Los Angeles organizers found their footing in 2016 and head into next year with confidence.
This story first appeared in the November 30, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Downtown’s revitalization and sustainability and technology embraced by the showrooms have helped create interest and momentum, said Ashleigh Kaspszak, assistant property manager and director of marketing and public relations at the New Mart. That should help the attendance of buyers for Los Angeles for Market Week, which runs five times next year, beginning with the Jan. 16 to 19 market.
The New Mart has been through ups and downs as it began a transformation in 1986 to shift from manufacturing to offices and showrooms and took a hit with the recession. But the building’s vacancy is healthy, with some 600 lines on the premises.
“It’s finally happening,” Kaspszak said. “They’ve been converting since ’86, but we’re now seeing the build-up.”
New Mart is also home to the Designers & Agents trade show set for Jan. 16 to 18 and March 13 to 15 runs. Factory Direct, held biannually, will have its first show Feb. 27 to March 1, which is aimed at bringing exhibitors such as textile vendors, distribution and logistics companies, trend forecasters and even lawyers to business owners.
Brand Assembly will once again be at the Cooper Design Space with pre-fall to be held Jan. 16 to 18.
Brittany Carr, director of the California Market Center, expects a strong start to next year based on what executives observed at the last textile show.
“That always gives us a heads up of how the apparel shows are going to be in the next year or two because that’s where it all begins,” Carr said. “That lets us know those brands are planning to cut more and produce more. We saw a really strong textiles show this past year with large increases in traffic.”
The building will see the return of contemporary lines at Select, up-and-coming brands at Emerge, shoe show Transit, Contemporary Curves and ath-leisure brands at Alt Jan. 16 to 18.
New next year is the Source British show, launching on the West Coast March 13 and 14 with as many as 80 British brands for men, women, accessories and home.
Capsule, which bowed in L.A. last month, returns that same month.
“[Capsule] went very well and we did see a lot of new buyers in the marketplace and they traveled through the [CMC] to see some of those resources as well as the additional shows that are based here,” Carr said. “It’s all bringing a multitude of resources for buyers so they have plenty to select from and there’s plenty of hospitalities at the various shows.”
She pointed to tea time, complimentary lunches and happy hour as examples.
“A lot more of the regional shows are picking up the hospitality needs,” Carr said. “They don’t want the buyers to take an hour-and-a-half lunch and leave the premises because they might not come back, so you definitely want to keep them here and engaged.”