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Despite a precarious global economy, terrorist threats and the prospect of a war looming heavily over the international community, industry observers believe the turnout might be stronger than expected at the Jan. 24-27 Salon International de la Lingerie & Interfilière textile trade fair in Paris.
Jehan Quettier, general manager for trade show giant Eurovet said he is feeling “extremely bullish” about a strong turnout for the fall-winter 2003-2004 lingerie edition and the spring-summer 2004 textile fair at the Paris Expo at the Porte de Versailles.
He based his outlook mainly on the larger-than-usual turnout at the Lyon, Mode City show last September, where there were a record number of visitors totalling 18,501, 9,786 of whom were international. Before the Lyon fair, many exhibitors said they were concerned about post-9/11 jitters on the part of visitors.
While Quettier said registration figures for exhibitors have not yet been completed, he did say 49 new exhibitors from China, Taiwan and South Korea will be participating at SIL for the first time. A snapshot of the exhibitor roster at press time showed 505 international lingerie vendors.
Quettier added that the presence of major American manufacturers and textile specialists, such as DuPont, Sara Lee, VF Corp. and designer names like Donna Karan Intimates and Calvin Klein Underwear, were “an important” addition to spice up the mix at the show.
So far, other American brands listed on a SIL roster who will be exhibiting include: Bodyslimmers, Bragel, Brazabra, California Muscle, Claire Pettibone, Cosabella, Disney, DKNY Underwear, Eberjey, Elysee, Faris, Fashion Forms, Flexees by Maidenform, Flora Nikrooz, Henry Margu Wigs, Intimate Attitudes, Jonquil, Lacosa, Maidenform, Musicleg, Non De Plume, Only Hearts, Rago, Risque, Samantha Chang, Sara Max, Shame, Sharon Leslie Design, Shirley of Hollywood, Shy, Tabu, Va Bien, Viamode, Warner Bros., Warner’s and Wonderbra.
“An additional 100 new companies representing the global marketplace have signed up to exhibit, and because of that, we have had to expand our real estate an additional 1,000 square meters,” said Quettier, noting that exhibit space in January 2002 totaled 12,400 square meters.
At that edition, there were 20,575 visitors, 10,681 of whom were international attendees, and 9,894 of whom were French, he said.
Quettier noted that SIL was launching a new media campaign that he described as a “global lingerie get-together.” The campaign’s visual is the Eiffel Tower.