The Gilt Man Q&A: PROJECT'S Tommy Fazio

The man behind one of the menswear world's biggest tradeshows gives us the scoop on this year's awesome program.

Tell us a bit about yourself — what is your background, briefly, and what is it that interests you about PROJECT?
Before I joined PROJECT, I worked with Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman as their men’s trend and fashion director, respectively, which gave me the opportunity to hone my eye for the contemporary market. I’ve also spent my career supporting and developing brands (and designers) like Simon Spurr, Ian Velardi, and Todd Snyder, introducing them to the market and, up until recently, connecting brands directly to consumers.  I do the same thing now, providing the same support but in a business-to-business market.

I love being able to give brands the opportunity to succeed so by helping retailers connect with them, is what inspires me about PROJECT. I have to say that the most interesting thing about PROJECT for me is having the ability to create a large platform for amazing brands and retailers to come together for business — and to have some fun.

What’s new to PROJECT this year? Is there a theme?
We launched The Tents @Project in New York for the first time this season, which is the elevated designer section of the show, and brought with us brands  like Gilded Age, Todd Snyder, Lost & Found, and Vince.  POOLTRADESHOW — specifically for the boutique market — will be launching in NYC as well. New York is about curation, creativity, and commerce, and the theme is really about modernism in New York City.

Who are the newcomers that you’re excited about?
David Hart, Troubador, Marchad Drapier, Peter Non, and Fellow Barber.

What do you want the experience to be for those who come to the PROJECT?
I want them to feel welcomed, to be inspired, and to be engaged!

You’ve mentioned in the past that you want PROJECT to feel less like a traditional trade show and more like a retail floor — why is that important to you, and how do you communicate it?
This is super important to me especially coming from the retail arena.  At PROJECT, I merchandise the floor as a retailer would, making it much easier to shop and discover brands.  This gives retailers a familiar perspective because the floor is merchandised the way their stores are.

In addition to incredible menswear brands, what else do you hope people experience when they walk through PROJECT?
For this season, I’d like them to take advantage of the happenings at the show, relax and learn what’s next in the industry, communicate and engage with our bloggers, shop Cash and Carry (at POOLTRADESHOW), and walk away with a piece of artwork from Richard Haines.

Check out PROJECT NYC’s program here >

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