By  on March 8, 2005

ATLANTA — Material World is extending its reach with a new fall show planned for New York, and expanded sourcing and technology at next week’s Miami exhibition.

Material World and the American Apparel & Footwear Association plan to hold an edition of the show at New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, a three-day event to begin Sept. 28.

Tim von Gal, executive vice president at Urban Expositions, which produces Material World, said the New York show will alternate with the Miami spring edition.

Material World experimented with two shows in 2003 — both in Miami — but held only a May staging last year.

Since 1992, the International Fashion Fabric Exhibition has staged fall and spring shows at the Javits center. Amy Bergman Bonomi, that show’s manager, said IFFE plans to have a fall event this year, but has not set its dates. The next edition of the show is to run April 18-20.

The Miami Beach Material World event, set for March 16-18 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, expects to have some 425 exhibitors, about 20 percent more than last year, including fabric and trim suppliers, and sourcing and technology vendors. Educational seminars on topics ranging from spring 2006 color trends to radio frequency identification will run concurrently with the show. A total of about 3,500 people are to attend, said von Gal.

Reflecting the influence of China since the dissolution of quotas in January, the Asian presence in Material World’s sourcing area has grown 60 percent since last year, with more full package providers, contractors and fabric producers. Material World is working with Cyber Merchants Exchange, a Los Angeles-based trade and logistics organization that sponsors biannual Las Vegas sourcing shows, to bring in more global sourcing companies, especially Asian and African companies.

Co-sponsor AAFA will kick off the show with an executive sourcing summit, a breakfast with panelists from companies, including Nine West, Perry Ellis International and Phillips-Van Heusen. Topics will include challenges facing apparel manufacturers, from competitive pressures of China to consolidation at retail to deflationary trends and logistics.

Kevin M. Burke, president and chief executive officer of the AAFA, said the panel will focus on the Central American Free Trade Agreement. The AAFA has been lobbying for prompt passage of the accord.“CAFTA needs to be passed early enough to stem the loss of business and help the region compete with Asia,” he said. “It’s supported by the administration and we’re hopeful it will pass in early spring.”

Material World will also feature a Technology Solutions section with 90 booths.

“Apparel production today is often spread out among many countries,” said Rick Ludolph, president of Productive Solutions, an Atlanta consulting firm specializing in business strategies and technologies for apparel companies, which will exhibit at the show. “Brands and retailers have to face the challenge of managing the complex supply chains.”

Alan Brooks, president of New Generation Computing, a Miami-based software company and exhibitor, said technology is the key to today’s retail environment.

“Brands are becoming retailers themselves, and they need point-of-sale and merchandising systems that they haven’t had before, as well as updating global sourcing systems,” he said.

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