Sartorially speaking is a new series on Casa di Sartoria that aims to address our inquisitive minds on all sartorial matters. I am by no means an expert but sharing what I know and indulging the audience for their knowledge (please do comment below) would serve to benefit us all. So let’s get right into it with our first topic, trunk shows.
Lately, there have been a lot of trunk shows on the docket that make their way across our Instagram feeds. With our trusty social media apps, the average user has become more aware of their buying power now that lesser known brands and boutique products come sweeping across their screens. A few likes here and there by the masses result in statistics that can favor one brand or product over another. So what does this have to do with a trunk show? Allow me to explain. Suppose I’m a shoemaker in Romania and I know a lot of people in Hong Kong and Toronto that love my shoes. I know this because they tell me so, Instagram tells me so and they constantly ask me where they can buy them. So naturally I’d like to oblige them but e-commerce doesn’t work for me (nature of my business) and I’m having trouble finding reputable local stores that can sell my product. A little bit of digging around on social media and I find some local stores that may be interested in a collaboration. And vice versa, someone could approach me for the same and this would make my life a little bit easier. Long story short, an event is then organized and I attend with plenty of shoes in tow. My intention is not only to sell to their customers but also convince the store to carry my shoes. This event in essence is a trunk show. The duration is very short, often times only a few days, in order to visit with more than a few collaborators. So why should one go and visit a trunk show? For one, you’ll see very unique heritage brands producing some of the highest quality merchandise in the world. And you’ll be able to buy it locally with all the headaches of importing and what have you, taken care of by someone else (the local store in this case). So stop spending unnecessary time shopping on obscure websites and seek out a trunk show instead, you’ll be glad you did.
Having been to a few trunk shows before, I recently had the privilege to attend another one at Leatherfoot in Toronto. Introducing Saint Crispins, makers of beautifully handcrafted and hand welted shoes by expert artisans in Eastern Europe. They are no stranger to trunk shows and managing director Mr. Phillip Car spends a lot of time visiting various ateliers worldwide to display their masterful creations. He’s established relationships with many longstanding storefronts and regularly visits them to provide their clients with a more personal approach to the shoe shopping experience. I had the pleasure of chatting with him recently and learned a lot about the company, shoes and his horror stories going through customs. Whether you choose to buy a pair or not, the time spent chatting is well worth the visit and a learning experience for sure. Life’s classrooms are plenty and the teachers you meet are more than willing to educate. And so I approach every trunk show in this way, an opportunity to learn and build experience. I urge you to do the same.
Photos: Casa di Sartoria