Showing a line at MAGIC: Rene Geneva

Posted by Kathleen Fasanella on Feb 27, 2008 at 2:38 pm / Sales and Marketing, Trade Shows / Trackback

Today’s guest entry on showing a line (her second) at MAGIC, is Rene Geneva of Rene Geneva Design. Thanks Rene!

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This is our second season at Magic. We were lucky enough to have a wonderful corner spot that was right by the doors that went to the Hilton’s shows so we saw walk by traffic. We are a green company, so we had a little green hanger that Magic stuck to the floor that actually did catch some people and bring them in our booth. We built our booth this year instead of renting one of the standard booths. Lots of work (nearly too much), but I loved it. We had bamboo floors, our very own asian-inspired recycled rubber playground material and rock garden, and opposing wood panel walls. We used the Marshaling Yard service, something that I don’t think we’ll do again, or we’ll combine it with having someone else set up and take down our booth (not aesthetics or clothing, just the building).

Okay, so back to traffic… sllloooww. Everyone that I spoke to was having a slow time. Our only saving grace is that the few orders that we did get at Magic this year were significant, so financially we actually did better than last year. We just got fewer accounts. We didn’t get the press hub-bub that we received last year, and that said, I didn’t hear of the press buzz like I did last season either which makes me wonder if there was significant press presence there. BTW, people seemed to like our line sheets and we got many compliments from buyers regarding the ease of finding information on them. You’re welcome to use ours, I’ll post them in the forum if anyone needs line sheet formatting. We made them up really, so who knows, maybe people were just being nice.


A couple of notes on the layout… it mattered. The first day we had the booth arranged so it looked clean and modern, with both clothing racks on one wall, no clothing hanging on the walls to maintain a clean loon, and a very open feel. Not many customers at all. The next day I said screw this and cluttered it up with clothing thrown on the walls, the mannequin on the corner, and one of the long racks facing one isle so customers practically bumped into the stuff. Option B please. Our traffic increased so much with that one change. Below are three photos of our booth.

We changed the mannequin a few times and really saw what caught customers eyes… and when we found it, we left it on her. Poor Vannah. Oh, and FYI, our corsets of all things, were the hot sellers. They are our most expensive units, averaging $200 per piece wholesale and one that retails for $1100, of which we sold a few!! We had put in a “low end” line this season to try to accommodate every buyer who was interested in our line, but not a single low dollar item sold (go figure).

We had a fire and fashion show at Ra Sushi, which some of you attended and OMG!! Thank you all so very much for your support!! It was super wonderful and we enjoyed every minute. Dinner with you the next night was wonderful and I enjoyed seeing your booths at the other shows as well. We were asked to do it again in LA for LA Fashion Week, but I’m still debating it. I lost all of my fire equipment in Las Vegas (along with my poor VW VAN, loong story). Below is a picture of me hamming it up before the fashion show.

Exciting announcements:
Fashion Week, fashion week, fashion week!! We are once again showing at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week on March 12th at Smashbox Studios. We are signing a licensing deal which has landed us full sponsorship!! It’s ongoing and will include many other exciting ventures, but we’re waiting to officially announce next week, so stay tuned. We also have rented showroom space in the Cooper Building for Market Week, so I’ll have another trip report soon enough.

Our product delivers to Whole Foods March 1 in Austin, Tx. We have an appointment to do a fashion show for ALL the regional buyers of WF in a couple of weeks! I will also be speaking at this Whole Foods event about the clothing industry, organics, fair trade, etc, which is quite the honor. Because of getting into WF, we’ve had to get UPC codes for our stuff. I called Kathleen in panic and she recommended I use her del.icio.us links, which made the process easy as cheese (provided you’re not lactose intolerant). We got them from Buyabarcode.com for $35 a pop.

Our new website is live! Please check it out and check out the Fall/Winter 2008 gallery. The paper doll stuff my good friend put together for me and the full gallery, I spent about 80 hours on until I was completely finished and learned from a graphic designer-girlfriend of mine that I could have had it done in about 20 minutes (of course). I look forward to your feedback!!

Um.. Kathleen, I don’t know if there is anything you would like me to elaborate on, or whatnot.. I also didn’t know if you wanted this in the forums or sent directly to you, so I’m sending it to you. I’m back to watching stupid downloaded sitcoms and blowing my nose. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I wouldn’t be where I am without your support!!

7 Responses to “Showing a line at MAGIC: Rene Geneva”

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ken simmons
February 27th, 2008
3:21 PM

Rene,
Thanks for the post about Magic. So interesting about the clean look versus the messy look. I will pass this on to students.

Georgina
February 27th, 2008
4:48 PM

This same thing happened to me the first time I exhibited at MAGIC. I learned this: Passers-by only will give you a 2-3 second glance. You have to fill their view with as much product as possible. If something catches their eye, they will stop. Exhibiting in a established market in a rep showroom is very different. Buyers there usually have time or make appointments to see the whole line, so everything except two or three items are neatly hung on a rack.

Laura
February 27th, 2008
8:33 PM

Thanks for such a great post. Really informative.
I already went to the forum about the line sheets. I’m working on that now so thanks for sharing!

April Femrite
February 27th, 2008
10:34 PM

I’m so sorry about losing your van and your fire stuff because your fire show was absolutely fantastic! We all just can’t believe how talented you are – both in the design world and with artistic performance (I must admit I am jealous:)

Did I miss your booth pics somewhere in this posting or are they on the forum?

All my best!

Lisa DOWNTOWN JOEY
February 28th, 2008
3:12 AM

Congrats on your recent success! How neat!

I, too, would love to see your line sheets in the forum.

Thanks for a great post!

With friendship,
Lisa

Bethany
February 28th, 2008
8:02 AM

I totally concur with having your samples hung all over the booth as a draw. When I was at Bubble I started with a clean booth, and had these huge posters on the walls. Well, nobody seemed to glance at the posters, so I quick hung outfits on the walls and it seemed to do the trick! Plus, when things got slow I could spend my time making new outfits, which was fun. This year I am not even bringing any posters, only my samples, to decorate the booth. I will try to take pictures and post them with my essay on Bubble in a few weeks.

jodi jean
March 3rd, 2008
10:51 PM

ok … maybe i’m completely stupid, but i would love to see your line sheets and i’ve tried looking in the forum but i can’t seem to find them, any help?

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