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This season’s round of fabric and sourcing shows is getting extra emphasis with the soft launch of NYC Textile Week, an alignment of textile and fashion trade exhibitions including Texworld USA, Kingpins Show and MRket.

This story first appeared in the January 6, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The new concept is meant to establish New York as the destination for textile and sourcing professionals in the global fashion, home and related industries. NYC Textile Week will soft-launch Jan. 19 to 21, while those events are taking place, with a grand launch in July.

“Texworld USA is pleased to be one of the creators of this exciting new initiative,” said Dennis Smith, president of Messe Frankfurt and organizer of Texworld USA. “NYC Textile Week will be the link that ties together all the textile events being held in New York City and will offer a bountiful amount of diverse textile offerings for the attendees that visit from all corners of the globe. The collaboration brings greater awareness to social, educational, commercial and cultural elements in the textile and garment industries, creating an all-encompassing experience.”

Andrew Olah, founder of the Kingpins Show and organizer of NYC Textile Week, said, “All of the shows are really pleased to be able to get together and coordinate an improvement in the experience visitors have when coming to New York during the show week. Long-term, we hope all the shows will want the same thing and exhibit at the same time as the rest of us.”

New York is the hub for key events for the U.S. textile industry, which remains one of the most important employers in the manufacturing sector and has seen a resurgence in recent years after decades of decline. With more than 230,000 workers, the textile industry represents about two percent of the U.S. manufacturing workforce. The industry, which includes producers of textiles, raw materials, yarns, fabrics, apparel and home furnishings, represents annual investments of about $1.2 billion in capital expenditures.

Until now, there has been no synergy among the textile, sourcing and apparel shows that visit New York biannually.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo hailed NYC Textile Week as a destination “to share ideas and information and best practices in the textile business.” In a letter to organizers, he added, “On behalf of all New Yorkers, I commend the professionals of every facet of the textile and fashion industry who have come together to take part in NYC Textile Week.”

Attendees, exhibitors and organizers of the various textile and apparel trade shows already represent a significant contribution to the city’s economy, spending an estimated $25 million on hotels, local transportation, dining and shopping per year. By joining together and inviting other textile sourcing and wholesale garment shows to participate, NYC Textile Week organizers hope to create even more opportunities for textile and fashion industry professionals to experience New York City.

“Everyone is challenged by travel and the quest for innovation,” said Tricia Carey, USA business development manager for Lenzing and co-organizer of the initiative. “NYC Textile Week simplifies the calendar by having multiple shows in one amazing city, while taking advantage of the art and cultural highlights of NYC. Lenzing is supporting NYC Textile Week to bring the textile and sourcing community together, while authenticating NYC as a global sourcing center.”

The shows come at a critical time for sourcing executives who are juggling shifting industry dynamics. Asian manufacturing still drives the bulk of production choices, but fast-turn and nimble options have become more important. This has spurred a resurgence of U.S. fabric and yarn manufacturing and solidified the Western Hemisphere as an often viable option, especially for higher quality goods and brands and retailers looking for better control and fewer risks.

The 18th edition of Texworld USA, the largest sourcing event in North America, is set for Jan. 19 to 21 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center’s North Hall. Bobby D. Cole, marketing manager for Texworld USA, said the show is on trend for about 3,600 attendees, with a sold-out roster of 279 exhibitors.

“We want to enhance the overall visitors’ experience,” Cole said. “It’s not only about sourcing fabrics, but it’s also about education and learning about new trends in fabrics and sourcing.”

To that end, Texworld has stepped up its offering of trend forums and presentations. A seminar series, organized by Lenzing Texworld, will also feature three pavilions, with exhibitors of Lenzing fibers and fabrics, and companies from Taiwan and Turkey, in addition to the colocated International Apparel Sourcing Show. Noting that the show continually aims for further global diversification, Cole said there will be first-time exhibitors from Australia, Peru and Portugal.

Carey said the Lenzing Pavilion has several fresh elements for the spring 2016 edition, with mills from the U.S., China, South Korea and Taiwan.

“We’re pleased to have Burlington join the Lenzing Pavilion for the first time, showcasing its range of Tencel wool for activewear and ready-to-wear,” she said. “Another new exhibitor to the Pavilion is Matsui from China, with woven fabrics in Tencel and Lenzing modal. We have our long-term Lenzing partners like Mozartex, Handseltex, Buhler, Laguna, Mansfield, Learned Winner, People and Nature. Our consistent mill partners are reliable, supply chain partners who want to supply American brands.”

Carey noted that prices of cotton, polyester and viscose are at competitive lows.

“Buyers continue to ask more questions about raw material pricing, as well as origin due to sustainability concerns,” she added. “The bright spot in the market continues to be activewear, so brands are looking at any way to extend this concept, such as denim fabrics and garments that imitate activewear styles with performance, comfort and stretch. The challenge is innovation without the price.”

The Texworld seminar program organized by Lenzing covers a broad range of industry topics. On opening day, Jan. 19, at 1 p.m., “Made in America: A New Reality” will feature Pete Bauman, senior vice president of Burlington Worldwide; Joann Kim, director of Johnny’s Fashion Studio; Carey, and Michael Penner, chief executive officer of the Richelieu Group. They will discuss how the Made in America resurgence has taken hold, as many companies now include U.S. production as part of their sourcing strategy, and where it goes from here.

On day two, a seminar titled “Consumer Engagement — The Circular Economy” has experts such as Jessica Schreiber, program manager for re-FashioNYC at the New York City Department of Sanitation, and Eric Stubin, ceo of 2ReWear Inc., offering insight into how completing and creating a sustainable textile supply chain will require consumer participation.

There are also trend presentations for spring-summer 2016 from Texworld art directors Louis Gerin and Gregory Lamaud; a look at textile, print and graphic trends from Jaana Jatyri, ceo of Trendstop, and a take on “The West Coast Perspective” from Fran Sude, vice president of Design Options. In addition, Buhler Quality Yarns executives Victor Almeida and David Sasso will conduct a seminar dubbed “Fabric 101 — Fabric In An Hour,” in which they will offer tips on yarn spinning, fabric construction, dyeing and finishing.

The denim-centric Kingpins New York takes place Jan. 20 and 21 at Skylight Clarkson Square at 550 Washington Street. The show features denim and sportswear fabric mills from the U.S., Japan, China, India, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Thailand, Spain and Mexico, as well as washhouses, full-package manufacturers, trim providers and business-solutions experts.

Before all that gets started, Première Vision New York and Indigo New York take place for the second season at Pier 92, Jan. 13 and 14. An expanded array of trend and design seminars is on tap, with a broader selection of European fabric, trimming and accessories companies setting up shop at the Hudson River venue.

Some 118 companies — mostly European — will be showing embroideries, lace, suitings, silks, woolens, knits, color wovens and technical fabrics. Regular exhibitors are joined this season by 13 newcomers, including Italian knit producer Carvico, Japanese prints company Hokkoh, French lace specialist Ets Lucien Noyon & Cie and embroiderer Ricamificio Lusi.

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