MIAMI BEACH — The second edition of the International Jeanswear show, which ended here Sunday, got another nod of approval from exhibitors, who for the most part rated it a great idea but cited a lack of retail traffic.
Some vendors said they saw consistent traffic, and some booths had a particularly busy look, but others said it was a slow three days. Nevertheless, most said they will keep coming back because they believe the event will pull in increasing traffic over the next two or three years.
The show, held at the Miami Beach Convention Center, had 400 exhibitors covering a space of 58,000 square feet. The exhibition was attended by 4,106 buyers. At the first edition, last September, there were about 200 exhibitors and 3,286 buyers, said a spokeswoman for Blenheim Fashion Shows, the show producer.
Marshall Lester, chief executive of the U.S. Apparel Division of the Blenheim Fashion Shows, said that because the show had doubled its space over the premiere event, the aisles looked more sparse. He also noted that Blenheim will be increasing its marketing and promotional efforts to retailers to generate more traffic for the next edition, scheduled for Sept. 22-24.
Among the busier exhibits was CK Calvin Klein, where sales representative Jamie Miller described bookings as “phenomenal.” She noted that on the first day alone she opened six new accounts.
Some exhibitors went all out on display to attract buyers, and the 2,100-square-foot Replay booth was one of the star attractions. The booth recreated the firm’s Country Store retail concept down to the raw wooden floor boards. As a further lure, the booth served prosciutto, parmesan and foccacia sandwiches, red wine and biscotti.
Replay was at the show more to promote its retail store franchise and in-store shop concept than to sell apparel, said Gaby Broichhausen, the U.S. president of the Milan-based denim company.
“We have two retail stores here now, in Los Angeles and New York,” said Broichhausen. “We were waiting to understand the U.S. market more, to go slowly and make our own stores.”
Now, however, Broichhausen said, she and Buziol would like to open 30 stores here in the next year.
“We prefer to do that with our existing customers, but we will evaluate each situation as it develops,” she said. Replay currently has 70 stores in Europe and Asia.
Michael Silver, president of Silver, a denim company based in Winnepeg, Manitoba, said sales for this edition of the show would probably equal, or exceed, the first edition. He said, however, that sales weren’t the whole reason he was at the show.
“We came to show our faces and to let buyers know that we’re here,” he said. “In that respect, the show has been great. It’s so important to have a specifically North American jeans show. There have been some logistical questions, such as the timing, with other markets like the Dallas Mega Mart taking place right now. But I’m going to continue to be here.”
Silver said two of the key bodies for his women’s collection have been a super slim-cut and that same body with a boot-cut leg.
“Black is the big color,” he said. One of the line’s core fabrics is a yarn-dyed left-hand denim that has been sandblasted for a silkier finish. “Everyone is talking about overalls, but whether they will retail is another question,” Silver said.
“Business was OK, and I opened a few accounts,” said Jim Cavaricci, president of Z. Cavaricci, the Los Angeles-based denim and sportswear line. “The quality of exhibitors is very good, and the show looks great, but the foot traffic is not here.”
Cavaricci noted, however, that he had seen some retailers from other countries and said he would definitely come back next year. “I’m having way too much fun.”
Helping to make the three days fun was the vendor parties, two or three a night from Thursday through Saturday.
Among the nondenim vendors, business was up and down. Michel Dahan, designer and owner of Tag Rag, a Los Angeles-based junior sportswear line, said she’d written some good business at the show and would come back for another edition.
“There are two reasons to support this show,” she said. “One is: What a place to be! The second is I believe we need a better show with more directional merchandise.
“There aren’t a million people here, but I have seen some very good specialty stores — like Flashy Trashy from Chicago, and Benjamin’s in Texas. Stores are leaving paper, and they are the stores that give direction to everyone else. But I would like more buyers to start to realize that they need to be here.”
At the Urban Outfitters booth, account executive Adriane Butler said she was very disappointed with the lack of buyers.
“My major frustration is that I haven’t opened any new accounts,” she said. “I think the show people could have promoted it more to retailers, especially South American and Caribbean stores. It’s a great spot and everyone wants to come here, but enough with the partying. Let’s do some business.”
Wool or wool and silk tops and cardigans, rib cotton knits and mohair crop tops and cardigans from the Cooperative and Anthropologie divisions continue to be some of Urban’s hottest categories, Butler said.