Gabrielle Rohde Royce
8:37a.m. — Bright and early, here’s your loyal correspondent, blogging live from the PPAI Fashion & Accessories Show. Despite its 8:30 a.m. starting time, there’s a more-than-adequate turnout, though according to a few of my row companions, it’s considerably less than years past. The coffee hasn’t yet dispersed through my system, and I can kind of see how this could be that much more fun with cocktails instead.
8:41 — The lights dim 10 minutes late, and I can’t help but think of Marc Jacobs’ two-hours-overdue N.Y. Fashion Week opening. Good to know our industry can keep “fashionably late” from approaching diva-like proportions!
WOMEN’S APPAREL IN the promotional products industry is a single creature with two contrasting personalities. The Dr. Jekyll of promotional apparel is the side of the industry focused on office workers and business-casual attire. After hours, Ms. Hyde likes to come out wearing tank-tops and scoop-neck T-shirts in flashy colors. Both sides of the promotional business are trailing behind the younger, crazy sister known as the retail market. Dean Vuong, vice president of Kavio, Commerce, Calif., said it is a “good thing” that promotional apparel is “one step behind” retail. “We know that if you can modify from [retail] to the promotional, then you will