Apr 22, 2021
Atlanta Apparel hosts successful April markets

Atlanta Apparel broke multiple attendance records at its co-located April 2021 Atlanta Apparel Market (April 13-17, 2021) and VOW | New World of Bridal Market (April 13-15, 2021), signaling a continued robust recovery for the apparel and accessories industry and optimism for bridal and social occasion sellers.

Atlanta Apparel's VOW models observe Together Safely protocols
VOW models observe Together Safely protocols

“The strength of the co-located Atlanta Apparel and VOW | New World of Bridal Markets indicates that the impressive recovery of the ready-to-wear apparel sector is expanding to specialty categories,” said Bob Maricich, CEO for International Market Centers (IMC). “Atlanta Apparel has established itself as the market-of-choice for fashion retailers post-pandemic and we are proud that our model is spurring recovery for the social occasion industry as well.”

The combined April 2021 Atlanta Apparel and VOW markets reported significant out-of-territory buyer growth with the biggest gains from the Southwest (107%), West (98%) and Midwest (66%). Overall attendance was largely regional with 87% coming from the Southeast and East Coast. In total, the markets surpassed the attendance records set at both their 2018 and 2019 presentations (the April 2020 markets were suspended due to COVID-19).

Back to Business for Bridal

VOW exhibitors reported confident buyers looking for a fresh start as weddings and social events return post pandemic.

Brands also reported seeing significant numbers of new buyers – a combination of new to them, new to Atlanta and new to business overall.

Retailers buying in VOW’s nearly 75 showrooms and temporaries – presenting top brands including Adrianna Papell Platinum, House of Wu, Mon Cheri and many more – were sourcing gowns in a range of styles and exploring custom and private label opportunities.

The next social occasion markets are the combined World of Prom & Social Occasion and VOW | New World of Bridal, Aug. 2-7, 2021. Showrooms are open Aug. 2-6, 2021, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Aug. 7, 2021, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Temporaries are open Aug. 3-6, 2021, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit Atlanta-Apparel.com.

Atlanta Apparel Keeps the Momentum

Upticks in new buyers, a need for immediate resources and new virtual selling channels drove record shows for Atlanta Apparel’s 2,500+ apparel and accessories brands.

Atlanta Apparel’s Autumn/Winter 2021 virtual runway show
Atlanta Apparel’s Autumn/Winter 2021 virtual runway show

April 2021 marked the debut of Autumn / Winter 2021 styles, but many buyers were focused on immediate product needs in addition to their pre-season buying.

Social selling from the trade show floor – when retailers take pre-orders for merchandise from customers via Facebook and Instagram Live – generated a great deal of buzz during market. Retailers used four social selling stations provided by Atlanta Apparel and powered by Comment Sold, as well as in-booth and showroom set-ups to showcase their market finds and get real-time commitments from their customers. As an additional opportunity for live selling, Atlanta Apparel extended the market hours on Thursday, April 15 to allow for buyers to source in some 50+ booths and showrooms which were prepped to serve buyers going live.

Pre-registration is open now for the June Atlanta Apparel, June 9-12, 2021. In June 2021, showrooms are open June 9-11, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and June 12, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Temporaries are open June 9-11, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information is at Atlanta-Apparel.com.

Fashion Events and Education Drive Digital Programming

Atlanta Apparel again adapted elements of its market experiences with virtual components.

The semi-annual VOW fashion show featuring some 48 looks for brides, bridesmaids, grooms, mothers-of-the-bride and flower girls was presented via video with a companion digital lookbook. VOW’s signature bridal-focused education, presented on IGTV, included social media tips from bridal experts plus a look at wedding trends – during and post-pandemic.

Atlanta Apparel expanded its virtual programming with a digital presentation of its Autumn / Winter 2021 runway event of 44 looks also via video and digital lookbook.

Educational programming included a webinar with digital agency Defero on the paid media landscape. New to influencer programming was Monica Awe-Etuk of @awedbymoni sharing favorite trends and brands in partnership with Jezebel Magazine. Returning programming included Lindsay Rozier of @Sell_Eat_Love presenting Market Tips and an all-new interview with Gigi’s of Bluffton, SC in Retailer Spotlight; Tomeka Cherry of @CherryPickedStyle sharing Cherry Picked Trends; and Mireille Beckwith of @City.Peach with Fashion Insider market finds. Additional virtual runway events highlighted accessories and shoes, new exhibitors and women’s apparel.

These series plus other Atlanta Apparel trend and educational programming is available on Atlanta Apparel’s Instagram (@AtlantaApparel). The catalog of 20 trend and business videos garnered more than 15,000 views by the close of the market.

Social Connections

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