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New Trade Shows Boast Size, Breadth

Just what the world needs: five more trade shows.

NEW YORK — Just what the world needs: five more trade shows.

This story first appeared in the June 10, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Under the banner The Prestige Show, separate women’s, shoes and accessories, kids’, men’s and fabric shows will launch this winter off the beaten trade show path in Central Park.

The Web site, theprestigeshow.com, bills the event as “the largest apparel trade show in New York City” and boasts “over 1 million square feet of exhibit space and over half a million attendees.” Besides size, its other point of difference is abandoning the niche model in favor of spanning from luxury to mass.

“New York has a lot of good shows, but they all are very focused on the designer market, like Moda and ENK,” said Rida Kahn, director of sales for the shows. “The main purpose of this show is to cover all of the category of clothing — not only high end but also the middle and Wal-mart range. It’s just like MAGIC Las Vegas, but with different shows for each category.”

The organizers are Climax Showroom and two venture capitalists. It will mark the first foray into trade show hosting for each.

The show’s biggest incentive is its lower price tag: currently $4,200 for a 10-by-10-foot soft wall space, versus what can be $5,000 to $10,000 at other shows, said Kahn.

“We are much cheaper than the current trade shows in the New York area, so we are already attracting a lot of Californian and European designers,” Kahn said. “In today’s market with a struggling economy it is a decision-making factor.”

About half the exhibitor spaces are already filled, said Kahn, adding she expects each show to take upward of 300,000 square feet in Central Park and have between 1,500 and 1,700 vendors. Buyer registration has not opened yet, but Kahn said she expects buyers will “range from Bergdorf Goodman to Wal-mart.”

The fabrics and sourcing show will run Jan. 14 to 16, followed by men’s on Jan. 18 to 20, then kids’ on Jan. 23 to 25, accessories and shoes on Jan. 29 to 31, and women’s on Feb. 7 to 9.