ANDMORE’s West Coast edition of Formal Markets reported positive connections and solid orders across formalwear categories at its second edition, August 14 – 16, 2023, at the Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas.
“Our second market in Las Vegas validated the formal and bridal industry’s need for an annual West Coast market,” said Caron Stover, ANDMORE SVP, apparel. “Formal Markets is a key resource to bring the trends directly to western-based retailers and we are here happy to answer those industry needs.”
Attendees visited Formal Markets in Las Vegas from 42 states and Puerto Rico, as well as four international countries, with Western and Southwest-based buyers making up the majority of total market attendees. This second edition also attracted a significant number of first-time attendees to the market.
Over three days, Formal Markets in Las Vegas showcased its over 90+ individual collections across bridal, prom, quinceañera, mother-of-the-bride, accessories, homecoming and special occasion categories.
Returning buyer, Julie Rafiner, manager of A Bridal Center in Provo and Lehi, UT, noted the ease of having a Western-based market to source from.
“We prefer coming to Formal Markets in Las Vegas more than any other market we have been to. We come for all three days, and in that time, we see suppliers we already know and discover new lines to write with. We can’t wait to come back next year,” said Rafiner.
First time bridal exhibitor, Pahmi Mbanga, designer of bridal brand Stately Soirée, appreciated the ability to connect with west-coast bridal buyers and barand.
“Our brand is from California and it has been so nice connecting with other California companies who want to write with us. We have met a lot of Western-based accounts here,” said Mbanga. “We have been in business for a little over two years, and Formal Markets has been a great market to help us with our growth.”
Quinceañera, a key category in the Western regions, received overwhelmingly positive feedback, with brands and buyers easily able to form connections, see new products and write orders.
“This market has been a very positive experience and we found everything that we needed for the next six months. We wrote orders with vendors we always work with and even those who are new to us across quinceañera, accessories and event software,” said buyer Sandor Duran of Stephanie’s Bridal in Huntington Park, CA. “With Formal Markets out West, I can finally see the return of a permanent market in our area, and we will definitely be back next year.”
Exhibitors in the quinceañera category also experienced business growth this August in Las Vegas.
“Quinceañera is our strongest growing division, and we launched our line within the past year. We carry bridal, prom, and everything in between, so it has been a great growth opportunity for our company,” said Nick Positano, CEO of Sophia Thomas Designs. “This is our second time showing with Formal Markets in Las Vegas and we have met so many new buyers. Showing out West has given us a chance to open new accounts in the region that may not have been familiar with our brand previously.”
Local news station, 8 News Now, also attended the market to report on the booming industry out West, interviewing exhibitor Randy Fenoli, designer of Randy Fenoli Bridal and host of “Say Yes to the Dress,” on upcoming trends.
“Everything is in – it’s all about the bride,” Fenoli shared with 8 News Now. “Pearls are very in, so is clean and simple, other brides like romantic, and we are seeing sexy dresses too with slits and detachable sleeves. We even offer dresses with detachable skirts as we are seeing brides want to wear two looks between their wedding ceremony and reception.”
Formal Markets now presents its collection of bridal, prom, quinceañera, mother-of-the-bride, accessories, homecoming and special occasion lines three times annually: April and August in Atlanta and August in Las Vegas. The next edition of Formal Markets in Las Vegas will be held in August 2024 at the Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas. For more information, visit atlanta-apparel.