At last! COTERIE is finally returning to an in-person format again from September 19–21 at the Javits Center. Courtney Bradarich, VP of contemporary women’s for COTERIE + PROJECT, and her team have been working tirelessly to make this a major moment in the show’s history. She tells The Daily what’s new, what they’re doing to ensure the safety of guests, and how they’re connecting their community of brands and retailers.
Welcome back! What will this year’s COTERIE New York event look like?
After 18 months since our last COTERIE New York event, we’re thrilled to be back! It’ll be a joyous occasion with so many of our longtime brand partners rejoining us in New York, in addition to the exciting introduction of an array of new-to-show brands that we’ll be welcoming for the first time this season. From refreshed show floor merchandising that supports buyers’ needs for greater discovery of fresh products and brands to our innovative digital platform, which allows brands and buyers to connect before, during, and after our event for an extended and more efficient event experience, there are a lot of things in store this season. We’ll be bringing a full lineup of timely topics and information in our education sessions, providing the community with actionable knowledge and useful tools to help further drive their business forward beyond transactions happening on the show floor. Rounding out the renowned COTERIE experience coming back to New York, the industry can expect unique, event-exclusive activations and various upscale networking opportunities to encourage in-person engagement, which we all have been so eager to get back to.
We sure have! What are you most looking forward to this year?
Collectively, I think our entire fashion community is eager to be coming back together at COTERIE New York, which has not only been paramount to their businesses, but also has become a tradition of sorts. With a 30-year legacy and drawing top-tier retailers, brands, and influential industry leaders, COTERIE New York is our fashion community’s most important market and event of the year. There is a marked elation and enthusiasm from both brands and buyers that I’m excited to see in person. I’m just so impressed by the strength and resilience of our brands and retailers, and I can’t wait to connect with them in New York and celebrate their successes together, in person!
Tell us about some of the on-site experiences that attendees can expect.
We’re partnering with Mae Jones magazine on a content studio for our brands at COTERIE. Mae Jones is a fashion magazine and media company that’s dedicated to the representation of Black style and glamour. This content studio will be produced and managed by Mae Jones’ founder Kristen Turner, alongside a diverse group of super talented creatives. What’s so important about this partnership and activation is that it’s geared toward elevating and promoting new and incredible talent within our industry, which is something that buyers—and their customers—are always looking for. As the industry connector, we’re always looking for unique ways to make authentic connections between brands and buyers. We’re also thrilled to be partnering again with the one and only The Daily Front Row on a series of compelling sessions on our education stage. Over our three-day event, we’ll be exploring topics that our community is most interested in, including sustainability, diversity, and inclusion.
What are some highlighted brands we can expect to see at COTERIE New York?
You’ll see some beloved contemporary and advanced contemporary brands, as well as some up-and-coming brands to keep your eye on. Brands including Zadig & Voltaire, Nicholas, DL1961, ba&sh, AMUR, Halston, Saylor, Susana Monaco, Goldie, Amanda Uprichard, Bella Dahl, Sancia, Gigi Pip, Hemant & Nandita, and Acacia will all be joining us this season, in addition to an incredible list of top-tier retailers registered to shop this season’s event!
What new brands are showing this season?
This season is all about discovery, and we’re excited to be introducing some amazing brands to COTERIE New York’s show floor. We’ll be seeing some beautiful vacation inspired brands, including Charo Ruiz, Shani Shemer, Nay Sunset Wear, Honest Cotton, Pearl & Caviar, and Lanhtropy. We’ll have cool contemporary and advanced contemporary brands like Ser.o.ya, Outerknown, Hansen & Gretel, Significant Other, S/W/F, Rumer, and Magali Pascal, in addition to much-loved footwear brands, such as Swedish Hasbeens, Oncept, and Greats.
Will international brands still be on the floor?
Absolutely! It’s a factor that has always set this event apart and continues to be a reason that our retailers come to us; they look to us to help identify what is new and next on the global fashion front. They’ll find international brands from across apparel, swimwear, accessories, and footwear categories, including standout names, such as Andrea Bogosian, Paola Bernardi, Twinset, Dondup, and Devotion Twins, in addition to so many others from countries such as Italy, Korea, Spain, Peru, Colombia, Greece, and many more.
With the continual update on health and safety from New York State, what are some of COTERIE New York’s health and safety procedures and protocols?
The health and safety of our community remain our top priority. In addition to adhering to CDC recommendations as well as state and local guidelines and mandates, all our events are guided by Informa AllSecure—a collaborative effort that has been adopted across the majority of global trade-show organizers with the support of events industry associations and key partners and has been objectively vetted by a team of medical experts. Measures as part of AllSecure include continuous sanitation and disinfecting with focus on “high touch” areas, numerous hand-washing facilities located throughout the event, and wider aisles to accommodate social distancing. Additionally, and at this time, the Javits Center—a state-run facility—requires face masks be worn by all guests indoors. It’s also worth noting that the Javits Center is one of the safest venues in the country, featuring GBAC STAR Accreditation, which is a gold standard, demonstrating its commitment to the highest standards in cleaning and sanitization. In addition, the Javits Center has hospital-grade, high-efficiency particulate air filters to improve air filtration. To keep our community updated, we’re posting frequent updates to our event’s health and safety page, which we encourage our community to check for the latest information. Having now successfully executed three live events in 2021, we’re looking forward to producing another safe and successful event for our fashion community.
What are some trends that buyers and retailers can expect to see at COTERIE New York?
The notion of dressing with joy in mind is ever-present. We’ll continue to see a lot of joyful colors, optimistic prints, and a lot of maximalist vibes! We’ll see these concepts present themselves not just with dresses but unexpectedly, in categories like suiting and knitwear. In this same realm of thought, we will also see that get away inspired looks are not just for vacation! Brands are integrating resort sensibilities to their Spring/Summer collections, and we’ll see more of that hitting the show floor this season. Conscious collections will also continue to increasingly resonate with our buyers, as they continue to address the end consumers’ desire for products and brands that are socially and ecologically sound.
As buyers’ needs evolve, how is COTERIE adapting to this change?
Constant conversation with our community has always been part of our process in building and executing our products and services as it’s crucial to the success of our community of brands and buyers. As a specific example and mirroring growing trends we have seen across the fashion industry, our buyers more recently indicated to us that they’re interested in identifying brands with attributes that matter to them and their consumers, from seeking brands that are minority-owned or brands that are using sustainable production methods. We’re working closely with our brands to promote these attributes—be it through original content or on-site signage—in order to better facilitate deeper connections between brands and buyers that have a similar ethos or position. What’s important now and going forward as market needs and therefore buyers’ needs change—something we know will always occur—is leading with a consultative approach, remaining nimble and tapping into creative, outsideof- the-box ideas to help deliver meaningful opportunities for our community.
What will COTERIE be like digitally this year?
COTERIE’s digital experience is an innovative, beautiful, and user-friendly platform, which is product-forward in nature to support discovery and connection before, during, and after our live events. We know that our buyers want the ability to easily peruse the styles that they’re looking for, while also offering the ability to discover new products and brands that align with their tastes and preferences. Our smart discovery platform supports just that; it leverages data and intelligent matchmaking to show unique curations to each buyer that align with their preferences. Connecting our community of brands and retailers is at the core of our purpose. We’re on a continual journey to identify and solve challenges, as well as support the evolving goals of our community and our digital platform. Solutions will continue to play a big part in this progress.
What will you do after the show to relax?
I plan to read more books and less e-mails, at least for a short while—and then it’s off to the races as we plan for our next year of events!