Last year during all of the hustle and bustle of fashion trade show season taking place in New York City, PROJECT NY was by far of my favorites. My standout show did not disappoint this past season. PROJECT NY is all about boys, going green, and on-the-spot production – what else could a fashionista want? When I went up to claim my press pass I was greeted by PR guru, Maxime Richard, who is by far one of the loveliest people to work with in this biz.

Innovation and cultivating designer collabs is at the forefront of PROJECT NY’s mission. In their own words, “PROJECT is proud to introduce a new concession concept where like-minded brands are merchandised side-by-side with no booths or walls similar to what you would see in the best retail stores in the country. The following brands are participating: Todd Snyder, BLK DNM, Black Sweater By Jamie Johnson, Rhett Bonnett, 3X1, S(68), Orlebar Brown + Nick Wooster Collaboration and Dita Eyewear. The space will also include a lounge provided by Stawser & Smith and a reading nook provided by Farameh Media. The idea is designed to inspire retailers and brands to think differently about trade shows and how they not only serve as a place to do business, but also a place to tell a brand’s story.”

PROJECT NY held its blogger project again, with returning and new blogosphere influencers: Selectism, Por Homme, twoninch cuffs, Slamxhype, William Yan, The Denim guy, Freshnessmag, Denimtherapy and Highsnobiety. Did I mention that these blogging boys were all hand-selected by industry biff Marcus Troy himself? Brands should attend PROJECT for real-time press mentions, blogs, and tweets.

But my break-out boys were Danny and Bobby from booth 817, Karhu Sneakers. These throw-back kicks from Finland will give your Keds and Converse a run for their money. The dashion duo have been tasked with bringing the old-school brand back as a lifestyle brand. The pair will renovate a vintage AirStream trailer and drive across the country spreading the word about the revamped kicks. My editors pick is the Fulcrom Snow hi-top in grey.

On the first floor, the MADE by PROJECT was all the rage. This fashion initiative invites some of the top emerging brands to create on-site products that you can actually purchase same-day. Not surprisingly, it was one of the busiest sections of the show with Barbour, renowned British outerwear company; Martin Greenfield, Brooklyn-based manufacturer of hand tailored clothing; Draught Dry Goods, a creative platform with a working philosophy of balancing efficiency and effectiveness; Bitter & Esters, homebrew supply shop; Oak Street Bootmakers, high quality footwear; Victor Osborne, milliner located in New York’s Lower East Side; Dedegumo, a Japanese artisanal watch workshop; D.S. & Durga, hand craft perfume and cologne in small batches using premium-sourced ingredients; and Metsa, clothing from high quality, well-considered materials that are sourced to inspire the final pieces.

For our inner model just dying to get out, there was Sandbox Photo Studio, a full-fledged photo studio on-site where fashion brands could get professional pictures of their products with models or even still life images. Think of it as an instant lookbook courtesy of Sandbox and Project. Best part of it all? Even buyers, merchandisers, retailers, press, and exhibitors could get immortalized and have their portraits taken.

Dominate trends for the season where a return to old-school prep with a hip-hop twist, the manlier man vs. the metro-sexual beau, fur (especially shearling), the messenger bag (bigger this season and in croc), light-weight products and functionality, browns and blacks with pop colors, color-blocking, fitted suits, relaxed fit casual wear, and of course, the double-breasted jacket.

Comment