I saw and met Ed Hardy, cracked a Coronoa at Kenny Chesney's new apparel booth named Char Bay, saw a model being body painted.
But the one trend everyone was talking about was Speed to Market. What does that mean? Everyone wants it now. Retail buyers don't buy a year ahead anymore. And who can predict what will be the next BIG THING? no one. But what that does mean, is that retailers need to find manufacturers and sources that can produce new apparel orders in less that 90 days, in fact it's going towards inside 75 days. And this is for international orders.
Retailers don't hold inventory anymore. They will buy a few of each design and see what sells. Then they may return the whole order, only to need something to replace that hole on their racks. But manufacturers are able to deliver the goods. They know that they have to work night and day to fill orders. They are doing smaller drop ships. Smaller runs under 1500 units.
And all because customers are more savvy, they are almost like a school of fish, unpredictable and when they see something they like it's a feeding frenzy short lived.
I would hate to own a retail shop, but I do love the possibilities that my apparel or my client's apparel may just be the next BIG THING.