The timing, setting and format are spot-on for Society for International Menswear, a new trade event at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Pavilion (July 17-18) by Wainscot Media, publishers of Footwear Plus. Coleman McCartan, vice president of International Business Development for Wainscot Media, says the show fills a void in the New York market caused by the pandemic.
“With little appetite for large shows, we knew Society for International Menswear needed to be a highly-curated show with a significantly focused exhibitor feed that is accessible,” McCartan says. “Society brings together a global community of elevated menswear brands during the key buying season in New York. We’re connecting a curated group of domestic and international footwear, apparel and accessory brands with the most important retailers in North America.”
Curation is key. It’s about quality over quantity. “We believe it’s incumbent on any show to add value through a very specific point of view, something we’ve accomplished by curating a group of high-end menswear brands ranging from sartorial to contemporary,” McCartan explains. “And our easy-to-shop showroom format will put the focus on the product and ensures a simple set-up that lowers the financial barrier for brands, especially those newly on the rise.” He adds that Society’s location, the centrally located Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th St., makes it an “easy destination for retailers seeking new collections.”
As for footwear, McCartan says there will be plenty of brands and styles on display, including Edward Green, Naadam, Serge Blanco and first-timers to the U.S., Stilnology from Italy, Martin Pescador of Colombia and Portugal’s JEF. “Footwear buyers will be exposed to brands that include noteworthy shoes within their collections, but who may not attend footwear-exclusive events,” he says, noting the added sartorial benefits of seeing collections merchandised head-to-toe.
Along those lines, Society sponsor, Blacks Retail Consulting, will present “The Secrets to Strong Retailer/Vendor Relationships” seminar. In addition, industry veteran, Michael Macko, will present Society Picks, a still-life presentation showcasing select exhibitors. The opening night also aligns with the annual MR Awards, hosted by MR magazine in partnership with parent company, Wainscot Media. This year’s honorees include Louis DiGiacomo, senior vice president Men’s for Saks Fifth Avenue; Shannon Stewart, chief product officer for Harry Rosen; JL Shaia, co-owner of Shaia’s and Jeff Halberstadt, owner of Halberstadt’s Men’s Clothing.
McCartan expects a strong turnout for Society’s debut. There’s a demand and a need. “Buyer registration indicates that it’ll be a healthy market with key retailers from across the U.S. and Canada returning to New York after a prolonged absence due to the pandemic,” he reports.