Brand Assembly Offers Intimate, Energetic Trade Show for Contemporary, Wellness and Beauty

Brand Assembly returned to the New York trade show scene this season, the first time since COVID-19. Held at 548 West 22nd Street in New York, the show featured 120 exhibitors and more than 790 pre-registered retailers.

The relaxed, intimate show highlighted mostly contemporary brands such as LoveShackFancy, Cartolina and Emerson Fry, as well as beauty, wellness and jewelry brands. One of the special areas of the show was called Parks and Recreation, spotlighting camping and outdoor lifestyle apparel and brands such as Farm Rio Ski, The Great Outdoors and Half Days. The show was spread over two floors, encompassing 20,000 square feet. The last time Brand Assembly had a show was in 2019, when it ran alongside Cabana and Capsule.

According to Hillary France, founder and chief executive officer of Brand Assembly, the three-day show attracted such retailers as Anthropologie, Free People, Shopbop and Bloomingdale’s.

“It was our first time on our own and I felt like everybody performed really well. I think it’s the experience that stands out,” said France. She said she went after brands that are fun and energetic, including one that offered live painting on sweatshirts, in collaboration with Champion and artists Uma Tufekcic, Holly Simple and Adrianne Paerels.

Brand Assembly attracted over 79- pre-registered retailers

Brand Assembly attracted more than 790 pre-registered retailers.

Courtesy of Brand Assembly

Brand Assembly plans four annual trade shows in Los Angeles and two in New York.

“Brand Assembly had amazing energy, a real discovery of fun and playful brands,” said Rachael Robbins Kachko, contemporary ready-to-wear merchandising strategist at The Doneger Group, which provides global trend intelligence, merchandising direction and retail analysis. “It was great to have the show return to New York, with its unique take to trade shows. The launch of the Parks and Recreation pad showcased outdoor and functional style. Both ultra-femme and polished luxury was present,” she said.

“The show’s been great for the brand overall,” said Summer Ameloot, an Atlanta sales rep for Cartolina, the women’s apparel brand that is known for combining vintage-inspired fabrics with modern classic silhouettes and recently opened a store at 966 Madison Avenue in New York. She said the line is doing well with a series of cashmere sweaters, cardigans with sleeve details, and a cashmere blend blazer.

Emily Phillips, a Nashville-based designer of her own eponymous shirt dress collection, said, “It’s been insane. It’s the most fun and it’s the busiest show we ever had. Everyone is happy to be here.” She said she saw many new stores for her shirtdress line, which comes in four lengths and is sustainable and made in the U.S. “People who shop the show want something new,” she said.

Noelle Walker, senior director of sales at LoveShackFancy, added, “It’s been busy. It’s been good. It’s a more intimate setting which is nice.” She said she’s been seeing specialty stores from across the U.S. at the show. LoveShackFancy has been doing well with a pink jacket that has a matching pink dress, and with novelty knits. “Bustiers are really big for the season,” said Walker.

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