This buying trip was three very full days. We asked Staci Stevens a series of questions to share all about her findings and what secrets she’s willing to reveal! We want to make sure you know all about it – so we’ve broken it down into a two-part series.
What’s the purpose of a buying of trip?
A few times a year I travel to L.A. and visit Mapel’s brand showrooms. Most retailers go to markets like CALA or Coterie. Often times at markets you are reviewing product alongside other retailers and have little time to look at product. That’s why I prefer to travel on my own schedule and visit individually with our reps. I have unlimited time to peruse the product without the commotion of the markets. It really allows Mapel to review previous seasons best sellers and choose the best product for Mapel Boutique.
What Vendors did you see? Who’s always been a part of Mapel? Who will be brand new to Mapel?
I started off my trip by devoting one day to Denim. It’s one of the hardest categories to choose and you really need a clear head. I always start my first day with 7’s because it’s Mapel’s biggest and best selling denim brand. So on this trip I visited 7 for all mankind, Citizens of Humanity, Joe’s Jeans and a new brand we’ll be adding called Blank NYC. Blank will offer a slightly more fashion forward denim assortment (coated, colored, novelty) at a moderate price level (below $100).
The second day I began with Michael Stars, one of Mapel’s best selling brands. That’s why I like to devote plenty of time working with our rep to choose the best product. They have a WIDE collection that includes knits, novelty knits, sweaters and dresses. Within their entire product you can choose from over 30 specific colors for any one silhouette. Essentially, Mapel is able to design what product we want to have delivered.
After Michael Stars I continued onto dresses, which is by far Mapel’s biggest seller during spring and summer. I worked with Veronica M, a local designer that both designs and produces in Los Angeles. She is known for her graphic prints and totally flattering silhouettes. I’m really excited about her assortment this year. From there I worked with Charlie Jade who offers our silk dress collection. It may be a higher price point, but certainly a fabulous specialty dress line. Another addition to our assortment this year is dress line Jarlo. It’s a British dress line at a moderate price level and super cute!!! My final stop was spent with Tulle our lifestyle brand. We love the comfort of their knits, dresses and skirts.
…to be continued with L.A. Recap Part 2