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Behind the Boutique: A Peak Inside Robin’s NYC Buying Trip

Behind the Boutique: A Peak Inside Robin’s NYC Buying Trip

by Robin Barrett Wilson September 27, 2016 0 Comments

Well, we're almost a week into fall which means that our Instagram feeds largely consist of pumpkin spice lattes and blanket scarves. For most of us, we have barely thought beyond Halloween but, as a boutique owner, Robin's six months ahead and already buying for Spring 2017! 

Just a few weeks ago, Robin and Melissa headed off to New York City to spend three days at one of the biggest fashion trade shows, Coterie. They browsed the massive booths, met with designers and, lucky for us, took some behind the scenes photos along the way. 

This week, Robin's giving us a sneak peek into what goes into buying for the boutique and filling us in on her Coterie trip.  

Sum up Spring 2017 for us in 3 words.

Feminine. Flowy. Colorful! 


Coterie Buying Trip   Coterie tradeshow

Which designer booths topped your list as favorites to visit?

As always, I had a few favorites amongst all the designers we visited:

Indigenous – Visiting with Indigenous is such a personable experience! When we swing by their booth, we always have a chance to meet with the owner. He gives us a bit of a sneak peak into the company, giving us updates on what they are doing, how their brand is progressing, and what we can expect as they evolve.

Fidelity Denim – After having worked for Lee Jeans for years, I have a bit of an obsession with denim. I fell in love with this brand immediately! Fidelity Denim is all about premium materials that, though they are made in the US, use luxurious Italian and Japanese fabrics. The company’s designs are on-trend and offer a style for every body type. These pieces are definitely an investment but, because of the quality and timelessness of their styles, are completely worth it.

Parker Smith Denim – If the name sounds familiar, it might be because you’ve seen their designs on Gigi Hadid, Jennifer Aniston, and sprinkled throughout Style magazine! This brand is fairly new but definitely one to watch. When we stopped by Parker Smith Denim, we were able to meet with the CEO, Mary, who filled us in on what’s behind the brand. This up-and-coming powerhouse is made in the US, female-owned, and one our customers are guaranteed to love!


 Parker Smith Denim

Parker Smith Denim booth

Which new brands grabbed your attention?

We were really impressed by Flynn Skye and what they are doing for spring! The brand had about 15 different ‘bodies’ (styles) to choose from but then we were able to select from a range of palettes to pick the color story we wanted for our boutique. 


Flynn Skye booth at Coterie

Flynn Skye booth at Coterie

What were some of your favorite pieces being featured?

From designer to designer, we see wide leg high-waisted pants coming back in a big way. This fashion-forward pant is different from the menswear look we’ve seen in recent past; the silhouettes are constructed of a lighter fabric, lending a movement when you walk. For those of you that might think this style of pant is hard to wear, I promise you it’s not! Pair them with a cropped top or a sleek, tucked in tee and you’ll be stealing the show.


Did you see or encounter anything unexpected?

At robin b., we proudly prioritize buying from American-made designers. I was genuinely surprised to see that finding designers that manufactured here in the States wasn't easy. Even more unexpected, when I asked a designer representative about where the pieces were made, I often encountered frustration at the question! My guess would be that, as the fashion industry shifts more towards sustainable apparel, these questions are getting asked more and more often and the reps are disappointed that they can’t offer us something we can stand behind.


Robin and Melissa at the Indigenous booth Indigenous Booth at Coterie

What should we be looking forward to in the coming seasons?

If you’re as big as a fan of Indigenous as we are, you should be anxiously anticipating what they’ve got in store! The brand is undergoing an amazing evolution in which they continue to innovate their designs and are launching more fashion-forward items. They’re bringing in more color to their collection by incorporating red and blue low impact dyes, while staying true to the brand and keeping pieces handmade. The company also discussed the possibility of incorporating artisans from India which would translate to exotic prints and vibrant knits!  


Commando lingerie Commando Intimates booth at Coterie

Any exciting additions coming to robin b.?

Our customers asked and we’re delivering – we’re adding shoes and intimates into the mix! After numerous requests, we went on the hunt for brands that fit our vision. We first came across USA-made lingerie-brand, Commando, who’s earned a cult following for their flattering, seamless intimates. The second brand to align with our values is shoe designer, Matt Bernson. Unlike big business brands, this company works in small batches during production to ensure that each piece is of the highest quality. Their collection of footwear is impeccable, managing to be classic yet completely on-trend.


Cheers to the exciting new additions coming to robin b.!

While we all anxiously anticipate what's in store for coming seasons, you can get your fashion fix by popping into our Rhode Island boutique to shop our new arrivals. For more behind the scenes exclusives, follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook!

Robin Barrett Wilson


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