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NEW YORK — Fabric and sourcing executives gathering here for several key trade shows this month will carry with them indications of a continued slow economic recovery and an environment where shifting trade winds have become the new norm.
The pending Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement faces several hurdles but has the potential to significantly change the landscape for global manufacturing, while the new World Trade Organization deal promises to ease the flow of goods and lower costs for importers and exporters. The new-to-the-table U.S.-European Union FTA won’t likely come to fruition in 2014, but could see companies begin preparing strategies for further intercontinental trade.
Current trends that seem certain to continue are diversification of production to a China Plus One, Two or many plan, as companies balance costs, risks, expediency and expertise. This overall scheme includes key issues such as labor and safety concerns in countries like Bangladesh and Cambodia, rising costs and priorities in China, and the viability of Western Hemisphere manufacturing, particularly in the U.S. and Central America.
At the same time, the importance of innovation, sustainability and speed to market should become more cemented along the supply chain, while executives keep an eye on the fragile economic recovery in the U.S. and Europe, and the potential exporting and sourcing opportunities in places such as Brazil, Russia, India and Africa.
Première Vision New York and Indigo New York open the action with a return to the Metropolitan Pavilion & The Altman Building at 125-135 West 18th Street on Jan. 14 and 15.
PV will once again feature some of the top European mills showing their spring 2015 fabric collections on the main floor of the venue, while Indigo, a creative textile and surface design show featuring some of the most renowned international studios, will take over the second, fourth and fifth floors of the Metropolitan Pavilion.
The shows are welcoming 261 companies, representing a 10 percent increase over the January 2013 edition. PV will gather some 124 exhibitors, 17 more than a year ago, including 20 companies that are either new or returning after being absent for a few sessions. Among them are Italian firms Brunello and Intesa, and Japan’s Mitsubishi Rayon.
Among the 137 studios brought together at Indigo will be 11 new companies, strengthening the diversity of the creative styles at the show.
“The samples we are receiving from exhibitors, both design studios and mills, are giving us early signs of a particularly lighthearted and fresh season,” said Sabine Le Chatelier, deputy fashion director of PV.
Le Chatelier will host her well-attended biannual Trend Vision seminars, while dedicated trend areas will help buyers and designers navigate the key directions for the upcoming season and are designed specifically for the North American market.
Texworld USA and the colocated Apparel Sourcing Show will set up shop at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Jan. 21 to 23 with some fresh elements added to the largest apparel fabrics and sourcing show in North America.
The 2014 winter edition of Texworld USA will feature 246 confirmed exhibitors from 18 countries including international pavilions from Turkey, sponsored by Uludag Exporters’ Association, and Taiwan, organized by Messe Frankfurt Taiwan. Lenzing Innovation will also once again have a pavilion at the January show.
Texworld has partnered with Manufacture NY, a fashion incubator for emerging designers, to allow attendees and designers the opportunity to source fabrics and speak with Manufacture NY about their products and services. Texworld will identify exhibitors on the show floor that are able to produce smaller minimums along with eco-friendly textiles in order to meet the needs of the buyers.
“Our goal is to be able to provide all the necessary resources for our attendees at Texworld USA,” said John P. Gallagher, president and chief executive officer of Messe Frankfurt Inc., which produces Texworld USA. “By partnering with Manufacture NY, we will be able to provide our visitors with an interactive show floor, and for our emerging designers, a premium resource on how to start their brand.”
Bob Bland, founder and ceo of Manufacture NY, said, “Texworld USA’s commitment to providing the next generation of fashion designers with low minimum and domestic textile sourcing options makes them an ideal partner for Manufacture NY. We look forward to working with them as the trade show floor becomes more interactive and responsive to 21st century material sourcing needs.”
Manufacture NY will be providing interactive elements to the show floor, such as a sewing section with current members creating original designs and mannequins displaying finished garments.
In addition, Texworld is following the digital trend and has partnered with Tradegood, a B2B global sourcing community that connects responsible buyers and trusted suppliers. Texworld will offer the service to buyers and exhibitors prior to the show during the pre-registration process online and Tradegood will provide match-making support on-site on the show floor.
“Texworld USA actively seeks new avenues to assist our buyers and exhibitors in building stronger relationships,” said Kristy Meade, group show director at Messe Frankfurt Inc. “Partnering with Tradegood will provide matchmaking support enabling buyers to make accurate and insightful decisions when selecting a supplier.”
William Quilindo, chief operations officer of Tradegood, said, “Our…‘Business Done Right’ verification process helps eliminate blind spots and builds trust in buyer-supplier relationships.”
Texworld will also once again team with Lenzing Innovation for a diverse seminar series. Tricia Carey, USA merchandising manager for Lenzing, said the three-day complimentary series is “based on the latest industry topics within trends, sourcing, fabric innovations, sustainability and small business development. It is a chance for the supply chain to connect, learn and discuss.”
On opening day, the seminar series features “Denim Innovation” at 2 p.m, where panelists Michael Kininmonth, denim project manager for Lenzing Fibers; Mark Messura, senior vice president for global supply chain marketing at Cotton Incorporated, and Julian Metcalf, business manager for DyStar U.S., will discuss the latest innovations in the market and at their companies and how they fit into today’s sustainability initiatives.
The intricacies of “Global Sourcing” will be the focus of a seminar on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., as Nate Herman, vice president of international trade at the American Apparel & Footwear Association, and David Sasso, vice president of international sales at Buhler Quality Yarns, will join Lenzing’s Carey to delve into the complicated matrix of countries, products and regulations of the sourcing world. They will discuss the risks of outsourcing and the appeal of Made in America, as well as opportunities in pending free trade agreements.
AAFA’s Herman will then lead a talk on “What’s in Your Clothes? Why You Need to Know What Chemicals Are in Your Clothes and the Tools That Can Help” at 3:30 p.m. that afternoon.
On Thursday morning at 11 a.m., Gail Strickler, assistant U.S. Trade Representative, will give an “Update on Trade Policy and Ongoing Trade Negotiations,” including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. This will be followed at 12:30 p.m. by “The Business of Trends,” with Louis Gerin and Gregory Lamaud, art directors of Texworld Paris and owners of 2G2L Fashion Design & Consulting, and Manufacture NY’s Bland will focus on how to turn creative ideas into solid business results.
Rounding out the series at 2 p.m. is “Fashion Industry ABCs,” where Mercedes Gonzales, director of Global Purchasing Cos., will offer insight on helping emerging fashion designers start their own fashion or private-label line. Mixed into the three-day series are trend presentations from Pantone, Design Options and Stylesight.
Carey said Lenzing will look to build of the strength of Lenzing products and the Lenzing Pavilion at Texworld.
“We continue to have a variety of suppliers exhibiting in the Lenzing Pavilion, from knits to wovens, USA to Asia to Europe, low to high price points,” she said. “We have more spinners exhibiting at this show with Buhler, Tuscarora, Samil and Daenong. There is greater interest in understanding the raw materials and innovation at the yarn stage.”
Carey said Lenzing will be featuring fresh takes on denim and bottom-weight applications with Tencel, combining aesthetics with performance.
“We have even been working with Invista to study the differences with various fiber blends and constructions related to stretch and recovery, as well as seam slippage,” she said. “The results show the benefits of using man-made cellulosic fibers in these applications.”
As for the overall environment going into the show, Carey said, “I always feel the January show is strong as the industry comes into the new year refreshed and hungry for information.”
The denim-centric Kingpins New York show has a new venue for its next edition taking place on Jan. 21 and 22. It’s moving to The Tunnel at 269 11th Avenue from its former location down the road at Center 548.
Panel discussions during Kingpins will include “What Is Premium?” cohosted by Candiani Denim and Cone Mills. Set for 2 p.m. on opening day, this panel will discuss how the premium concept has evolved and its new relationship to denim fabric, jeans, price, sustainability and luxury.
At 1:30 p.m. on the show’s second day, “1+1 = 3: How Lycra and Lenzing Worked Together to Fuse Stretch and Recovery With Softness” will focus on how fiber giants Invista, which makes Lycra spandex, and Lenzing, the manufacturer of Tencel and Modal, have joined forces to blend stretch and cellulosic fibers to improve denim fabric performance.
Shows at a Glance
• Première Vision New York and Indigo New York: Jan. 14 and 15, Metropolitan Pavilion & The Altman Building at 125-135 West 18th Street.
• Texworld USA and the Apparel Sourcing Show: Jan. 21 to 23, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 West 34th Street.
• Kingpins New York: Jan. 21 and 22, The Tunnel, 269 11th Avenue.