tylemax is the leading women’s apparel and accessories trade show, based right here in Chicago. Aside from womenswear, the show includes “Kids”, for childrenswear, and Life+Style, which comprises of everything between candles, apothecary, paper and fragrance. Other categories also show up on other market dates.
The show runs 4 times per year, is open to the trade only, and is in the Merchandise Mart. This guarantees that you will be mentally inspired yet physically exhausted when you are through (#cardio). Although the huge array of brands, showrooms, and items shown can be overwhelming, the Stylemax organizers do a fantastic job of grouping categories together: missy, contemporary, bridge, et al. Nevertheless, it’s still a bit challenging sifting through the bustle.
Below are 6 standout contemporary womens brands that rose above the noise:
Suki + Solaine
Designed and made in Chicago. The American Dream.
A muted color palette gave room for a razor-sharp assortment of prints, jacquards (that skirt!), and airy knit burnouts. Merchandising utopia.
Designed in Paris. A moot point if it weren’t for the beautiful jacquards and fil coupés (are we seeing a trend yet?) Très sympa!
LA-based collection from the same people who brought you English Factory and After Market. The most ethereal assortment of white pieces. Their expert use of detailing made solid pieces special and stand out.
The Bra Lab
Bras you want to show off give new meaning to “bra friendly”. Backs and straps are interchangeable. With materials like lace, leather, and fringe, they will give new life to your favorite low back gown, sweater, or Lollapalooza frock. We are sold.
Huge assortment of Jewelry using beautiful stones. Also, fun, fringed items to wear with said island theme above. If an island ear party is not your everyday go-to, you need to reevaluate your lifestyle.
Apparel made in Bali to wear while you dream that you are in Bali.
A succinct collection is a breath of fresh air from all of the clutter at the show. Pieces were very wearable, prints were well grounded with easy and casual solid pieces.