 2013

Curtain Up Events is the brainchild of Danielle Bobish, who discovered that her professional theater background was the perfect training ground for planning large affairs. Since its launch in 2005, Danielle has achieved numerous awards and editorial praise, including the 2011 and 2012 picks for The Knot Best of Weddings Award! This is Danielle’s third season with COUTURE  and we got a chance to get a sneak peek into what she has in store!

COUTURE: Tell us about the “look of the show” and the inspiration behind your vision?
DANIELLE: The Knot Spring 2013 fashion story “The English Effect” (page 292) was a major inspiration. I loved the contrast of the feminine and ethereal fashions against the organic backdrop of the English countryside. The flooring we are having installed has a direct correlation to the wooden elements in the spread and the white fabrics we are draping represent the gorgeous gowns.  These concepts then lead me to the idea of a wall of hedges in the Gallery of Gowns.  From the entrance on we to take our attendees “down the rabbit hole,” a la Alice and Wonderland, and into a world where every turn has another surprise!

COUTURE: This is your third show at COUTURE! How have you seen the show evolve aesthetically over time?
DANIELLE: The physical space has significantly grown from when I joined the team at the Intercontinental. Consequently, my role expanded as well!  In the past I was only in charge of the entrance and registration area but now my vision will be carried throughout the entire space.

"The English Effect" in The Knot Spring 2013 Issue photo by Thayer Gowdy

“The English Effect” in The Knot Spring 2013 Issue
photo by Thayer Gowdy

COUTURE:  Last year was our first time at the Hilton New York. What learning experiences did you take away from October and how did you approve them in April?
DANIELLE: Last market we were working with a new team and learning new venue regulations. Now that we have familiarity with the space, it makes the creative process much easier. I now know my overall limitations and I have had significant time to figure out how to overcome these obstacles. I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that I’m very excited to make the big reveal!

COUTURE:  We service many audiences (i.e. retailers, designers, press)!  Do you keep these audiences in mind when developing a design concept? Which aspect appeal to each?
DANIELLE: Audience is extremely important when conceptualizing any event.  At COUTURE we are dealing with many different industry professionals that all have unique goals. Retailers are running around the city 24/7 so I wanted to provide opportunities for them to reflect and explore the space. Designers on the other hand by are much more visual by nature so my main focus for them was aesthetics. I wanted to give them a clean pallet that had visual impact without being distracting to their designs. Press attendees are basically looking for the best of both worlds. As much as they love decorative elements, they need space to photograph the gowns without too much visual distraction.

COUTURE: This is a high traffic event that requires both functionality and design. How did you marry the two? What were the biggest challenges?
DANIELLE: This is always a challenge, especially at an event of this stature. Everyone is clearly impressed by a visually stimulating space but if you don’t offer the proper comfort and necessities you will lose their support.  Each market is a learning curve but I have a strong feeling that we mastered it this April.  In addition to the fabulous décor we are offering more seating and services for attendees to enjoy. We are also more aware of the space and figured out how to maximize its functionality in a more strategic manner.

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“The English Effect” in The Knot Spring 2013 Issue
photo by Thayer Gowdy

COUTURE:  Design is important for every event but it can also get expensive. What aspects do you feel are important to splurge on and where are the best opportunities to save?
DANIELLE: I always tell my clients that lighting is a large investment but certainly worth the cost. Through the magic of lighting you can create fabulous colors and textures that will fill the entire room and transform the setting. Fine details are important for enhancement but it’s better to spread these items out and use them sparingly if you are looking to remain within a tight budget.

COUTURE:  What is your favorite part of COUTURE and what brings you back each year?
DANIELLE: The opportunity to work with The Knot team is always a pleasure. Being in the wedding industry myself, it’s beneficial to take advantage of the extensive partnerships they have formed through their multimedia platform. They have access to a huge network of retailers, services, designers, press and of course brides! The COUTURE team specifically is always 110% committed to the event and I look forward to reconnecting with them each market!

Welcome Valentini Spose to COUTURE

We are fortunate enough to welcome Valentini Spose to April Market. With avant-garde designs and a high-fashion aesthetic, Valentini Spose will be sure to add a unique edge to the COUTURE showroom floor! Ironically the European label recently produced a photo shoot here in NYC prior to New York Bridal Fashion Week! Click above to get a backstage look on how the fabulous Italian designs perfectly popped against the iconic backdrop of New York City!