WWD.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/blenheim-maps-mix-of-fashion-1155476/
government-trade
government-trade

Blenheim Maps Mix of Fashion

NEW YORK -- Now going into its third edition, the twice-yearly New York Premier Collections, a trade show produced by Blenheim Fashion Shows, aims at an international flavor in both its merchandise mix and presentation.<BR><BR>Blenheim is the American...

NEW YORK — Now going into its third edition, the twice-yearly New York Premier Collections, a trade show produced by Blenheim Fashion Shows, aims at an international flavor in both its merchandise mix and presentation.

Blenheim is the American arm of the London-based Blenheim Group PLC, a worldwide producer of trade shows. The U.S. operation also produces the International Jeanswear Show in Miami Beach twice a year, as well as the twice-yearly International Jewelry Show and the Health, Beauty and Personal Care Global Expo here. In addition to the merchandise, next week’s Premier Collections will offer gourmet foods, cappuccino bars, a pianist and even a bocci court, where visitors can try their hand at the game.

The show also attempts to provide an air of intimacy in the cavernous Jacob K. Javits Convention Center with carpeting and floor-to-ceiling banners.

The merchandise is grouped into various villages, several of them created by organizations like the Council of Fashion Designers of America, featuring Bettina Riedel, Cynthia Steffe and Cynthia Rowley at this show; the Paris-based designer collective Atmosphere, showcasing Gaultier Public and Popy Moreni, among others; the Next Generation of Fashion Designers, including names like Michelle Bergeron, Donna Haag and Lars Nord, and Premiere Classe, sponsored by the Premiere Classe accessories trade show of Paris.

One of the new entries is Canada Mode, with 40 of that country’s top designers (see story, page 2 of Section II).

Also making its debut in this show is the Federation Francaise du Pret-a-Porter, France’s women’s ready-to-wear association. The Federation will showcase about 15 designers in its own village.

“I think it’s time for French companies to come back into the U.S. market,” said Gerard Roudine, the Federation’s managing director. “The market is making a fast recovery, and French companies are ready.”

Roudine said that the Federation has no sales expectations concerning the show, but the exhibit presents a good opportunity for exposure to U.S. buyers.

The German Women’s Wear Federation is also bringing a contingent of firms, including KL by Karl Lagerfeld, Peter Keppler and Mondi. Premier Collections is the only American show the German Federation will endorse.

“We’re expecting about 300 vendors,” said Marshall Lester, chief executive of Blenheim Fashion Shows, “which is an increase of 50 percent [compared with the last Premier Collections held in September]. One problem we’ve had is that we want to grow the show aggressively, but we also want to maintain a certain quality, so we had to refuse some exhibitors.”