By  on April 5, 1994

NEW YORK -- A beefed-up exhibitor roster, an large expected turnout of buyers and the North American Free Trade Agreement should make for an active third edition of the Los Angeles International Textile Show.

The three-day show, which opens Monday at the California Mart, will have about 75 more exhibitors than last May's inaugural event.

They bring the exhibitor list to approximately 325 fabric, textile machinery, trimmings and computer-aided-design companies.

The show is co-sponsored by the Mart and the Textile Association of Los Angeles.

The show's second edition, last October, had 320 companies, but 40 of them were leather suppliers exhibiting as "Leather Under the Sun." The leather showcase is a fall-only event.

Next week's show will highlight apparel fabrics for spring 1995 and occupy the Mart's entire 144,000-square-foot 13th floor pavilion and 35,000-square-foot sixth-floor exhibit hall.

At the first two shows, only some 75,000 square feet on the 13th floor were used for textile show space. However, about 30 apparel firms that had been there have moved to other locations inside the Mart.

In addition, several exhibits will appear on the Mart's market mezzanine.

"With NAFTA now a reality, the show is growing in stature, given Los Angeles's proximity to Mexico," said Bob Berg, TALA's executive director. "We expect more buyers from Mexico to attend this show."

Berg said that as of March 28, buyer registration had topped 2,500, with total buyer attendance projected at about 6,500, up from the nearly 5,200 who attended last October's show.

While the event promises to attract U.S. buyers primarily from west of the Mississippi River, it will also draw about 700 from Europe, Mexico and the Far East, Berg said.

Some exhibitors said NAFTA will play a key role.

Fred Baumgarten, president and chief executive officer of Majestic Mills, a corduroy producer, said he expects to see more Mexican buyers this time because of NAFTA. Majestic has shown at the previous two Los Angeles events.

"Corduroy apparel is gaining ground, and Mexico could become a key resource for it," said Baumgarten, whose firm in January purchased the corduroy operations of Cone Mills.

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