By  on December 6, 1994

NEW YORK -- Executives from the printed-fabrics industry were busy weighing the impact of GATT as well as prospects for next year's business, as they gathered last week for the 20th edition of the Tommy Awards.

A record crowd of 450 turned out at the Marriott Marquis Hotel here for the black-tie gala, staged by the American Printed Fabrics Council to salute the best looks in prints.

Kevin Federico, president of Cranston Apparel Fabrics Group, said he felt that with GATT, "we in the domestic textile business have to find ways to be more creative and respond more quickly to apparel manufacturers."

"We are exporters and [GATT] will allow us to increase our business," added Max Marco, president of de Marco California Fabrics, noting that he likes the concept of lower tariffs and worldwide trade. As for print business, Federico said that retailers feel their stores are looking boring because of an oversaturation of solid fabrications and are looking to the print industry to "spice them up."

"We're looking at good business happening for spring," said Marco.

For the second straight year, the awards were presented within the framework of a musical comedy called "The Prints of Broadway." Tommy statuettes were awarded in 16 categories, including women's apparel, children's wear, over-the-counter apparel, accessories and home goods. The awards are presented to both the fabric supplier and the manufacturer of the finished product. Special Industry Achievement Tommys went to David C. Moon, senior vice president, merchandise, and Robert E. Conradi, vice president merchandise, Spiegel Inc.; Fred Richman, chairman, Richloom Fabrics Group, and Edward Rosen, president, Rare Editions.

"Printed fabrics play an important role in our women's and men's apparel areas," Spiegel's Moon said. "We appreciate that the print industry can do such innovative designs. Spiegel could not maintain its leadership in the catalog industry without fashionable printed fabrics."

Winners of Tommys in major women's fashion categories included Symphony Fabrics by Donna Wolfson and MG Apparel, for misses' dresses, with an acetate and Lycra spandex camouflage print; Technographics Printworld by Gianni Cereda and Ice by Stephen Feinstein, for women's after-five, with an acetate and Lycra damask velour print; Galey & Lord by Nancy Chu and Jo-Ro Fashions by Georgia Restivo, for women's blouses/separates/sportswear with a rayon crepon ethnic floral print, and de Marco California Fabrics and Yes Clothing by Moshe, for junior dresses, with a Da Vinci-inspired nylon print.

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