The rivalry is intensifying between two key innerwear trade fairs, CurveExpo and Lingerie Americas.
Neither side is making a move to halt the competition, such as a possible merger or collaborative effort. As a result, the innerwear industry is feeling the impact, especially after the Intimate Apparel Council consolidated the January and March markets this year into one venue in February. The market change left some vendors and specialty stores undecided about which seasonal market and trade show they should attend to optimize budgets, time and travel schedules.
Compounding the issue is the timing of the two shows, which leaves a number of vendors and merchants in a lurch, particularly specialty retailers. The CurveNY edition will be held Feb. 3 to 5 at the Penn Plaza Pavilion in Manhattan, during the official New York innerwear market week. Lingerie Americas will take place Feb. 24 to 26 at the Metropolitan Pavilion and Altman Building, also in New York.
Kay-Lin Richardson, national sales manager of Panache Lingerie Ltd., a British bra specialist with a U.S. division, said, "We'll be showing at both the Lingerie Americas and Curve shows. We feel strongly that we have customers at both shows and we don't want to miss those customers. Of course, it's frustrating and it all adds another level of stress. But we are waiting until the dust settles and then we'll decide who we'll go with in August."
Justin Chernoff, chief executive officer of Rago Inc., a shapewear company in Queens, N.Y., said, "We decided to do Curve because it's during market week and we feel it's a better time to exhibit. It's a more advantageous time to do the show because major stores, as well as specialty stores, will come in."
Bob Vitale, vice president of sales and merchandising at Wacoal America, said, "In New York, we will be at Lingerie Americas. The main reason for that is as we polled our specialty stores, it seemed like more of them will be at the Lingerie Americas show. While some will be coming in during market week for the Curve show, we'll have the opportunity to see them at our showroom."
Meanwhile, the independent fairs are vying for exhibitors and retailers at New York and Las Vegas venues in February and August. As a result, they have broadened strategies to attract more brands and visitors, and have formed partnerships with different trade show experts: Lingerie Americas has teamed with MAGIC International in Las Vegas, where Lingerie Americas will be showcased within the WWDMAGIC women's apparel sector. CurveExpo will expand its partnership with a designer specialist format, Boutique Lingerie by Samantha Chang, to include biannual shows in Las Vegas and New York.The additions will offer visitors more options and require more decisions regarding their destination of choice.
Lingerie Americas at WWDMAGIC is scheduled for Feb. 12 to 15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Hilton Hotel, and Aug. 3 to 5 in New York at the Metropolitan Pavilion and Altman Building. The Lingerie Americas venues in New York will be independent of MAGIC. The dates for an August edition of Lingerie Americas at WWDMAGIC have not been set, said Patrice Argain, ceo of Lingerie Americas Inc.
The CurveNV fairs will be Feb. 14 to 16 and Aug. 25 to 27 at The Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas. The Aug. 3 to 5 edition of CurveNY will be staged at the Penn Plaza Pavilion in Manhattan.
Although a majority of industry executives hope a cooperative venture of the two shows will take place, it doesn't appear to be on the radar.
"It's a free market,'' Argain said. "If Curve wants to do their own show, we can't stop them from doing it. Merging for merging's sake doesn't mean a thing if we don't agree on dates and locations. MAGIC was interested in us because they felt we could provide a larger [lingerie] offering to buyers. Many [apparel] buyers want to include lingerie in their buys."
He said retailers requested that Lingerie Americas in Las Vegas show at the same time as MAGIC in February "because it would be a desert there doing a show before or after fashion week and MAGIC. Retailers said it has to take place during MAGIC."
Laurence Teinturier, executive vice president of one-year-old CurveExpo Inc., said, "What will be happening in February 2008 shows a clear direction we are taking by raising the standard and adding a great, balanced offering of leading brands with the Lingerie Boutique designers. We want to unite the market by sticking to market weeks and open CurveNV doors on Feb. 14 to accommodate buyers who remain busy with Valentine's Day business until Feb. 13, and closing its doors on Feb. 16 to give buyers one more day to plan their fall-winter purchases. We also have the exclusivity of The Venetian Resort Hotel."Regarding the New York format, Teinturier said the roster of events will include directional forecasting trend seminars by Carlin International and the Best of Intima, an Italian lingerie magazine.
"It will be a tool for buyers," Teinturier said. "Mayouri Sengchanh of Carlin will present the 2008 fall-winter trends on Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. This overview is intended to help buyers make informed purchasing decisions. And Francesca Spinetta of Best of Intima will report on the world's best and most original store concepts, and offer new merchandising ideas and inspiration for independent store owners."
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews