LOS ANGELES -- Opening day of the third Los Angeles International Textile Show at the California Mart was a busy one.
By 9 a.m. Monday, buyers had swamped the registration areas, and, within an hour, the mart's parking lot was full. At least 1,000 buyers checked in during the first two hours of the show, according to a Mart spokesman, who said the event should draw about 7,000 buyers. About 5,000 attended the inaugural show in May, while roughly 6,000 showed up at last October's edition.
The three-day stand, which features spring-summer 1995 apparel fabrics, -- along with trimmings and machinery -- from 320 companies, ends Wednesday. It is co-sponsored by the Mart and the Textile Association of Los Angeles.
While many exhibitors said the show was important in terms of exposure, buyers said they planned to work the market and place orders, especially for textured knits and wovens.
Lisa Gitelman, merchandiser for Gymboree, Burlingame, Calif., a chain of 157 children's wear stores, said she was in search of textured knits, including puckers, basketweaves and piques.
Her stores are "color driven," she said, adding, "I'm shopping for everything from brights to spice tones and neutrals."
Gitelman said she was looking at novelty textured fabrics for up to $5 per yard, as the company, which manufactures 95 percent of its goods off-shore, plans to shift production of basic items back to the U.S.
"It's too expensive to do some of the detailed work domestically, so we will balance it more with novelty fabrics," she said.
Karen Van Beek and Kelly Cornell, designers for Siren Blue, a Seattle contemporary sportswear and dress company, said they were excited by the selection at the show, especially marbleized stretch velvet and linen velours at Symphony Fabrics, a New York converter.
"We are buying holiday and spring fabrics," Van Beek said. "This show is wonderful for us because usually we have to look at swatches and do our ordering by phone."
The two women said they were also shopping for additional textured stretch knits and woven fabrics for up to $10 a yard and expected to order about 400 sample yards at the market.Brenda Schoelen, assistant designer at Dorothy Schoelen for Platinum, a sportswear manufacturer here, said she was shopping for holiday fill-ins.
"We like anything metallic right now, in silver or in versions of silver," she said. "For spring, we will look for puckered fabrics in creamy, natural tones as well as brights and patina shades.
"We do a large spring line," she added, "about 15 to 20 groups featuring about 40 pieces each."
Schoelen said the price points on fabrics she was looking for ranged from $7 to $14 per yard.
Melinda Besnoin, co-owner of Melivier, a designer bridge resource here, said that while she usually buys from European mills represented at Premiere Vision, she felt the need to support the Los Angeles show.
"It is important to press American mills to be more hip," she said. "I go in and I ask, 'What do you have in polyester blends? In microfiber? What do you have that's functional?"'
Besnoin also said the show was a chance for her to meet with European resources to put the finishing touch on previous deals.
Shopping for textured wovens, including some complementary men's wear style fabrics such as houndstooth checks at $12 to $25 per yard, she said she planned to place orders "for several thousand yards."
Sam Onyemelukwe, designer at Tribal Thredz, a unisex streetwear company here, said he may spend all three days shopping the show.
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