LOS ANGELES — Designers and apparel manufacturers combing the booths at the Los Angeles International Textile Show last week were on the hunt for novelty fabrics to help their product stand out as spending tightens.
"It works at retail when you can surprise your customer with something fresh and fun," said Beth McTavish, a principal in Vancouver-based manufacturer Halfmoon, who liked novel prints of abstract florals and monkeys on linens from Japan's Seven Islands.
McTavish was among the designers and manufacturers who traveled from as far as Texas, North Carolina, Illinois, New York and Washington to attend the trade expo here from April 14 to 16 at the California Market Center. A total of 225 exhibitors from countries including Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and South Korea showed their spring 2009 collections.
Although metallics maintained their popularity, Marilyn Dinsmore, a manufacturer who owns Comet Clothing in Studio City, Calif., said she saw a lot of rich colors like electric blue in next spring's palette.
Agnes Yang, apparel product manager for Los Angeles-based footwear firm Keep Co., which introduced its contemporary clothing line for this fall, said she searched for sporty fabrics like cotton fleece and eye-catching patterns such as stripes and polkadots.
International exhibitors included 22 members of the Korea Textile Trade Association. Soo Hoon Chae, director of the government-sponsored organization, said he has been closely following the proposed free trade agreement between South Korea and the U.S., which requires approval by Congress. If the agreement were to pass, Korean textile companies would realize a reduction in their tariff rate that now ranges from 18 to 36 percent, he said.
"Korean manufacturers want to increase exports to the U.S., especially on the textile side," he said.
Some of the Korean high-tech offerings included Paka Textile Co. Ltd.'s two-tone chambray, fabrics with memory shape and cotton blends displaying a shiny leather finish. To maintain its sales with the dollar being weak, Paka Textile kept prices for spring 2009 fabrics consistent with a year ago, said brand manager Jay Jung.
"That's the only way to keep the business volume," he said.Switzerland's Schoeller Textil AG also emphasized technology in its Shape Group that included stretch blends of synthetic and natural fibers ideal for form-fitting clothes, and Spirit Group, which integrated metallics for bold and expressive optical effects. Making its first visit to the trade expo, Schoeller received a positive reception from designers of lifestyle apparel brands to Spirit Group's aluminum-coated polyester that resembled a metal screen as well as a ribbed nylon-metal blend that was transparent and reflective.
Despite the price, novel fabrics such as a Japanese tie-dye called shibori proved to be big sellers for Chesler & Associates. The most popular style was a burgundy silk dotted with irregularly edged circles at $40 a yard. Also getting attention was organic cotton shirting at about $7 a yard. Underscoring the growing sophistication of organic materials, the shirting fabric featured details such as raised pinstripes from French mill Siat & Lang.
Italy's Mectex took the weak dollar into consideration by tailoring its collection for the local market. Its double-face fabric that featured a different color on each side was a viable option for emerging designers on a budget because they essentially received two fabrics in one, said export area manager Simona Febbi. A version called Domaso Double is a polyester that's pink on one side and gray on the other at $11.50 a yard. Febbi said Mectex also brought less expensive alternatives. A customer who liked a cotton, silk and elastic blend that cost $12.80 a yard could opt for a similar-looking cotton and elastic blend for $8.60 a yard, sans the silk.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)