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Source Finds an Audience

NEW YORK — Source International made its debut on the New York trade show circuit last week, with a focus on supplies for the footwear and accessories industries.<br><br>SI featured some 320 exhibitors, with products ranging from animal skins to...

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NEW YORK — Source International made its debut on the New York trade show circuit last week, with a focus on supplies for the footwear and accessories industries.

SI featured some 320 exhibitors, with products ranging from animal skins to supply chain management technology. Exhibitors came from 24 countries, including the U.S., China, Taiwan, Pakistan, Italy, France and Mexico.

The trade show, which ended its three-day run at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center last Tuesday, is organized by CMP Princeton Inc., a trade fair producer and subsidiary of United Business Media.

SI featured three sectors:

Material Source showcased raw materials such as leather, textiles, synthetics and trims.

Technology Source for technologies for design, supply chain management, logistics, packaging, online payment and marketing.

Fashion Source, geared at private label businesses featuring footwear, leather goods, luggage, leather and nonleather apparel, upholstery and accessories suppliers.

According to Jennifer D’Agostino, product development manager for women’s accessories at Cole Haan, SI served as a place to find new materials, such as new leather skins resources.

“It’s not really a fashion-type show, so I’m just looking for basics,” D’Agostino said. “I’m looking for soft leather for women’s belts, handbags and small leather goods.”

Even though Cole Haan has an established contracted manufacturing base, D’Agostino said finding new factories with specialized capabilities was in the back of her mind — a factory capable of novelty products, such as woven leather or woven straw used for handbags, for example.

Melinda Rushing of Global Brand Marketing Inc., which holds the footwear licenses for Diesel, XOXO, Nautica and Mecca, said she was also using the show to find new suppliers, as well as visit some of her existing contacts.

Jessica Del Genio, who’s consulting company Four Trend Services has about 15 clients, including Clark’s, K-Swiss, Royal Elastics and New Balance, said SI was smaller than she expected. Despite the size, Del Genio said she met some Asian leather and footwear textile suppliers she would recommend to her clients.

“There were some interesting stretch corduroys, brocades and woven textiles for shoes,” said Del Genio. “There was also a company that had some nice raffia and distressed microfiber.”

Del Genio also said she primarily looked for new suppliers rather than factories.

“One thing I would have liked to have seen at Source International was a trend area,” Del Genio said. “I thought the show could have been a little fresher in terms of layout, [instead of] the conventional trade show format. But if I get one idea from a show, then it’s a good show and I walked away with some great ideas.”

The next Source International is slated for Jan. 11-14, 2004 at the Javits Center. An SI spokesman said the second show might encompass more exhibitors focused on the apparel industry.

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