Vying for Vendors in Las Vegas

Lingerie retailers will get quite a buffet of brands in Las Vegas at two August lingerie trade shows, Lingerie Americas Las Vegas and CurveNV.

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Lingerie retailers will get quite a buffet of brands in Las Vegas at two August lingerie trade shows, Lingerie Americas Las Vegas and CurveNV.

The benefits will include strong marketing campaigns by trade fair organizers and a broader range of products and brands in two settings at the Venetian Resort Hotel, as well as the opportunity to discover brands and concepts. The dual-show venue will also open fresh avenues of business for specialty boutiques based primarily on the West Coast, in the Midwest and in Canada that have limited financial resources and a tight time frame to travel to the seasonal New York markets.

Scheduling several concurrent trade shows that showcase the same categories generally does not pose a quandary for merchants, vendors and show executives. However, some see it as a duplication of time, money and resources.

Lida Linsey, owner of Inside Story, a specialty shop in Oakville, Ontario, said, “I think there should be one show because there are just so many brands. It’s silly. They’ll have to figure this out. It doesn’t make sense.”

Kathy Rodarte, buyer for LuLu’s, a specialty shop in Manhattan Beach, Calif., said it would be better if there were one show, but noted that it was convenient that both shows were in the same building.

“It seems like they are battling it out and I can see it going to whichever show does better,” said Kirk Andrews, owner of Petticoat Fair, an intimate apparel boutique in Austin, Tex. “It will end up with the strongest show. We ran into that situation a few years ago when the Intima America show dropped out” of showing in New York.

Intima America, owned by German trade fair giant Messe Frankfurt, discontinued its New York shows in 2004, making Lingerie Americas the only show in Manhattan.

At both shows, the focus will be on upscale brands, designer names, specialty classifications such as full-figure bras and fashion-forward items for spring-summer 2008.

The CurveNV show got a jump-start in February at the Venetian with its first Las Vegas edition. The second session is scheduled for Aug. 27 to 29. So far, CurveNV said it had confirmed 131 exhibitors and was expecting “a substantial number of additional confirmations” by mid-July, said Laurence Teinturier, executive vice president of CurveExpo Inc., based in Riverside, Conn.

This story first appeared in the June 11, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Wear Canada, the Canadian association of apparel manufacturers, will be a sponsor of CurveNV this season. Canada will be represented by 20 brands, including B.B. Curves, Bra Bag, Donna Lingerie, Hanna, Frou-Frou Designs, Giovanni D’Amico, La Cosa, Montelle Intimates, Solution Cami, The Natural, V.I.P., V.P.M., Volage and the licensed Jessica Simpson line.

“We started Curve for a main reason — retailers and exhibitors asked us to do it,” Teinturier said. “We decided to open on a Monday because it will give retailers time to arrive. Besides, all of the other shows during Fashion Week in Las Vegas, including WWDMAGIC, kick off on a Monday.”

Among the confirmed exhibitors for CurveNV are Vera Wang Lingerie, Cosabella, Wacoal, DKNY Underwear and Donna Karan Intimates, Louis Feraud, Hanky Panky, Le Mystere, Mary Green, Kenan, Rampage, Elita, Janet Reger, Claire Pettibone, Felina, Rago, Panache, Spanx, Pluto, Verde Veronica, Belita, Fleur’T, Munki Munki, Belle Nuit, Elizabeth Cotton, Body Wrap, Poisson D’Amour, Belabumbum, Bella Materna and Arobatherapy. Swimwear labels will include Aqualara, Panache Swim and Cosabella.

CurveNV will be located in a 40,000-square-foot area of the Venetian’s main floor that faces the casino.

“It’s a great location, which will allow a lot of traffic,” said Jean-Luc Teinturier, president of CurveNV and husband of Laurence.

He added that CurveNV would implement an “aggressive” marketing campaign that would target swimwear buyers at major department stores, as well as lingerie buyers from specialty boutiques and apparel and accessories shops, and e-commerce businesses.

The Teinturiers said a series of seminars and events were planned, but noted they “were not ready” to discuss details.

Lingerie Americas Las Vegas will make its debut Aug. 26 to 28. So far, 112 exhibitors have been confirmed, according to a statement by the fair organizer.

Jonathan Colella, U.S. project manager for the Lingerie Americas fairs, said, “We are in talks with many more exhibitors and we are expecting many more confirmations.”

The Lingerie Americas Las Vegas fair will be on the Venetian’s fourth level, which features four separate halls and encompasses 45,000 square feet. “There are doors that will allow separate traffic to flow,” said Colella.

Lingerie Americas Las Vegas will follow the 11th edition of the Lingerie Americas show in New York, which was created in 2002.

Patrice Argain, chief executive officer of Lingerie Americas Inc., said in a statement, “We are devoted to making the Las Vegas show just as strong as the New York event. The entire team is very excited about the opportunity to help exhibitors reach West Coast buyers and provide buyers with a professional trade show in their area, all while maintaining the high quality expected in New York.”

Colella said, “We are expecting 1,500 buyers for the Las Vegas launch. Obviously, like New York, we are targeting retailers, and we expect to see all of the major retailers. Lingerie Americas did a yearlong survey to make sure there was a legitimate need for the Las Vegas show, and make sure it was the right city. We listed a number of cities in our survey, and the majority of responses were Las Vegas.”

Explaining why Lingerie Americas Las Vegas will open on Sunday, Colella said, “Over 85 percent of retailers stated it was much better to start the show on a Sunday because it gives them two full days, it’s easier to hire extra staff on a weekend and it’s cheaper flying on a Saturday.”

Among the lingerie brands that will exhibit at the Lingerie Americas Las Vegas show are Christian Lacroix, John Galliano, Kenzo, Nina Ricci, Natori, Josie, Calida, Elle Macpherson Intimates, Eveden, Oscar de la Renta, Betsey Johnson Intimates and Carole Hochman. Major French brands such as Aubade, Chantelle, Huit, Lejaby, Simone Perele and Empreinte will also be represented.

A daily event at 11 a.m. will be an “Eveden Inc. Fit School Seminar.” It will be presented by Frederika Zappe, Eveden’s national fit specialist, and Jim West, director of marketing and product development for Eveden in the U.S.

Brenda Berger, national sales manager of Hanky Panky, said, “We were at the first Curve show and were very pleased. We’ll be doing Curve again and we see an additional opportunity this time because the Project show will be on the same floor. It’s a hip, upscale denim show, so that’s really good for us because many of those stores carry Hanky Panky.”

Michael Herman, senior vice president of sales and merchandising at Natori Co., said the firm would exhibit the Josie and Natori brands at Lingerie Americas Las Vegas.

“Like most companies, we don’t have offices on the West Coast, so it gives us the opportunity to meet with specialty retailers who normally do not come to New York,” said Herman. “We are excited to go to Las Vegas to meet with specialty boutiques and service them there. We have an extremely strong focus on specialty boutiques.”

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