A new year means a new season of fashion trade shows is on the horizon, and many brands will be making their preparations to attend a few key ones. Trade shows are still very important events for many designers who are looking to enter new markets or grow their brand awareness. In 2020, the B2B trade show market  was worth $5.6b and is expected to increase to $14.5b by 2024.

A booth at a popular showcase, which is attended by retail buyers and prospective clients, provides a platform for brands to showcase their product and tell their story and, hopefully, lead to an opportunity to be stocked in a major retailer.

While market appointments and buying meetings can all be done virtually today, for established and emerging brands alike, trade shows can still be a key step for conducting wholesale business. Designers can meet customers in person, network with buyers and gather information on competitors while taking a temperature check on the state of the fashion industry, all in one place. For retail buyers, trade shows are a great way to discover new brands, make connections with potential partners and exchange knowledge with other industry professionals.

The buying season is always busy and filled with many events and appointments to attend, but below we’ve selected a few trade shows that attract innovative brands and buyers to have on your radar in 2023.

Shoppe Objet
February 5-7

Making its debut in August 2018, Shoppe Objet is a trade show held twice a year in New York, featuring a curated selection of luxury lifestyle brands in the home and gift space. Shoppe Objet also runs an online marketplace where buyers can shop from all its participating brands and showrooms from anywhere in the world. From home accessories and tableware to jewelry and children’s toys, an element of handcraft and artisanal design runs through each brand, including Oya Abeó and Fouta Harissa in the past, both available to shop wholesale here on The Folklore Connect. Shoppe Objet has also demonstrated  a commitment to increasing representation of the Black community – at last year’s exhibit, the show featured 10 Black-owned brands as part of its Black Lives Matter Action Initiative.

February 21-23

New York’s biggest trade show for apparel, accessories and footwear for women, Coterie has been a major space for making fashion connections since its inception in 1986. Usually held in the city during New York Fashion Week, the show has the advantage of attracting key international buyers who are in town for the shows, along with media, stylists and influencers. In September 2022, more than 820 brands exhibited and 29 countries were represented at Coterie, held at the Jacob K. Javits Center, with buyers in attendance from Shopbop, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s. The potential for new opportunities is always buzzing and last year, The Folklore Connect exhibited four of its collections at Coterie for the first time with Gozel Green, Orange Culture, West and Israella Kobla.

Lagos Leather Fair

Founded in 2017 by Femi Olayebi, the Nigerian designer behind FemiHandbags, Lagos Fashion Fair  was created to showcase leather designers in Nigeria and on the continent, and promote  awareness of the potential value of the leather industry in Africa, up to $1b by 2025 in Nigeria alone. Leading leather accessories, shoes and handbag brands, including Joel Lani and Marté Egele, have all shown at the annual event, which also features masterclasses and panel discussions with magazine editors, designers and entrepreneurs as guest speakers. The sixth edition of the fair will be held in June this year.