For the second time, COTERIE, the global event connecting women’s apparel, accessories, and footwear designers with the international “who’s who” of retailers, is going digital. Its new VP of Events Courtney Bradarich, who started her career with the show, tells THE DAILY what’s in store this season.
COTERIE is once again going to be all digital this month. How will you be launching this season?
Kicking off 2021, we’re returning with our second edition digital event, which launched February 16 and aligning with New York Fashion Week. We’re excited to introduce a variety of new initiatives and platform enhancements in our second edition. Some notable functionality and platform upgrades include credit card payment integrations and enhanced discoverability and search functionality, both of which benefit brands and retailers for a more seamless platform experience. We’re launching targeted white-glove services to help brands and retailers more efficiently connect and do business. These services range from a new Retail Concierge program to virtual “go-see” meetings set up by our dedicated Retail Relations team. Our goal for this season is to drive home areas in which we can bring a greater level of personalization, using our expertise in connection along with our aerial viewpoint of the markets we service.
What have been the biggest challenges?
Our industry has shown its strength over the past year, from small businesses that have been able to prioritize their budgets to big businesses that have managed to stay nimble. While full-scale digital adoption will take time, and we do believe a hybrid model of both live and digital connection platforms are the future, many were quick to adjust early on with our first edition, and the momentum is growing. One of the most welcomed challenges for us in our ongoing development of our digital events is helping bring products to life as much as possible. Utilizing highly customizable digital showrooms—powered by NuORDER’s Virtual Showroom Technology—brands are able to create engaging showroom experiences through 360 photography and shoppable hot spots, which delivers a shopping experience that closely mimics real-life interaction. Furthermore, and one of the biggest benefits of a digital platform is the ability to then drive greater product discoverability through custom content creation—as it relates to current trending themes and category-specific roundups. Our plan is to continually optimize these experiences for both brands and buyers.
What are the advantages of digital for brands and for buyers?
The beauty of our digital event is that there are no barriers. Brands and buyers can connect from the comfort of their home, or wherever they may be when needing to conduct business. The removal of geographic limitations and a true globalization in commerce is the epicenter of benefit that our digital platform affords and ultimately what will further drive the industry forward. For brands, adopting a digital environment offers both an additional or alternative avenue to connect and showcase new product to a global audience of retail partners. The savvy brands will also be tracking what’s being purchased, which can lend to key insights and help guide future design priorities, as well as inform their e-commerce business. Similarly, for buyers, a digital environment allows for quicker and more targeted navigation of brands and products on a massive scale—delivering immediate results of exactly what you are looking for.
What are some of the brands we should keep an eye on this season?
With a wide breadth in selection of more than 275 brands, COTERIE DIGITAL is host to some extremely well-known brands, such as Hervé Léger, FARM Rio, Eugenia Kim, Barbour, and French Connection to name a few. Additionally, we’re featuring a collection of über talented up-and-coming designers such as Claudia Li, Coût de la Liberté, PH5, Gigi Pip, and LaQuan Smith, who is a participant from our IMFC Incubator Program, which we launched in our first edition last fall. It’s all about discovery, and we’re really leaning into that this season.
You’re partnering with the CFDA and New York Men’s Day.
We couldn’t be more excited about our partnership with CFDA and NYMD!The partnership came about based on our aligned ideals of supporting American designers, and especially during Fashion Weeks when their new collections are showcased. There is a symbiotic and crucial relationship between runway and retail, in that for designers, there’s a necessary next step to connect with retail buyers after the runway shows end. Therefore, this partnership plays an integral role in facilitating commerce connection for both designers and retailers. As part of this program, a select group of CFDA and NYMD designers that are participating in this season’s New York Fashion Week on CFDA’s RUNWAY360 will present their latest collections at COTERIE DIGITAL via shoppable editorial content as well as within their dedicated digital showrooms.
Who are some of the international brands showcasing?
We’re featuring a comprehensive collection of designers, both established and up-and-coming, from an array of countries including Korea, Italy, France, Peru, Brazil, Portugal, Colombia, and more.
We hope the world will be back to normal by next fall. What’s your plan for September?
Cheers to that! We’re optimistic for 2021 and are planning to be back at the Javits Center September 19th–21st! There are so many fresh and exciting things in store for next season, and most importantly, we look forward to bringing to fruition a hybrid offering of events to our COTERIE community.