SWATCHES

COTTON CONTEST: The search is on. If you’re a women’s apparel designer in business for at least one year, but no more than four, with your own showroom and a collection that’s predominantly cotton or cotton-rich, then you’re eligible to enter Cotton Incorporated’s second annual design contest.
Candidates must submit a completed entry form as well as photos, sketches or garment samples from their collections. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, July 15. The winner will be the subject of a profile on “Main Floor,” a nationally syndicated fashion and beauty TV show. The segment is set to air Aug. 29.
For more information, call (212) 506-5750/5706 or visit the Cotton Incorporated Web site (www.cottoninc.com).

MESSE’S GAME PLAN: “We’re approaching the big sports brands, such as Nike and Adidas. They are our new target group,” Dr. Isa Hofmann, project manager for Interstoff, said at a New York press conference last week, describing the efforts to build the visitor rolls for the first International Textile Week to be held next year in Frankfurt.
As reported, the event will link two existing trade shows, Interstoff for fashion fabrics and Techtextil, the international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens. It will be held April 13-15.
“The idea is to bring together fashion and function under one roof,” said Dr. Michael Peters, executive vice president of Messe Frankfurt.
“Until the end of the 1980s, Interstoff was the biggest fabric trade show in the world,” said Peters. “Then, other places took the opportunity to compete with us — especially the show in Paris,” he said, referring to Premiere Vision.
“The clip between Interstoff and Techtextil are the textiles for active sports,” said Hofmann.
Of the 1,000 exhibitors expected at both shows, about 400 are focused on fabrics for sports clothing as well as equipment. Hofmann said organizers estimate about 20,000 visitors will attend the April shows, and that about 9,000 of the visitors would be interested in both shows; the most potential is from the U.S. and Asia. “The U.S. is the biggest sporting goods market. We’re really targeting the U.S. market.” She rated Japan as the second-largest market for sporting goods.
Peters pointed out that Frankfurt is “the only place in Europe where Asian exhibitors can participate — the exhibitors of today and tomorrow come from Asia,” he said, noting they make up about half the exhibitors at Interstoff. “We all know it doesn’t make sense to travel to Asia to buy there,” he added.
Visitors to International Textile Week will be able to go back and forth between the two shows with just one registration. The International Textile Week will be held annually, at the same time as Interstoff, and will be supplemented by Techtextil every two years.
A planned Textile Summit will offer lectures on clothing technology, innovations in functional fabrics and consumer trends in sports and activewear.

NEW FASHION DIRECTOR: Premiere Vision has named Jean-Yves Alombert fashion director. He succeeds Richard H., who has held the post for four years. Richard H., known professionally by just that name, will continue his association with the Paris fabric fair on a freelance basis.
Alombert has been design manager at the French fabric firm Verel de Belval, head of collections at Boussac and, most recently, chairman of his own textile design and communication consultancy.

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