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Edina Sultanik Silver and Deirdre Maloney of BPMW Agency
Freitag, Nov. 26, 2010, 16:08 / France
The innovative trade show (capsule) has just closed its doors in New York and now travels to Paris next week, showcasing menswear and women progressive designers from all over the world.
We had a chance to talk to the ladies in charge Edina Sultanik Silver (ESS) and Deirdre Maloney (DM), founders of the BPMW agency and producers of (capsule). The duo reveal what to expect in Paris and how their business is evolving.
TribaSpace: How did you come to work in the fashion industry?
ESS: I started straight out of college working at Macy’s. I later heard about an opportunity at a magazine and got a job as an assistant fashion editor. I worked in editorial for over 10 years at various mags including Sportswear International, YM and Complex.
DM: I did an internship the summer before my senior year in college in the Bloomingdale’s buying office. They made me a job offer at the end of the summer and I’ve been in the business ever since.
What was the driving idea and the vision behind the BPMW agency?
ESS: Minya Quirk, Deirdre Maloney and I started BPMW because we wanted to help young designers reach their target market and grow. We started as a PR agency, added a sales division a year later, and finally began producing trade shows, which, are the ultimate vehicle for us to help emerging designers—we create the platform from which they can introduce themselves to the world.
DM: BPMW emerged as a result of the rapid momentum of the men’s industry about seven years ago. All of a sudden men were shopping more like women, new brands were popping up left and right, and designers had no idea how to move their brands forward or even get them off the ground. Our combined experience made us experts in the media and retail space, two keys to successful brand building, not to mention we had seen hundreds of brands rise or fail and knew firsthand what it takes to build a successful brand and avoid the common pitfalls.
How has the fashion industry evolved throughout the last several years? What were your personal highlights?
DM: There was a huge influx of emerging brands, stores started buying a smattering of many brands, and customers were shopping accordingly (one piece from one brand, one from another). Then the recession hit and there was a major shake down. Stores had to streamline their buying dollars and really focus on brands they knew would perform, deliver and work with them. Similarly I think the consumer went back to buying what was familiar and safe. I think that explains the huge resurgence of many heritage brands; known for decades for their quality and consistency, like Penfield, Woolrich, Pendleton, Tretorn, etc.
ESS: On the other hand, there is a great opportunity for emerging designers and independent retailers to make their mark right now. Thanks to the internet, every independent designer and retailer can have a global clientele. Thanks to the rise in blogs and online fashion media, it’s possible now for a young designer to get their name out there much more easily than they could even five years ago and build a business. Retailers who are looking to experiment with new designers can do that more easily than ever before.
Tell us a bit more about the business side. Why New York and Paris?
DM: We started (capsule) mens in NY because we were dissatisfied with the trade show options for our brands. We felt that they were too mass and that our emerging, edgier, and cooler brands were getting lost in the shuffle. Plus we didn’t like the atmosphere of the existing trade shows, with their uninspiring music, bad food, bad lighting, and ugly convention space venues. So we got with a bunch of like-minded brands and made the anti-trade show trade show. After two successful seasons in NY some of our European brands encouraged us to take (capsule) across the ocean to Paris. As long time fans of the city, particularly during fashion week, we jumped on the idea and debuted in Paris in June 2008. We now have expanded to womens shows in both cities as well.
Your plans and your vision for the future?
ESS: We plan to keep growing our various businesses, always sticking to our vision, but working to enhance what we’ve built – making the trade shows even more profitable for our attendees and vendors, and keeping our sales showroom and PR divisions going strong.
DM: As far as our tradeshows go, we are now operating 12 annually and we are focused on strategic expansion and improvement of each of these shows. We are constantly looking for ways to differentiate ourselves and enhance the trade show experience. For example, in Vegas we added a vintage section and furniture vendor and both were met with rave reviews. Womens is a huge priority for us as it is a relatively new market for us and one which we see tremendous opportunity.
(capsule) show Paris
October 1-3, 2010
66 Rue De Turenne
Show hours: 10am-7pm
Natasha Binar | TribaSpace
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