Another day at Faire Winter Market 2021 brought insightful perspectives on retail, representation, and trends—with a special focus on fashion.
Purposeful planning with Boutique Hub
Ashley Alderson, founder of Boutique Hub, hosted an engaging livestream session stressing the importance of efficiency. She urged market attendees to adopt a CEO mindset when running a business. To do this, she encouraged viewers to take a step back and get organized. “My motto for this year is ‘slow down to speed up,’” Ashley said. Her recommendation was to focus on systems, tools, and processes so that entrepreneurs can work smarter, not harder.
Ashley suggested that viewers write down their tasks, outsource when possible, and use a time blocking system to manage weekly work. She also emphasized the importance of a streamlined content strategy for social media. “Eventually you’ll get yourself a system that becomes natural so you can do more with less,” she said.
Intentional representation with Diversify Retail
Diversify Retail is an organization whose goal is to equip brands and retailers with the tools they need to amplify minority-owned businesses. Jade Sykes, President, led a livestream session that encouraged retailers to approach diversity by first assessing their product assortment and buying habits.
She explained how making a commitment to stocking products from diverse founders is the same as making the commitment to stocking sustainable or USA-made products. “When there’s a sudden demand for Black-owned brands, it’s important to evaluate, ‘How can I be intentional about this?’” Jade said. “Approach incorporating brands with founders of color and Black founders as a standard procedure.”
For Jade, part of being intentional is including Black-owned brands in retail all year round. “Create a diverse [assortment] that doesn’t solely exist during Black History Month, or during time frames where there is a heightened attention,” Jade said, referencing the devastating murder of George Floyd. “Brands appreciate not being highlighted just because they are a Black-owned brand, but because you believe in their product and it’s a fit for your customer base.”
Jade also spoke to choosing action over conversation. “We’ve had the conversations. We’re at a point where we should be sharing what we’re doing.”
Color and trends with Patti Carpenter
Patti Carpenter, global trend forecaster of carpenter + company, shared in her livestream how macro trends are impacting consumer preferences, and how they will specifically impact apparel in 2021.
Speaking to macro themes of the year, Patti emphasized, “The key is to be about change, not about stagnation. You have to adapt, shift, and pivot.” She encouraged small businesses owners to be open to changing consumer needs, and look for ways to differentiate. Serving customers in a thoughtful way that establishes trust and loyalty is important. For example, a home and kitchen store might share a recipe in the bag with every customer purchase.
Then, Patti shared color trends to keep in mind when shopping for new inventory. She promoted florals that reflect rustic life; herbal greens that exemplify freshness; icy, minty blues that reflect light; and spice market tones—like turmeric, cinnamon, and nutmeg—that provide a comforting and earthy feel.
Apparel spotlights with Sadie & Sage and Lost + Wander
Two of Faire’s top-selling womens’ apparel brands hosted livestream previews of their summer preorder lines. Both presentations stressed how preorders help apparel brands understand demand, streamline production sustainably, and prevent environmental waste.
Sinae Kim of Sadie & Sadie shared how her new collection is inspired by wanderlust and hope after the pandemic. Sinae spoke highly of on-trend (not trendy) fabrics that are easily wearable, including tie dye, crochet and bandana prints.
The team at Lost + Wander, a women-owned contemporary apparel brand, hosted a livestream from their showroom in Los Angeles featuring their bestselling prints and silhouettes. To engage the audience, they announced a surprise gift card giveaway for attendees. To be eligible for the giveaway, viewers were asked to follow the brand on Instagram and provide a code word, revealed during the live session—a clever strategy that kept attendees on their toes!