COTERIE’s ever-busy vice president Courtney Bradarich tells us what’s new and notable ahead of the event’s return to the Javits Center on February 27.
How are you feeling ahead of COTERIE’s return?
I’m feeling excited! I’m proud of our community for continuing to be nimble, adjusting, and being committed to making it a success.
You’ve been in the industry for 17 years. What’s been the most positive change?
The focus on inclusivity—from the people we see represented in brand campaigns to designers that are spotlighted. As an industry, we have a long way to go, but now it’s clear to see it’s not a marketing fad. It’s a movement with momentum, one that should have always been there.
How is Informa furthering the momentum?
We have implemented Informa Markets Fashion for Change, an initiative that fosters allyship, inclusion, and equality within the fashion community through programs that support and elevate minority-owned, female-owned, and LGBT+-owned fashion brands.
Ahead of the event, what thoughts are taking up most of your time?
We’re in full event-planning mode over here! We’re readying for our return with a full slate of activations, education, and a roster of new and returning brands. We’ve seen a continuous uptick in registration and numbers are still increasing daily.
What were the main takeaways from last September?
Nothing can replace the importance of a live event. Brands are so happy to connect, show their fabrics and the details on collections that they worked so hard on. COTERIE has been the fashion market event for four decades. That trust and respect that attendees have does not go unnoticed. We feel responsible and we work hard to uphold the integrity of COTERIE.
How will digital remain an important element going forward?
Digital solutions will support the physical experience and help us to expand our portfolio through content, data, insights, and education, particularly in between events. Brands value the opportunity to tell their story and to connect with retailers. And that’s the ultimate goal!
How is health and safety front of mind this time around?
We adhere to all city and state regulations. This season, proof of vaccination and ID are required, and masks will be required, too. There will be personal hygiene stations, physical distancing ability on site, and enhanced cleaning. Before attending, guests can refer to the health and safety page on our website, which is updated daily.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?
Playing a role in supporting the commercial success of the incredibly creative and talented brands we have, as well as nurturing new talent and being an integral part of a retailer’s journey.
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What’s the most surprising part of your job?
How logistical it is!
How do you like to relax and ensure balance?
It’s a challenge for my personality type! I live in L.A. now after many years in New York. I’m right by the ocean, so it’s much easier to relax and unwind. I go for a run or bike ride by the water, or find a binge-worthy new show, or I stroll through Pinterest looking for interior-design inspiration.
Tell us about some brands showing that you’re excited about!
We’re happy to be welcoming back incredibly talented brands like SER.O.YA, DL1961, Amur, Intentionally Blank, Love the Label, and Illesteva. We also have exciting new-to-show brands including the amazing Wolford, a beautiful cashmere collection called Kujten, a contemporary collection called Kukhareva London, and Avocado, a cool active and athleisure brand.
What piece of career advice has served you the most?
To approach situations with authenticity and humility. At the end of the day, we’re all just doing our jobs. Growth and inspiration can be found if we keep it real and are conscientious.
What makes fashion feel exciting to you?
I love change, in most facets of life! Fashion is ever-evolving; we can always look to fashion for our need to change.
What new season trends are you already looking forward to?
I’m aesthetically still a New Yorker, and I’m much more of a minimalist, but I’m excited about colorplay and pushing myself away from black, white, and neutral.
What’s your mantra for 2022 and beyond?
Acceptance is paramount to progress. The first step to addressing challenging situations is finding control and calm. We are all just doing what we can, independently and collectively, to accept reality and adjust to the time and forge new paths forward.