ISAM’S BIG MOVE

Byline: Marcy Medina

LOS ANGELES — After two decades at the CaliforniaMart, the International Swimwear Activewear Market will head to the beach in 2002 in a one-year agreement to move to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
The show will take place Oct. 9-11, overlapping a day with CalMart’s junior sportswear market, scheduled for Oct. 7-9.
Of ISAM’s 75 manufacturer members, 55 voted via e-mail, with 43 approving the move, 11 voting to stay and 1 abstaining.
“I’m thrilled that 78 percent of the voting members wanted to move,” said ISAM director Barbara Brady, speaking from her cell phone as she toured the new venue and prepared to scout hotels for buyers. “Santa Monica is hip and cool and people want to come here.” She added that the trade show will inhabit the entire 27,000-square-foot auditorium, utilizing a traditional booth-and-aisle format. It is a more intimate space than the 45,000 square feet that were available in CalMart’s 13B Wing, where the last ISAM was held.
“I think it’s going to bring attendance up among the members and I think there will be even more people who join ISAM next year. We’ve already had 33 new members sign up this year,” Brady noted.
Although Brady said no one from CalMart contacted her to negotiate staying put at the downtown building, Trish Moreno, CalMart’s executive director of marketing, said she had scheduled a meeting with other members of ISAM, but it was cancelled. She heard news of the vote and move through a colleague.
“We are sorry that they’ve decided to move and we wish them well,” said Moreno. “Our doors are always open to them if it shouldn’t work out at their new venue. We wish the market wasn’t going to be fragmented because it puts a strain on the buyers.”
Upon learning ISAM would only overlap with the junior market one day, she said: “That sounds like a good solution to my concerns.”
As for market speculation that Surf Expo — the leading swim and resortwear show on the East Coast — might come to CalMart, Moreno would only say that “there has been some discussion about other swim shows, but nothing’s firm.”
Surf Expo’s parent company is DMG World Media, the British conglomerate that signed a 45-year lease with the CalMart in August to create a home and accessories gift market.
Currently, CalMart has eight swimwear tenants, including manufacturers Gottex, Jamaican Style and Dotti, and five multiline showrooms. Gottex is the only one that’s a member of ISAM, but if the other vendors want to participate, they would have to join the group. Overall, more than 50 swimwear lines are represented at the CalMart.