MIAMI — No more afternoons on the beach. No more club-hopping into the wee hours. No more shopping expeditions to trendy Lincoln Road Mall. The International Jeanswear and Sportswear show is moving to New York for its next edition, Sept. 14-16.
The show, which was recently purchased from the Blenheim Group USA by Marshall Lester and Paul O’Reilly, has held its last four editions at the Miami Beach Convention Center here. But Lester, who had been executive director of the show for Blenheim, said the move to New York’s Coliseum will rejuvenate the show’s flagging attendance.
“We wanted it to work here, and it didn’t,” Lester said during the show’s three-day run, which ended Sunday. “Possibly it was the proximity to MAGIC or the expense of another flight and another hotel room for vendors, in addition to the costs of the convention center and the booth.”
But Lester said he firmly believes in the show’s identity and its usefulness for buyers.
“Trade shows are becoming more and more important,” he said. “When buyers have less time and less money and more ground to cover, are they going to go to 4 or 5 shows in one day, or are they going to go to a site that has 400 or 500 great resources?”
Lester said that he would like to keep alive the show’s ad campaign and publicity efforts. “The major challenge is how to make it special,” he said, noting that he’s talking to some New York restaurants about catering the show and is planning special events and decor.
Reaction to the move was mixed at last week’s show.
Wendy Red, buyer for Up Against the Wall, which has several stores in the Washington area, said, “Here, you can take a day and go to the beach. It’s like a mini-vacation. I can’t understand why buyers wouldn’t want to come.”
But Louise Maheux, a buyer for La Maison Simons, a department store chain based in Quebec, said, “It’s nice to be in Miami, but it’s more practical to be in New York.”