NEW YORK — Lingerie Americas will be the only intimate apparel trade show in town this March.
In addition to Madison Avenue showrooms, the fall-winter innerwear market has been the lively stage for two trade shows — Intima America and Lingerie Americas — that competed for retailer turnout, as well as exhibitors. The absence of one event is good news for a majority of retailers and manufacturers, but for others it’s viewed as a consolidation of a vibrant market.
Messe Frankfurt-operated Intima America staged its third edition here at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in August. The 13-year-old Intimate Apparel Salon, which was acquired by Messe Frankfurt in 2002, was held in November.
“I can’t tell you something concrete at this time,” said Roland Bleinroth, president of Messe Frankfurt Inc., the U.S. arm of the German trade show giant. “Two shows at the same time is not exactly what the industry wanted to see. There are discussions on how to resolve this problem, but the jury is still out.”
Bleinroth said a decision had not been made regarding other show dates, including August and November.
Patrice Argain, chief executive officer of French-managed Lingerie Americas, said he was feeling bullish about the March 6-8 edition at the Metropolitan Pavilion & Altman Building. It will be sponsored by Invista Lycra and Tactel.
“We have a lot of new exhibitors and 67 of 250 exhibitors at Lingerie Americas will be brands showing with us for the first time,” Argain said. “We decided to limit space for some of the more mature brands, such as Cosabella, Chantelle, Simone Perele and Le Mystere, so we could have more space for a larger number of brands to exhibit.”
Some 50 brands will be showcased in a fourth-floor setting, which encompasses more than 5,000 square feet. Among the brands at Lingerie Americas for the first time are: Natori, Hanro, Pucci, Lagerfeld Gallery, Vivienne Westwood, Stan Herman, Pierre Cardin, Flora Nikrooz, Farr West, Christies, BedHead, Hatley, KayAnna, Kenzie Intimates, Pink Daisy and Scanty.
The fair will feature a Best Sellers venue for the first time at the entrance of the Metropolitan Pavilion, which will highlight top-selling items on 16 mannequins. The items will represent successful ideas from brands that were exhibited at other trade fairs in Asia, as well as the Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris in late January.
Regarding preregistration, Laurence Teinturier, director of sales, said last week that about 2,500 visitors had signed up.
“It will be the same product that has already been shown in Paris and Asia, so manufacturers already know what are their bestsellers,” he said.
Argain noted that three seminars will be presented: “Maximizing Your Sales Through Sound Inventory Management,” by retail consulting firm RMSA on March 6 at 3:30 p.m.; “Retail Essentials — Growing Your Business Through Effective Sales Training,” by the Global Purchasing Group, a full-service buying office, on March 7 at 3:30 p.m., and a fall-winter 2005 trend and market overview by trend forecasting agency Carlin International New York, called “How To Make Informed Purchasing Decisions.” The trend seminar is scheduled for March 7 at 4:30 p.m.
There also will be two video presentations by The Best of Intima, Italian Intimagroup magazine’s edition for the American market: “Shop Scouting Worldwide,” which will show best shop concepts daily at 1:30 p.m., and “The Best Shops Awards,” a contest for best display ad merchandising concepts by retailers staged each day at noon. The winners will be announced in August.
Argain said the French Intimate Apparel Manufacturers Association will host a “French cocktail party” at 5 p.m. on March 6.