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What Exactly Is A Trunk Show?

Trunk show question

I wrote about this in a blog for Boca Magazine some years back and thought it was worth a revisit now that we are in full swing with

Trunk Show season.

The term “Trunk Show” is a little misleading in that it is not really a “show” but more of an

all-day presentation of a fashion designer's seasonal collection. Trunk Shows provide a prime opportunity for you, the customer, to see every piece of a collection you may or may not have been able to see visiting your favorite store. Boutiques like ours cherry pick from the collections to select what works best. We determine this for our particular market and our particular customers. For instance, we may buy five or six pieces of a group that are perfect for nina raynor. But the collection is actually 30 pieces, 50 pieces, or more. There is no way we can buy everything, so the Trunk Show affords customers an opportunity to come see all the other items on the designer’s line.

Fashion designer with red dress

Here's how it works. Once the designer collections are shown to buyers during the New York September and February fashion markets (some move on from there to Paris, London, Milan) they are packed up to travel throughout the country to stores that carry the line. And, yes, they come in trunks. Big ones. The shows come to the store for two to three days and are advertised in advance to the public.

Trunk show collections come in sample sizes, but you get a great sense of what’s available. The designer or their stylist will work with you on selecting the items you are considering, as well as guide you on what works best for your figure. This is the time they will advise you as to whether or not you can add a sleeve, change a neckline, or any other adjustment you may want. The garments are all set patterns, so changes may or may not be an option; each designer is different. They will also show you the various color choices or fabrics and so on. It’s an ideal way to view everything designers are showcasing, so you can select exactly what you want.

Navy evening gown with bow by Frascara

Here are some guidelines to remember when shopping the Trunk Shows at

nina raynor:

  1. Watch our web site,, and our social media for days and times of the shows. Always double check prior to coming over just to be sure nothing has changed . . . things happen. We do not take appointments so come at your convenience during normal store hours.

  2. Don’t be shy. The stylist or the designer is here to help you one-on-one. You are under no commitment to buy until you place your deposit. This is your chance to ask questions and give serious thought to what you need/want.

  3. If you come just to look, that’s fine. But as a courtesy, mention it up front so the designer/stylist knows to give you your space while they work with someone there to order.

  4. If you decide to purchase, you are measured to determine your size, i.e. 8, 12, 14, etc. The size ordered is based on your largest measurement. Once your garment comes in, alterations are done as needed to fit your unique shape. Very few women are a perfect size anything, so nips and tucks and hems are always in order.

  5. To special order we require a 50% deposit. Some stores require 100%. One very important point—special orders are final sales. As mentioned earlier, there is no way we can buy everything, and we certainly can’t buy everything customers buy and then not want. So if you order it, make sure you love it, because it’s yours.

  6. Ordering takes time so plan ahead. At the moment special orders are taking anywhere from a few weeks (rare) up to four or more months depending on what collection.

Trunk shows are a rewarding and highly personal way to shop, especially for special occasions, mothers of the bride or groom, or refreshing your closet. Try to make it to one or two this season. We’re sure you’ll enjoy the experience.

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Welcome to our nina raynor blog!  We will post from time to time, but this isn't going to be just about fashion or the store.  It will include lifestyle pieces too - maybe a new restaurant we discovered, or a recipe, or maybe trends in hairstyles or home decor ideas.  It is a potpourri of items we come across that we enjoyed, and think maybe you will too!  

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