NEW YORK, NEW YORK

dog&boy take on the Big Apple

It’s every fashion designer’s dream to show their creations in New York – and that’s exactly what dog&boy did at the NY NOW trade show earlier this year. From February 3-6, my wing-woman, Beth, and I exhibited the dog&boy SS19 collection, together with new designs from AW19, at the iconic Javits Centre in New York.

Exporting has always been part of the dog&boy journey, but New York was an all-time high. I always joke about taking over the world, one scarf at a time – and that’s truly how we felt. The experience, overall, was incredible. But that’s not to say there weren’t some challenges along the way. 

 Great stories are universal

The best part of NY NOW was meeting, chatting and connecting with so many delightful stockists and exhibitors. From Michigan to Louisiana, and everywhere in between, people came from across the country to see the gorgeous creations at NY NOW.

It was wonderful to share stories and learn how other businesses have evolved. Like in Australia, many of the business owners started in small towns. They built thriving businesses on a winning combination of dreams, determination and sheer hard work – just like dog&boy. Being surrounded by these like-minded souls in one of the world’s fashion capitals was an unforgettable experience. The vibe was electric. But what really warmed my heart was the reception our scarves received. 

Storytelling is at the heart of every dog&boy design, and it was rewarding to see our stories resonate on the other side of the world. The universal themes of love, loss, life and longing struck a chord with the New York crowd, proving that great storytelling has the power to transcend borders.

NY NOW fell in love with our stories – and, of course, our gorgeous scarves. Our Brave design was a best-seller, closely followed by Motion. In fact, all our scarves were a hit. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

The not-so-glamourous side of fashion

If you’ve ever imagined the life of a fashion designer to be round-the-clock glamour, cocktails and air kisses, I’m about to dispel that myth. If you had seen Beth and I before the show, you would never guess we were from the industry.

First of all, it was minus 20 degrees° in New York, thanks to the polar vortex that swept through the Northern Hemisphere on the day of set up. We were wrapped up like mummies in multiple layers of clothes. Anything to combat the cold!

Then, once we checked in to the Javits Centre, we found the wall coverings to our  booth weren’t what we expected. Our solution? Paint them, of course. Several trips to the hardware store, two chipped manicures and two pairs of paint-stained sneakers later, the dog&boy stand was ready to unveil.

I’ve spoken before about the immersive process of designing scarves and managing the business side of dog&boy, but exhibiting at trade shows is next level – especially when they’re overseas. Over the four days at NY NOW, Beth and I were more than designers – we became painters, salespeople, visual merchandisers, marketers, business managers, logistics experts and cleaners. It was a whirlwind to say the least, but we survived in typical dog&boy style with plenty of laughs and coffee, of course!  

There’s no place like home

You might think we’d pause for breath after our New York adventure, but the dog&boy show must always go on. Days after landing in Melbourne, we headed to Sydney to launch the AW19 collection at the Life Instyle trade show. As Life Instyle regulars, not even jet-lag could keep us away – and the show was as fulfilling as ever.

After being so far from home, it was comforting to see familiar faces and catch up with our Aussie stockists. Many of our local stockists have been with dog&boy since the beginning. They feel like family. I loved showing off our latest designs and seeing the delight on their faces.

While New York was wonderful and exhilarating, being home on Aussie soil felt like putting on my favourite scarf. Comforting, familiar and oh-so right. I’m sure you know that feeling.

New season scarves, coming soon

Can’t wait for the new collection? Not long left now. We’re currently taking pre-orders for select new designs in Australia (our US friends will have to wait until July!!), with the full collection launching early April. I’d love to hear your thoughts on our latest designs. Which scarves are your favourites? Which stories capture your heart?

 Sonya xx

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