By  on May 24, 1994

FLORENCE -- The first edition of Interseason -- a textile fair organized by Pratotrade, the consortium of Prato-based fabric mills -- was voted a success by organizers, exhibitors and buyers and will be back in November, although an exact date hasn't yet been set.

The two-day fair, on May 6-7, was planned as a supplement to the fabric showcases traditionally held in spring and fall. The idea is to supply an apparel market that is increasingly oriented toward continuous deliveries. Interseason is designed to offer buyers the most up-to-date and innovative fabrics even after the traditional buying season is over.

The approximately 60 exhibitors at Fortezza da Basso included such leading names in Italian textiles as Miroglio, Mario Bellucci, Checchi Lido & Figli, Emmetex, Master Loom and FAISA. They showed the latest additions to their spring-summer 1995 collections and the last flashes from their fall-winter 1994 portfolios.

"The results far exceeded our expectations," said a spokeswoman for Pratotrade, who noted that despite a low-key promotion effort, the showcase attracted nearly 1,400 visitors, double the number expected. Of the total, 1,260 were Italians and 129 came from abroad. Mexican Ambassador Dante Delgado also dropped by for a visit in connection with a trip to discuss trade possibilities between Mexico and the Tuscany region of Italy.

The impetus for the show came from the producers themselves.

"We are feeling more and more competition from developing countries, which have production costs that are much lower than ours," explained Silvano Gori, chairman of Master Loom, past president of Pratotrade and one of the key movers behind Interseason. "It is important for us to show that we can be elastic and responsive to the needs of the market."

Mario Maselli, president of Emmetex, who was elected president of Pratotrade in March, added, "Here, buyers have a synthesis of the most important fabrics from the spring-summer collection, as well as the latest developments from the fall-winter collection."

Maselli also pointed out that by showing the two seasons together, buyers can also mix fabrics from different seasons, following a "seasonless" trend that has emerged in clothing design.

Lamberto Cecchi, president of Cecchi Lido & Figli, pointed out that part of the impetus behind Interseason is to encourage apparel companies to produce more than just two collections a year.With this show, Cecchi said, "We are catering to those companies that do five and six deliveries in a year."

Ombretta Falciani, who runs a local buying office for such U.S. clients as The Limited and Lands' End, was enthusiastic about Interseason."It really gives you a good idea about what has been successful for fall and a reconfirmation of what spring-summer is going to be," said Falciani, who said she was still finishing up on fall 1994 for The Limited.

Among the fabrics shown for fall-winter were plenty of bouclÄs, wool and viscose blends in melange and nubby textures, and stretch fabrics in wool, viscose and Lycra spandex, while spring-summer 1995 included pure cottons and pure linens as well as linen and cotton blends. Also plentiful were stripes, transparent fabrics -- especially gauze -- and some unusual two-tone double-face fabrics.

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