Bill Curtin, the owner of Blueprint Denim Washhouse, is introducing a new men’s and women’s denim trade show, Blueprint, which will take place in the Meatpacking District on June 24 and 25.
Curtin wants to provide a smaller alternative to Denim Première Vision, which takes place in Barcelona, and Kingpins, another denim show that takes place in Hong Kong, Amsterdam and New York.
In addition to filling a void, he’s also attempting to create a new experience.
According to Curtin, he’s merging the buisness-to-business and buisness-to-commerce trade show concepts into one. Blueprint, which he is calling an expo, will feature mills and manufacturers from around the world including Çalik, Orta Anadolu, Raymond UCO, Grandtex and Mount Vernon, along with buzzy denim labels such as Edwin, a Japanese denim line.
“We wanted to cover all bases,” said Curtin, who previously worked as a denim developer for brands including Tommy Hilfiger and Converse before opening the Blueprint Denim Washhouse in 2010.
Although he’s implementing a variety of features, Curtin wants the event to be a smaller, more intimate experience that lends itself to business transactions.
“Trade shows have become kind of like nightclubs. They get really hot and they’ve gotten really social. One of the things we heard from vendors is that they want to conduct business and have people actually sit down and go through the denim,” said Curtin, who chose to house the show at an old storefront in the Meatpacking District on Little West 12th Street.
The show will also give visitors a glimpse inside the finishing process. Curtin will set up interactive installations where trade show attendees can learn the hand-sanding, grinding and paint splatter process. Mills will let visitors cut rolls of fabric and sew leg panels.
Additionally, designers and buyers can shop for vintage denim at an on-site flea market. Proceeds will go to Denim Doing Good, a charitable platform that benefits children through art. A “Made In NYC” area will be dedicated to connecting visitors to pattern and sample-makers and sewing contractors in New York City.