PRINTS, STRETCH FUEL L.A. FABRICS SHOW

Byline: Kristi Ellis

LOS ANGELES — The consensus among apparel manufacturers shopping the Los Angeles International Textile Show last week was that prints and stretch continue to drive business across all categories.
Most manufacturers were on hand to pick up fall-holiday immediate goods, though some exhibitors were getting initial reaction on spring-summer 2001.
The action in prints ranged from Pucci-inspired looks to animal-skin designs, with a twist to geometrics.
The three-day show, which ended Wednesday at the California Mart, has grown more than 40 percent over the past eight years. It featured 350 domestic and international exhibitors, covering more than 200,000 square feet of exhibit space.
Exhibitors reported that traffic was up significantly, and many claimed that it was the highest attendance yet. Typical attendance ranges from 5,000 to 6,000.
Jennifer Parker, an associate designer for Maxou, a contemporary sportswear firm, said she found good resources for stretch fabrics and prints in the price range of $5 to $20 a yard.
She was looking for brights, printed knits, particularly geometrics, and Pucci-inspired looks, as well as meshes, stretch poplins and stretch sateens for children’s wear and contemporary. She took sample orders from HDM Textiles and Ascher Studio.
Howard Greller, executive vice president of Monarch Knits,which recently launched the licensed Rampage swimwear line, was scouting for immediate fabrics for the Rampage line, as well as for his sportswear line, 2 Bamboo.
Interviewed at the De Marco California Fabrics showroom, Greller said he planned to take notes and follow up with a few sample orders.
“It is clearly a print season,” said Greller, adding that animal prints are over, with geometrics and scarf prints the newest direction.
He took notes on swimwear fabrics from Fabrictex, H. Warshow & Sons and Knit World.
Pearl Ann Marco, a principal at De Marco, said that animal prints are going forward, but only those with a twist such as a leopard print with a rose.
“The emphasis on fashion is going to skirts, whether they are wrap, asymmetrical, short or long,” Marco said. “Engineered prints are strong for skirts and pants.”
Other strong groups for De Marco were a tie-dyed print group, a crystal-coated animal print selection, and paisley and tropical patchwork styles.
“This show is definitely better than last time,” Marco said. “We could have a show once a month in California and it would be successful.”
She added that the bulk of her business was done in the $2 to $5.95 per yard range.
Fred Wunderlich, president of Nu-Image Fabrics, said the primary work he does at the Los Angeles show is in juniors, though he does sell to the intimate apparel and men’s wear firms.
“The last show in October was the best show we had ever had, and this show is even better,” said Wunderlich, noting that he received domestic and international production orders.
Animal prints mixed with flowers or dragons were among the best-selling fabrics.
“You add a little twist and it changes an old theme,” he said.
In juniors, scarf prints are big, as are bold graphic looks, geometrics and plaids.
He reported mostly selling fabrics priced in the range of $2 to $6 per yard. Nu-Image’s customers include XOXO, Rampage, Hot Kiss, Wet Seal and Paris Blues.
At Symphony Fabrics Corp., soft and drapy fabrics drove business, according to Seymour Schneiderman, president. Symphony caters to the bridal market, as well as contemporary and misses’ firms.
For spring, stretch sheers in oranges, yellows, greens, pinks and lilacs did well. He noted that glitter looks on an acetate and spandex blend with metallic threads will continue for spring, but “in a subtle way,” as will stretch chiffon.
In the Symphony showroom, Yoel Farzan, president and designer of Poorboy Clothing Compagnie of Vancouver, British Columbia, said he planned to place an order for Symphony’s acetate and spandex blends.
Farzan, whose company caters to the contemporary market, said he wasn’t looking for prints and noted that colors are important.