I could not make it to Playtime New York this season, but here’s some feedback about the show and the new location in Wall Street. Thanks to Etiquette, Lucky Fish, Noe&Zoe, Little by Lilit, Bla Bla Kids, Nonchalant Mom for sharing their experience.

Playtime New York seems to have a hard time finding the right venue to host its shows. The former Mercer Street location had very good vibes that everyone regrets, but with the show growing, the organisers needed a larger space. In March the show was hosted in Tribeca, and this time they had to move further down to Wall Street. Despite technical problems with this new venue, exhibitors and visitors seemed to have rather enjoyed the show.

The show reports a total number os visitors (1 412) in decline compared to the last session (but August shows are typically less frequented than March shows). 93,49%
 were coming from America, of which 88,79% from the US. Visitors from the rest of the world: 6,51%.

Playtime New York July 2013 - Little Creative Factory


Here’s more on the venue, the exhibitor’s results and the economy in the US.

Carina Schott, Founder of e-store Nonchalant mom

Was are your impressions about this edition of Playtime New York? I really liked the location, however I am not sure that everyone did. It was nice and spacious, easy to get to and find, park, etc. I think there were some “technical difficulties” at the show itself, keeping it cool seemed to be a problem and keeping the lights on… but didn’t bother me at all. I thought everyone was awake and ready to do business.

How about the economy in the US? I think that the economy is better here, however I feel it is still difficult for stores to get lines of credit, etc.. more of the back end issues. I did meet a few people who “just had a baby and were going to open a store and doing research…” that typical story. But I think it takes a bit more these days…

What were your favourite collections at the show? I LOVED Makié… I know I ALWAYS say this but she really ‘knocked it out of the park’ I believe she skipped Paris and worked hard to pull together a really nice collection with dresses galore… new dresses, new shapes and the beautiful way with things that only Makié has! I really thought ESP no1 looked great for jeans for kids… simply fun and wearable – a home run. Nico Nico really pulled together a great, salable collection… it’s innovative, colorful, nice prints – polka dots in a GOOD way… it was all good. She is SO fantastic! And Lucky Fish, as always. I think I have about a THOUSAND tee’s coming into my little store!  Jann Chiefitz (the owner) seemed to had a lot of fun going on in her booth. didn’t even go to ENK because I found everything I needed at Playtime.

Any particular style/trends you liked?  I saw some dominate colors in peach, seafoam and navy’s … that was all nice.

Etiquette Clothier’s CEO Benjamin Vergnion

How was the show? We had a great show despite the new location, with the usual turn out of brands and clients. Despite some initial headaches with electricity (A/C and lightening), once everything got resolved it was all smooth. The location is far for most buyers I think but decent subway access and quite exceptional in its construction.

How is the current economy in the US? The economy in the US is up for bi-coastal major metro markets but not sure that this is the case for the rest of the country. Quite a few accounts have closed since last season in the Midwest states.

How did the show go for Etiquette? We opened new accounts but mostly within the US. International account turn out was much less than before. Little Circus, Makie, Seed Factory, Thomas Sires are part of our new clients, to name a select few. We have most of the top tiers clients already and the show is a good platform for them to review the collection and buy on the spot.

Anything interesting you’d like to share with us? We love Playtime and all the work Sebastien puts into it. You feel there is a lot of passion that goes into making it a good event. I just hope the show can find a venue that is final for the season to come. Other than that, keep buying socks!”

Jann Cheifitz, Owner of Lucky Fish

How was the show for you ? Is was very good, weirdly! We had no lights for all of Saturday and I sold by torchlight; how crazy was that… It was hot and I heard complaints about the transport that was not so good. Maybe these are problems that could be worked through but that mercer street venue was amazing and its very much missed by everybody I think.

Do you think the economy of the US is up? It feels that way.

How did Lucky Fish perform? Very well. I saw many old friends and many new faces! It was interesting because people are starting to order beyond our t- shirts which is very fun for us! I love the idea of expanding more and more with playful product line.

Nici Zinell, co-owner of Noe & Zoe Berlin

Was this edition of Playtime New York a good one? The show was quite slow compared to the winter edition, but it generally is. Compared to Paris is was much slower. We didn´t take many orders at the fairs, but most clients prefer to order after the shows, so that wasn’t too surprising. To sum it up, I would say the fair was ok, but not super great.

How was the new venue? The new venue was much, much prettier than last season! It is a very interesting building. From what we heard from the clients it is too far off (especially for clients doing ENK, it seems there were some problems with delays of shuttles and too much traffic). Unfortunately there were problems in terms of lighting (a part of the exhibting brands didn´t have lighting on the first day), internet and air conditioning not working. The lighting wasn’t great in general, so it was difficult for press and bloggers to take nice pictures. The bathroom facilities there aren’t great either, I heard some complains from clients about that as well. It is difficult for exhibitors to unload their merchandise as the area is secured and you have to hand carry your packages. This is due to the stock exchange being just opposite. So, the new venue is nice, but still has some problems that need to be solved.

Did you feel that the economy of the US is up? I am not sure about that. We opened quite a few new accounts, but only US ones. We opened a lot of new accounts abroad, but those all came from Playtime Paris or by email inquiry. We will be sold at “My Little Square” for example, but we were able to get many new customers this season:)

What are the interesting brands you saw around? I really liked Kallio, they recycle shirts and other old clothes and make amazing new girls & boys wear from that. I also discovered the french-based new label Marnicays. She makes sleeping bags and blankets that are really different and inspiring.

Anything else you want to add, about the show, about your brand? Compared to the show in Paris this one was a little disappointing and the vibe wasn’t as good. I hope that playtime will do some work on improving the conditions at the venue. As it is a big investment for European brands to exhibit at a show abroad and when they make that investment they want to be sure it is worth it. We got a lot of very good feedback and we can feel that there is a lot going on and happening with our brand right now. it was great to have the opportunity to get in touch with press and bloggers to hear what they see is happening in social media with Noé & Zoë. The atmosphere amongst the exhibitors is really nice and it does feel like family, which is special and makes you want to come back.

Bla bla kids – Leslie Lowe

How was the show? Overall we had a good experience with Playtime New York.  They have some kinks to work out with the new venue, but I think that the next show will be even better.  It’s really nice to be in a smaller environment with other creators who all have high design standards.  The other nice thing about a smaller show is that as long as it is well attended, everyone who comes in will walk by.  I didn’t feel like there were any stores or press who came in and missed us.

How’s the US economy at the moment? The economy is definitely improving in the US.  Our housing market is very strong, so that is driving a lot of other areas of growth.

Although the bla bla kids isn’t a new brand, you are new at Playtime New York, can you explain? We do New York gift and Maison et Objet, which are both massive shows.  They are great for business, but Playtime is so much more intimate.  The selection of all the exhibitors feels very special.  Since we just launched our new bedding and room decor range called Petit Home, we thought Playtime was a good way to get our message out to everyone.

How was business?  We saw some existing clients like Giggle, ABC Carpet and Home, Baby Braithwaite, Seed Factory and Oh Baby.  We also opened several new accounts including Yoya in New York City and Kid Dynamo in Berkeley, CA.  Other really great stores have requested samples but I hope you understand I can’t name them just yet!

Lilit Borkowsky, Founder of Little by Lilit

Your impressions about the new venue? The new venue of Playtime NY has a industrial interior which was very nice and I liked the Wall Street location too. Unfortunately they had some electricity problems on the first day and a few stands did not have any lighting.

How was the show in terms of business and visitors?  The show was quiet on the first day but got much busier on the second and third day. I guess the reason was the ENK show took place on the same dates. I heard from a few shop owners they had a hard time with the sales in general last year and also 2 shops where Littl by Lilit was available have closed down recently. I received a few new orders but only within the USA, i.e. one order was from Petit Ami in Pacific Palisades, California and one in New York called Waxwingshop.

Thanks to  the brands and buyers for their feedback. Thanks to Corina Schott (Nonchalant Mom) for the pictures!

Nonchalant Mom, Etiquette Clothier, Lucky Fish, Noe&Zoe Berlin, Bla bla kids, Little by Lilit.