By  on February 5, 2007

NEW YORK — Innerwear executives are bracing for a frenetic market week that starts today.

Some vendors and retailers will be getting off the red-eye from Paris, many cutting a day short from the Salon International de la Lingerie to be here for showroom and trade show appointments. Manufacturers generally said Madison Avenue showrooms are booked solid and many have planned a rendezvous with a slew of exhibitors at the Lingerie Americas trade fair here. The show is set for a three-day run that begins Wednesday at the Altman Building and Metropolitan Building.

The annual Femmy Awards at The Chelsea Piers, with actress Vivica A. Fox as host, will add to the energized atmosphere. More than 300 guests are expected. Also propelling momentum will be the CurveNV trade fair in Las Vegas, which will run Feb. 13 to 15, and has been a main topic of pre-market conversation among merchants and vendors.

With such a packed schedule — for which some companies got a jump-start with regional retailers last week — February has become a merry-go-round for vendors showing spring-summer deliveries to boutiques, and back-to-school, fall and early holiday lines to major stores. Before consolidating the January and March markets into a February venue, makers traditionally showed b-t-s products in November, but must now move up the time frame to accommodate retailers' needs.

While market week should be hectic, Helen McCluskey, group president of intimate apparel at The Warnaco Group, said, "We don't expect it to be any different than any other market. It's an important market, we have exciting product to show and our appointment schedule is full."

Sizing up the new schedule, Marc Kimmelman, vice president of sales at Flora Nikrooz and Baby Phat Intimates at Age Group, said, "This will indeed be an extremely busy market, between distribution to better stores and distribution to traditional department stores, we are flooded."

The Flora Nikrooz and Baby Phat lines will be exhibited at the Age Group showrooms, as well as Lingerie Americas, Kimmelman said. This will be followed by the CurveNV fair.

"We started showing to local stores the Thursday before market to get a jump start, and after the Las Vegas show, we'll once again show product to New York stores on Feb. 19 and 20,'' he said. "It's all become quite lengthy, but the amount of weeks is not the issue. It's the time we can spend with each retailer to meet their needs."

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