FEMME WIDENS ITS FOCUS

Byline: Kristin Larson

NEW YORK — Several new changes are in store for the fourth edition of Femme, coming up May 8-10 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here.
Responding to the growing demand placed on trade shows, Deborah Baum, general manager of MAGIC International, which produces the Femme show, said next month’s show will introduce three new areas: a separate plus-size section called Curve Style at Femme, Teens and Tweens, and Streetwear. Baum said these categories have been identified as among the fastest growing, so it became important to represent them in an effort to satisfy retailers and consumers.
“Buyers have less time and they can’t spend that much time in New York, which makes trade shows even more valuable,” said Baum, who joined MAGIC in February, after working as a consultant to designers. “Trade shows allow them an opportunity to see lines they never saw before, even if they’re not going to buy some of these resources. But it’s really important for them to see what’s happening.”
To also drive home the “what’s happening” message, Femme will start featuring daily educational seminars geared toward specific categories — such as Curve Style. The seminars will be led by well-known people from that market, but guest speakers have not been confirmed yet.
While Baum said she thinks Femme’s strength is in sportswear, she said her goal is to increase every section to make it a destination show focusing on newness. She’s also developing an international component, which will become even more important as fewer buyers travel overseas. In May, there will be some 10 companies from South Korea attending, as well as a strong showing expected from Canada and Europe at the September edition, she said.
“It’s important not to lose focus on the show and on the final consumer,” Baum said. “We have the luxury at Javits Center that, as we grow, we just expand out.”

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