TEXTILE EVENTS GETTING MORE GLOBAL
THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE IS GETTING DEEPER ON BOTH THE BUYER AND EXHIBITOR SIDES, AS NEW SHOWS JOIN THE MIX AND DRAW LARGER CROWDS.
Byline: Scott Malone
NEW YORK — The U.S. trade-show calendar holds a number of developments for textile executives in the second half of the year. Two new events are bowing, and a number of major venues have changes planned.
Globalization remains a key theme in the textile business, and trade shows reflect that. One of the new shows to debut this year brings European fabric companies to the U.S. to show their wares, while a number of other events are expecting larger turnouts of foreign buyers and exhibitors.
One new textile trade show due to bow this year is Material World. Scheduled to run Sept. 25-27 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the show’s target buyer audience includes executives from all areas of the apparel and footwear industries.
Material World is produced by Fairchild Urban Expositions, an Atlanta-based joint venture of Fairchild Publications Inc., which publishes WWD, and trade show organizer Urban Expositions & Development.
The twice-yearly show’s exhibitor base is expected to include mills and converters specializing in knit and woven fabrics, trim vendors and suppliers of computer-aided design and manufacturing systems, as well as financial-services companies, trade associations and other industry participants. The location and dates of the spring 2001 staging of the show have not yet been finalized, according to a spokeswoman.
The event will also provide a variety of educational programs, including classes hosted by Philadelphia University and color presentations by Pantone.
Another new entry to the calendar is European Preview, which wraps up its two-day run today at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York. The show is a workshop to give designers a sneak peek at fabrics to be shown at the big Premiere Vision fabric show in Paris.
Featuring 145 European exhibitors, the workshop, which is also produced by Premiere Vision and will run twice a year, is a preview of fall 2001 fabrics.
To some degree, the event fills the niche vacated by the European Textile Selection, a show featuring overseas mills, which held its final staging in October after being plagued by years of squabbling about timing and cost.
European Preview is not the only event taking on a European flair.
The International Fashion Fabric Exhibition, to be held Oct. 16-18 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, hopes to pump up its contingent of European exhibitors, according to show director Amy Bergman Bonomi.
“We’re looking to increase the exhibitor base; we’re working on developing the Eurotex component,” said Bergman Bonomi, who took the helm at IFFE last month. While she expects the October edition of the event to have a larger European turnout than it traditionally has, she noted that drawing a significantly larger number of European exhibitors will be a long-term project.
Bergman Bonomi has experience with European mills. Prior to joining IFFE, she served as senior trade promotions officer for textiles at the Italian Trade Commission, where she also ran the European Textile Selection event.
She added that IFFE would be returning to the upper level of the Javits in October; the April edition had been held on a lower level of the exhibition hall. A number of exhibitors and buyers expressed dissatisfaction with the lower-level space.
The Yarn Fair & CAD Expo Plus is also expected to have a higher-than-usual international turnout as well, according to Joan Donner, director of trade shows for the National Knitwear & Sportswear Association, which organizes the event.
“We’ll have a large pavilion of German exhibitors,” she said. “We have about 21 new exhibitors this year, and most are international.”
Also at the event, the winning outfits from NKSA’s Design 2000 student-design contest will be shown. First place in women’s and girl’s apparel went to an outfit made of rubber bands and elastic bandages by Jean Liu. Second place went to a raw silk bustier top, printed silk pants and a boiled alpaca sleeveless jacket by Julianna LaBonte. Third went to Gabrielle Hoffman’s hand-crocheted mohair evening gown.
By coincidence, all three winners are from the Parsons School of Design in New York. Liu was awarded a $1,000 cash prize and won an internship at Halston. LaBonte’s award included $500 cash and a variety of fashion-industry educational materials. Hoffman won $250.
The entrants, drawn from six schools with strong fashion and textile programs, were judged by a panel that included apparel vendors, a retailer and journalists. Awards were also given in the men’s and boys’ apparel and home and interiors categories.
The awards will be formally presented at a party held at Tavern on the Green the first night of the show.
Danno also noted that the Computer Integrated Textile Design Association has scheduled its annual seminar series to overlap with the first two days of the show. Previously, that event had begun a day before the show.
The Yarn Fair is scheduled to run Aug. 21-23 at the New York Hilton & Towers.
This year’s edition of the Bobbin Americas show, to run Sept. 13-15 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, will have a focus on technology, according to Margaret Crowe, director of marketing for the event.
It will feature an area called “The Digital Zone,” where the Textile & Clothing Technology Corp., also known as TC2, plans to offer a peek at the possible future of the apparel industry.
A highlight of the area will be a Shimaseiki whole-garment knitting machine, which is capable of producing an entire custom-made garment from a digital file. TC2 will also host interactive exhibits on mass customization, virtual try-ons and digital fabric printing.
“The Digital Zone will provide a peek into the future, not only showing how the supply chain will be changed, but also challenging you to stretch the way you think about how business will be conducted and come up with new ideas of your own,” said Michael Fralix, an executive with TC2.
The Los Angeles International Textile Show is scheduled to run Oct. 23-25 at the California Mart.
A group of Italian mills, called Texitalia and organized by the Italian Trade Commission, will again participate in the event, a show spokeswoman said. They will be joined by a new contingent of French mills, organized by the French Trade Commission, she added.
It’s not only the largest trade events that are drawing more international attention. Even New York’s “Print Week,” set for Aug. 15-17, is expected to see a higher turnout.
Massimo Iacaboni, who organizes the Printsource show at Parsons, said he’s been hearing a lot more interest from foreign exhibitors and buyers considering attending the show.
“I had somebody call me from Ghana the other day, and I’ve been getting a lot of calls from Europe and Australia,” he said. “What I think it is is that, whereas Europe used to be where people drew their inspiration from — and that’s still the case — American fashion in general has become a little bit more trend-making. And overseas buyers are looking at what American designers are doing a little more.”
The Inprints N.Y. show, held at Arno’s Ristorante in New York, will run concurrently with Printsource.
A few regional shows continue to play a role in the textile industry trade calendar as well. The Chicago Fabric Show, held at the Chicago Apparel Center, is set for Nov. 14-15, according to show organizers.