FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATLANTA – April 6, 2023 – Two International Market Centers (IMC’s) concurrent March Markets – VOW Bridal & Formal Atlanta and Atlanta Apparel – previewed upcoming Autumn/Winter ‘23 trends and provided sourcing synergies between the categories, March 28 – April 1, at AmericasMart Atlanta.
“Buyers across apparel, bridal and social occasion categories are eager to learn and source the newest trends,” said Caron Stover, IMC SVP, apparel. “Atlanta Apparel and VOW Bridal & Formal Atlanta have the exhibitors, education and events to keep up with demand.”
The combined markets welcomed loyal and new buyers from 43 states, Puerto Rico and four countries. Overall, 21% of attendees were first-time market-goers, bringing an influx of new energy and excitement to the events. The Southeast region, which is typically the market’s largest demographic, increased to represent 86% of the total attendance this March.
Homecoming and Bridal Categories Excel at March VOW Bridal & Formal
The March VOW Bridal & Formal market showcased Autumn/Winter ‘23 in bridal, quinceañera, mother-of-the-bride, accessories, homecoming, men’s formalwear and special occasion across VOW’s 125 individual collections, presented throughout permanent showrooms and temporary exhibits. Many brands reported strong order writing in homecoming and bridal categories along with a notable increase in new accounts.
“Homecoming was hot in Atlanta this March,” added IMC’s Stover. “Store owners were here and they were writing for in-demand designs across social occasion and wedding categories. The social occasion industry is continuing to thrive as people relish in dressing up for celebrations, and VOW Bridal & Formal continues to be the premier Southeastern destination for sourcing social occasion.”
A notable number of brand new stores attended VOW this March, with brands reporting steady orders from new accounts. Newcomers were hungry for business education, with highest-ever attendance at Mon Cheri Academy – a bridal retail training presented the day before market.
“There were a number of new prospect accounts that came in, which was a great surprise,” said Amit Tandon, chief operating officer of Rachel Allan. “Homecoming was our strongest category this market, and many of the buyers that saw product through our windows ended up placing an order.”
“Homecoming was the main category our buyers wanted, and we saw many more new accounts than expected this March,” added Vicki Vlahos, CEO of Portia and Scarlett.
New boutique owner Marisa Vaughn of Ivy Marie Prom and Bridal Boutique in Zanesville, OH, visited the market for the first time to source both bridal and social occasion categories.
“The March VOW market might have been the highlight of our entire year and a cornerstone for our new business. I’ve participated in five markets throughout my career, but this past one was special because it was my first for my store,” said Vaughn. “I felt very confident in the orders we placed. We added a new bridal line and hope to attend more markets in the future to add accessories to our offerings.”
VOW attendees were able to preview upcoming trends in the VOW Bridal & Formal Live Model Presentation, which showcased 40 looks including: dramatic ballgowns; 3-D floral motifs; sheer fabrics; luxe embellishments; gloves; belts; detachable trains and more for bridal gowns, and slip dresses. Bridesmaid trends on display included silk and satin dresses; shades of blue and black; floral prints; bold hues and various styles within one color.
“We can't get enough of dimensional florals and pearl details in our collections. That, as well as square necklines, are really trending in bridal,” said Samantha Ruby-Gray, national sales manager of Madi Lane Bridal. “We had quite a few new customers come see us in our new showroom this market, and we also saw many of our existing clients within the region attending the show as well.”
For homecoming, Tandon noted selling many dresses with heavy beading, fringe, feathers, one-shoulder, cutout details, exposed boning and sheer midlines.
VOW Bridal & Formal presents its collection of bridal, prom, quinceañera, mother-of-the-bride, accessories, homecoming and special occasion lines three times annually: March and August in Atlanta and August in Las Vegas. The next VOW Bridal & Formal market runs July 31 – August 4 at AmericasMart Atlanta. Atlanta-Apparel.com/VOW
Atlanta Apparel Welcomes New Buyers and Brands to Season Break Market
Atlanta Apparel’s March edition showcased Autumn/Winter ’23 across its 315+ temporary exhibits and 350+ permanent showrooms, with particular emphasis on four popular categories: new brands, resort, and shoes. Atlanta Apparel noted growth in new-to-market buyers this March, which translated to new accounts for exhibitors.
“We met new buyers and opened quite a lot of new accounts. Our line does very well in the southeast,” said exhibitor Matt Rowley, sales manager of Jayley Collection. “We traditionally show our line twice-per-year at Atlanta Apparel, but based on the success of the past few markets, we’re looking at introducing a third time.”
Buyer Amanda Warren, owner of The Grove Boutique in Winter Park, FL, added that her market experience was great and incredibly efficient.
“Atlanta has always been our go-to market as it is the easiest for us to travel to. This March, everybody was running an efficient program, and we were writing lots of fall and holiday products. We discovered new lines this market that our customers will love,” said Warren.
March market highlights included an Atlanta Apparel and Women’s Wear Daily Autumn/Winter 2023 Trend Panel, with 4,000+ interactions on Instagram Live augmenting an at-market audience.
The popular, semi-annual, season break fashion show showcased 70 looks, with trend highlights including: boudoir dresses and blouses; career coordinating sets; blazer coats; padded coats; updated classic shirting; winter trench coats; maxi skirts; pinafores; dressy cardigans; drape dresses and winter boho dresses.
“The Fashion show was great exposure, and we are so happy with the results of this market,” added Rowley. “Four of the Jayley Collection pieces were featured in the fashion show and we had buyers who recognized our coats stop by.”
International Market Center’s (IMC) five Atlanta Apparel markets feature the latest looks in contemporary, young contemporary, women’s modern, shoes, fashion accessories and more, plus specialty categories such as children’s and plus-size at AmericasMart Atlanta. The next Atlanta Apparel market runs June 6 – 9 at AmericasMart Atlanta. Atlanta-Apparel.com
About International Market Centers: International Market Centers (IMC) serves as the center of commerce for the wholesale furniture, gift, home decor and apparel industries. IMC has more than 60 years of relationships and experience creating scalable business platforms for wholesale commerce. Our premium showroom spaces spanning more than 20 million square feet in High Point, N.C., Las Vegas and Atlanta, paired with our digital tools, connect the wholesale industries we serve. IMCenters.com.