Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The San Diego Apparel, Accessories, Shoe & Gift Show Adventure

Ute and Jim
Ute & Jim Accessories

It's rare to come across a fashion trade show event in San Diego, so when I found out about The San Diego Apparel, Accessories, Shoe & Gift Show, I decided to check it out. Sure, San Diego has the Thread Shows and the Sassy City Chicks sample sales for consumers, but you hardly hear about events just for buyers of boutiques and retail stores. I figured it would be nice to find out what's new and trendy for the San Diego market.

The San Diego Apparel, Accessories, Shoe & Gift Show is put on twice a year and is held at the Town & Country Resort Hotel & Convention Center, which is right behind Fashion Valley Mall. The husband and wife team of Craig and Chris Hinds are the organizers of the show that attracts vendors from across the nation. Most of the vendors whom I met were from California, but I did meet the designer of the Tahara brand who is from Colorado.

Craig wanted to bring a trade show to San Diego in order to make it convenient for store owners to shop because most of the big apparel trade shows are in L.A., Vegas, or New York. Craig has been in the business for over 30 years and is an independent rep for the Angie clothing brand.

My experience at Cosmoprof in Vegas last summer taught me to briefly skim through the aisles and to only stop at the booths that really catch my attention.

My first stop was Queen Eileen's, a locally-owned shop that carries clothing, accessories, gifts, and more. Many of the items are from Bali where Eileen travels often. Her shop is located in Encinitas at 548 S. Coast Hwy 101.

Queen Eileen's Booth

I'm always on the hunt for unique fashion designs, so when I saw the colorful display of shoes for Corkys Footwear, I had to stop and find out more.

Corkys Footwear

What really stood out for me at the Corkys Footwear booth were these sandals from the "Elite Shoes" collection...

Corkys Footwear "Elite Shoes"

Another shoe display that caught my attention featured Fahrenheit shoes, which are trendy and may be a little too high for me to walk in. They are real super cute, though!

Fahrenheit Shoes "Anne 22"

Fahrenheit Shoes "Ivanka 03"

One of the clothing brands that stood out to me was Tahara Clothing, which is a line designed by Jeana Hernandez. Jeana wanted to create pieces that are stylish, comfortable, and versatile. I'm all about clothing that can be worn dressed down or dressed up, so I can really relate to the Tahara brand. All the pieces are made of a rayon/spandex blend, which make them feel so soft and flowy.

Pictured here is Jeana and her sales rep, Diane Andreasen...

Diane and Jeana of Tahara Clothing

I was really inspired by the Urban Natures booth, which is a jewelry brand that not only produces unique designs, but they also give 15% of their proceeds to help children in need. They travel to parts of the globe and give the money directly, plus they partner with non-profit organizations such as Compassion International to provide help indirectly.

Urban Natures DesignersMonica Kim and Kevin Kim of Urban Natures

The "Give Hope" bracelet is one of Urban Natures' most popular jewelry pieces. Selena Gomez has been spotted wearing this bracelet...

Give Hope Bracelets

Overall, it was nice to talk with a variety of brand reps and designers. San Diego is a city that doesn't necessarily have a defining style, although it does lean towards the conservative side. Everything that I saw at this show could be seen on the streets of San Diego. From trendy handbags to classic clothing, a buyer could find a little of everything.

The San Diego Apparel, Accessories, Shoe & Gift Show will come back in the fall, but you can also travel to Phoenix for The Arizona Apparel Show from April 29 - May 1, 2012.

P.S. If you're a boutique owner interested in purchasing wholesale from any of the vendors mentioned in this post, let me know and I can put you in touch with the rep!


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