An interview with Deirdre Maloney of Capsule Show
Capsule is one of the most important trade events around, making a very singular junction between fashion and lifestyle, high-end and streetwear. Creativity, collaboration, branding, it is all part of the show’s aura, like a significant gathering of all eagerly creative minds around the business.
We talked about Capsule with Deirdre Maloney, one of the founders of BPMW, the fashion consultancy company that owns the show.
What is the story behind the establishment of the Capsule Show?
Capsule is owned by BPMW, a fashion consultancy in New York. Before we started Capsule in 2007, we spent a lot of time at tradeshows all over the world and just didn’t feel like any of them were speaking to us or to our market.
So, we made our own tradeshow as an antidote to all of that.
Why the name “Capsule”?
Well, like I said – when we started our tagline was “the antidote to tradeshow sameness.” The name fits in with that idea. A dose of Capsule and everything is how it should be.
Can you share with us some details about the current structure that works the show?
There are some things that will never change about Capsule.
We’ll always be a tight mix of the best-established brands and exciting newcomers, we’ll always have beautiful venues and we’ll always do our best to make the show feel like a community and not just a tradeshow. But, we’re always adding new elements to keep things fresh.
This season we’ve expanded our Donut Shop to Berlin – it was previously only in New York and Vegas.
The Capsule Donut Shop is a cash and carries section that highlights amazing people doing interesting things that aren’t necessarily within the fashion world – local shops, handmade goods, some vintage pieces.
It’s really fun for our guests to actually be able to shop and take something home with them.
What are the main criteria that define the selection of brands present at the show?
Quality and authenticity are always first and foremost in our minds.
The apparel and accessories need to be made well and have a quality of design that you can’t find elsewhere.
That’s the most important thing and what sets Capsule apart from other shows – every brand is great, from top to bottom.
Please tell us how, when and why should everyone attend the next Capsule.
You haven’t seen everything a tradeshow can be until you’ve been to Capsule. It’s something you need to experience yourself.
The best brands, the nicest people in the world, all around good vibes – plus we have a happy hour every day.
Our first show of the season was Capsule Paris Men’s in June, followed by Berlin. Next up is New York Men’s on July 22nd – 23rd, then on to Vegas and closing the season out with our women’s shows in New York and Paris in the fall. So if you can get yourself to one of those cities, we’ll be there waiting for you, beer in hand.
Capsule currently happens in Paris, Berlin, Las Vegas and New York – what’s next?
Right now we’re focusing in on ways to make our existing shows even better.
We’re always on the lookout for the next emerging market where we can set up shop, but nothing to announce yet.
Please share with us the most amazing story about the show (the show itself or preparation of it).
We have great stories of success from the show – brands who met retailers at Capsule that transformed their business, collaborations forged on the show floor, designers who started out showing tiny collections with us and are showing at Fashion Week around the world.
When we first started, we were a very small operation and set up the shows ourselves, so we also have plenty of stories of everyone lugging rolling racks and shelving units all over Paris and New York – literally everyone, from my business partners and I to the sales team.
Even the caterer helped us out once. But my favorite story is from last summer in Berlin, when we had a huge outdoor BBQ planned.
Hanni El Khatib was booked to play; everyone was excited to be outside after a day of working in their booths, we had a stage set up and everything.
That morning we made the call not to build a tent since the forecast called for nothing but sunshine.
So of course about 5 minutes before Hanni was set to go on, it started raining. And not a little drizzle – it was like a monsoon.
We had to move everyone inside and Hanni couldn’t perform, but it ended up being so much fun.
Everyone just went with it – I think we may have drank all of the beer in Berlin that night.
Get to know more about the Capsule Show.
While you’re here, make sure to check out our interview with footwear designer Takashi Imai of Timai footwear.