IGEDO MOVES EAST AND WEST
Byline: Melissa Drier
DUSSELDORF — The Igedo Co. is branching out in 1997, with a revolutionary new show calendar for its CPD and Igedo women’s wear fairs in Dusseldorf, stepped up activities in Asia and a brand new show in America.
In a daring realignment of traditional fall-winter and spring-summer fashion timing, Igedo is introducing a four-season, four-show set-up for its CPD starting in February. The Feb. 2-5 show will present new autumn fashion for July, August and September delivery and summer collections for immediate delivery in April, May and June.
Igedo Dessous, Dusseldorf’s intimate apparel fair, will run concurrently Feb. 2-4, featuring fall and winter collections.
Igedo, which was previously a late season follow-up to CPD, is now scheduled for April 20-22 and will serve as the fair for winter collections — with deliveries in October, November and December — as well as offering fall ranges for immediate delivery in July, August and September.
Similarly, CPD in August will feature new spring collections for January, February and March deliveries, and winter collections for immediate deliveries in October, November and December. It will be joined by Igedo Dessous & Beach, being held Aug. 3-5, with spring and summer intimate apparel and beachwear collections.
Finally, the Nov. 2-4 Igedo will spotlight summer fashion for April, May and June deliveries, as well as spring collections for immediate delivery in January, February and March.
In addition, two dates for an event labeled CPD Follow-Up dates have been set aside in the old Igedo slots, March 9-11 and Sept. 7-9, for market segments such as eveningwear that need later writing dates. It is not yet certain whether CPD Follow-Up will be held on the fairgrounds or in the two Dusseldorf fashion houses.
“For Europe, the four-seasons system is really a revolution,” Manfred Kronen, owner of Igedo Co. declared. “The best argument in its favor is that the most successful retail chains have a rotation of stocks eight to 10 times a year, with double-digit profits.
“Normal German retailers, on the other hand, have a stock rotation of two to 2.5 times a year, and [poor] profits. Their business has to work better, with new merchandise delivered closer to seasonal needs,” Kronen argued.
Kronen expects little change in the turnout at CPD, a fair featuring over 2,300 exhibitors that generally attract about 50,000 trade visitors.
“We’ve done a lot of market research, and 75 percent of CPD buyers will definitely come to Igedo, and that’s a lot,” he said. “Exhibitors may have some problems organizing themselves,” he admitted, but predicted that 50 percent will participate in the first April Igedo, and that should increase by about 10 percent in the following seasons.
Kronen has rallied support for his new four-seasons concept not only from the German manufacturing and retail community, but from international heavyweights such as America’s Liz Claiborne, which has signed up for all four Dusseldorf fairs. And to bring the point home to German consumers, two German women’s magazines, Fur Sie and Petra, have said they will also shift to a four- versus two-season rhythm in their fashion coverage.
In a completely new venture, the Igedo Co. and GDS, the leading shoe fair organized by Dusseldorf Trade Fairs, have joined forces to stage Avenida Moda, an international fashion and footwear show for the Americas. Designed to showcase an international array of exhibitors for an audience of Latin American buyers, the first Avenida Moda show will be held Aug. 10-12, in Miami’s Coconut Grove Convention Center, offering spring/summer 1998 fashion, intimate apparel and swimwear, and footwear collections for women, men and children.
“It’s an early season show and represents an enormous chance for Europeans,” Kronen asserted. American and South American manufacturers are also expected to take part. While the show is not targeted specifically at U.S. retailers, “I imagine some New York buyers wouldn’t mind going to Miami for two days,” Kronen quipped.
Miami was chosen as the site for Avenida Moda because it’s the only city within easy reach of Latin America and the Caribbean, he explained. And while Kronen noted other show organizers have previously tried and failed in Miami, “we’re not discouraged.”
“We’re spending more money on marketing in South America than the others did, and we’re ready to invest. We see a future there and increasing buyer power.”
Meanwhile, the Igedo Co. is going full steam ahead with its recent efforts in Asia. Europe Selection, a European fashion fair for the Asian market which premiered in February 1995, is now timed to coincide with Hong Kong Fashion Week in January and July. A joint undertaking with Ente Mode Italia (EMI), Europe Selection will now cover some 32,000 square feet of exhibition space, housing over 60 participants.
At present, Europe Selection primarily attracts buyers from Hong Kong and Taiwan, but Kronen hopes the fair will also begin to draw buyers from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Korea and China.
The company’s first project in China, the lingerie and beachwear fair Shanghai Dessous, will go into its second edition April 17-19, in double the space and with almost twice as many exhibitors. Last year’s 60 participants “did really good business,” Kronen reported, and buyers came from all over Asia and Australia as well to see European intimate apparel collections.
Kronen sees great potential in the Chinese market.
“The regional area in Shanghai alone has 350 million people. That’s more than in the EC,” he said, “and while they don’t have the buying power yet, it increases 10 percent a year.”
Nevertheless, the Asian market is by no means covered by the Igedo Co.’s existing projects.
“I think there’s more to do in there, and we are thinking about [staging fairs in] several cities in Asia. But it’s too early to say anything more definite yet,” Kronen said.