Customers are always asking about the merchandise in the store – do we get to send the product back at the end of the season? (I wish… once we buy it, we own it until it sells), do designers just send us product? (no, I personally buy everything in the store, at any given time we have over 3,000 units or half a million dollars worth of inventory on the floor – it’s enough to give you the cold sweats at night!)
So how do you make sure you are buying properly? Research, analysis, research and a little guess work! We definitely buy with certain customers in mind and also with a vision of how we want our guys to look (edgy sophisticated) and for their lifestyle needs (casual, social, casual business and formal business). Then we add in accessories, shoes and grooming.
I started my buying for Fall 2010 with the trade shows in New York – there were four different shows going on and I also had some showroom appointments.
Landed in Newark on Friday, decided to take the train in and save myself the $60 cab fare. Surprise, surprise that I did not get lost (people who know me know that I still get lost in Toronto!). I did however write down the wrong address for my first appointment at Jack Spade. I have always loved their ladies bags and have been keeping an eye on their menswear collection, so I was very excited when I heard that they had launched a men sportswear and suiting collection as well. The collection is a cross between Paul Smith and J. Crew – preppy with an attitude!
My next appointment I arrived at the address to find a butcher shop, cursing that I had again wrote down the wrong address, only to find that it was one of those hipster showrooms with no sign and I had to go through the red door. I saw the Howe collection, and was happy to see that they are doing their funky blazers again and reconstructed sweatshirts. I also picked up a wicked new basic line for immediates – all in bamboo fabrics in rich colors tones.
Finished for day 1 – went to the new Standard Hotel in the meat packing district for dinner and drinks… saw A-Rod and some of New York Yankees having dinner there as well.
Read Melissa’s NYC Buying Trip for Fall 2010: Day 2