It’s a busy time of year for us at Bliss. New merchandise is rolling in for Spring - bright colors, fun dresses, and even shorts! It’s as if our stores are getting a fresh makeover after a long winter; it’s exciting (and refreshing!) to say the least. But for some of us, we’re already looking ahead to Fall... yes, Fall. You see, just a couple weeks ago we headed down to New York City for Fall Coterie - the largest women’s contemporary clothing & accessories trade show in the fashion industry. With over 1,200 vendors and 15,000 attendees, it’s a whirlwind of Fall collections, upcoming trends and a glimpse into what our stores will look like come September.
I know it’s hard to even think about skipping over the best time of year (spring/summer!), but trust me when I say that you won’t be disappointed when Fall rolls around. Keep reading for a recap of our buying trip!
We started our trip bright & early on February 20th with our drive to the Big Apple. The trip down seemed to go by fairly quickly since we were anticipating and planning our next 4 days. Angie (Bliss‘ owner), Michelle (Portland’s store manager), and myself used the 5 hours of our drive wisely - filling up on caffeine - knowing that once we arrived in the city, we would immediately be on the go.
Our first stop was the Designers & Agents trade show. It’s a smaller show than Coterie, but it showcases some of our favorite lines - Prairie Underground, New Scotland and Epice to name a few. The neat thing about this show is that more often than not, the designers for each line are present at their booths (it’s awesome to see the talent behind the brand and identify with their vision). It makes these lines that we carry all the more special.
Let’s be honest, sweaters will always be an essential here in New England. It just makes sense, and we’d be lost without them... but just because they’re a necessity, doesn’t mean they have to be boring. New Scotland was full of swoon-worthy sweaters for Fall - lush cashmere, detailed cables, and an over-sized wool-blend sweater that could quite possibly change your whole outlook on the colder months!
The Epice booth never disappoints! There was no shortage of colorful plaids, delicate stripes and eye-catching florals. We created a color story of browns, moss greens, hints of purples and blues, and a few flashes of orange. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I’ve already started pairing these gorgeous scarves with a cabled sweater, dark skinny jeans and Frye boots in my mind. Without a doubt, it will be a staple look for Fall.
Birds of Paradis by Trovata
Trovata is a brand that you’ve all seen in our stores, but for Fall we will be carrying a new knitwear line from them called Birds of Paradis by Trovata. We previewed the knitted cardigans, crew necks and v-necks and were blown away by what we saw! We even had the chance to talk with Trovata’s founder and creative director John Whitledge about his first collection and how it was inspired by Brazil (cool, right?). He also mentioned that he chose knitwear because it’s “one of the few items of clothing that can be handed down from generation to generation” - so true!
We always look forward to what Prairie Underground has up their sleeve (literally!). It’s their innovative and unique designs that keep our customers wanting more - and Fall will be no exception! Expect to see more of the mid-length Victorian cloak hoodies, the “your orbit” draped long-sleeve tops, and an adorable dress with stylish braided detail along the neckline. It’s okay with us if you want to start making your wish list now - you can bet that we are!
Last Fall, we introduced you to this extraordinary line - and we’re bringing it back again this year! Their booth was so full of modern and sophisticated pieces that it was challenging to narrow down our picks for the stores (I think you’ll be more than satisfied with our choices though!). Here’s a little glimpse of what you’ll be seeing on our shelves come September: fringed wool scarves, clutches, carry-all totes, blankets, beautiful sand-colored cape coat (love!), ladylike plaid skirt, classic button-ups and even umbrellas!
Made By is a new line that we just brought in for Spring (they arrived this week actually!). Each sweater in their collection is hand-knitted by a talented Artisan in Peru. They even include a hang tag on each sweater with the Artisan’s name and life story - such a creative way to connect the Artisan and the customer! You’ll be seeing more of these sweaters for Fall - lots of neutral colors (since they only use the natural colors from the Alpaca yarns) and fun, intricate details.
It’s no secret that we love scarves, especially when it gets colder out. So why not throw another brand in the mix? It was the bold prints at Jago that stopped us dead in our tracks as we walked past their booth at D&A. Geometric prints and bold color combinations - it had Fall written all over it! Keep your eyes peeled for this collection... we hope you like it as much as we do.
With those appointments wrapped up at D&A, we decided to call it a day. As we headed to dinner it was clear - if day one was any indication, this was going to be a great trip (and it was)!
Stay tuned for Day 2 Recap! Coming soon...