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Wide Ranging

Miami's fashion trade show sector features everything under the sun.

Trade shows in Florida are as multifaceted and diverse as the Sunshine State itself — offering everything from the latest trends in contemporary and international fashion to the most up-to-date technology, performance fabrics and the best partners for global sourcing.

Surf Expo will kick off the 2008 show season Jan. 10 to 13 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Produced by DMG World Media, Surf Expo, which also has a September show, features approximately 850 exhibitors and more than 2,000 booths. Targeting mostly East Coast specialty stores and chains, the show continues to expand from its board sports roots to add more fashion components, particularly in women’s apparel. A new area called Boutique launched in September, with 140 booths of high-end resort and contemporary lines, including Tommy Bahama, Kiss My Face and Punkrose. Combined attendance, including retailer, exhibitor and media, averages more than 15,000.

Trafik, the contemporary apparel show at the Miami Beach Convention Center Feb. 3 to 5, is expecting 350 exhibitors this year. James Costa, show director, and chief executive officer of Atlanta-based Carpe, a men’s and women’s sportswear collection, said the nature of the show is evolving with market forces.

“Two years ago the show was mostly denim-based, but now we’re seeing the decline of denim and the increase of sportswear brands,” he said.

As an example, Costa pointed to his own company, which began as Carpe Denim in 2005, and eliminated the word “denim” from its name after its denim product shrank from 100 percent to 10 percent of the line a year ago. Specialty fabrics, lightweight twills, silks, poplins and cottons are replacing denim, as collections are becoming more well-rounded, to include skirts, dresses and jackets, Costa said.

Fabrics, from the latest eco-friendly and high-performance offerings, along with sourcing options and technology, will be highlighted at Material World, sponsored by Atlanta-based Urban Expositions. After a September event in New York, the spring show, April 8 to 10, returns to the Miami Beach Convention Center with more than 400 exhibitors.

Continuing the theme of environmental sustainability begun last year, the fabric areas will feature renewable resources such as bamboo, soy, Ingeo and corn fiber, along with fabrics that offer performance features, such as moisture management, antibacterial properties and thermo regulation.

The Technology Solutions area always includes futuristic applications, such as the latest uses of radio frequency identification, 3-D design scanners and digital printers.

In sourcing, the show this year will feature a new online global matchmaking service that allows attendees to select, according to their specific needs, the best sourcing partners from hundreds of international exhibitors at the show.

Material World also includes educational seminars on a range of issues, from global trade treaties and social and environmental responsibility to supply chain logistics.

Miami Fashion Week returns to Soho Studios in the Wynwood Arts District to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, from April 9 to 13. Produced by Sobol Fashion Productions Inc., the event features approximately 60 designers, primarily from Latin America, but also from Europe, Asia and the Middle East, in runway shows, parties and designer awards ceremonies.

The event draws more than 500 international media organizations, including many Latino publications.

Miami Fashion Week will include a celebrity guest designer, yet to be announced. Past honorees have included Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera.