LOS ANGELES — Due to seasonal timing, August isn’t usually a month of much hullabaloo when it comes to Los Angeles markets, but the marts here are quietly stirring up change, a forecast of bigger things to come in October.
August will witness a new event at the California Market Center called Prelude International Textile Design Show, the first launch under the building’s new ownership, Jamison Properties.
Scheduled for Aug. 8-9 in the CMC’s 13B Pavilion, Prelude will be produced by Pat Brandt, owner of a Los Angeles-based color forecasting service, along with her son, Chris Brandt. The new event, the first of its kind in Los Angeles, aims to give designers and manufacturers a heads-up on textile print ideas as they prepare for the fall 2006 season. The Los Angeles Textile Show, which attracts exhibitors from around the globe, occurs biannually in April and October at the CMC.
“We felt the fabric show was a little late when it came to designing prints and we needed some earlier timing,” Pat Brandt said.
Brandt expects 100 print studios from Europe and the U.S. to exhibit their wares, including London-based Whiston and Wright, Owens and Kim and The Collection. Brandt projects the event will draw 3,000 to 4,000 attendees, including representatives from junior, contemporary, children’s, misses’, swim and home decor categories. To reach key designers, Brandt said she plans to tap into the CMC database of 5,000 West Coast designers who typically attend the Los Angeles Textile Show.
On Prelude’s heels is the August market, Aug. 12-16, focusing on holiday and resort offerings. Newcomers to the CMC building will include a growing roster of accessories tenants, such as Athra New York, Bubola and Kamofie. Several key leasing deals are pending, said CMC spokesperson Deirdre Mendoza, declining to name names.
The August market will include the Brighte show, produced by ENK International, taking place at the Fashion Theater from Aug. 12-16. A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz and Avita are among the 100 exhibitors it typically draws for its between-season events.
Also returning is the Los Angeles Shoe Show, taking place Aug. 14-15. Yvette Beltran, the CMC’s trade show director, said the show plans to transform itself into a bigger contemporary player by building off exhibitors such as Diesel and Draven and expanding the presence of its accessories designers.
Across the street, on the third floor of the New Mart and the 11th floor of the nearby Cooper Design Space, the Designers & Agents Annex will feature about 100 exhibitors, roughly a 20 percent increase compared with last August, said Ed Mandelbaum, co-producer of the juried contemporary show.
“We want to make sure this show represents a mixture of items, from jeans to dresses to home lifestyle to shoes,” he said, naming Hudson, Paige Premium Denim, LovethisLife, Moss Mills and Alvin Valley as typical exhibitors.
Mandelbaum doesn’t expect much play from Europeans at the August show due to the dual-season mentality of the Continent. But, he sees that focus changing in the future.
But for now, October remains a bigger event for the Los Angeles fashion community as it gears up for the all-important spring season. This year’s market dates, Oct. 21-25, will fall more than one week earlier than in the past in order to sync more closely with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios, Oct. 16-20, as well as to better court European vendors and buyers.
The date also represents solidarity among the CMC, the New Mart, the Cooper Design Space and the Gerry Building as well as D&A and Brighte. Last spring, the different interests couldn’t agree on an earlier date, resulting in a split market in March and April that confused buyers and led to a drop-off in business for some showrooms.
“Being in step with market dates and having one unified fashion market for L.A. will add tremendous value and convenience for our retailers, tenants and trade show partners,” said Ben Lee, CMC’s director of leasing.
By October, Lee hopes to conclude the remodeling of the fourth-floor C wing, incorporating new paint, lighting and an audio installation in step with the progressive feel of the floor aimed at contemporary and young men’s designers. Puma will serve as the anchor to draw in new tenants.
The market also will include the Oct. 23-24 Los Angeles Shoe Show and a kid’s market running Oct. 21-25. The CMC also will continue with its majors market on Oct. 9-12, targeting department stores shopping for junior apparel, as well as the Los Angeles Textiles Show slated for Oct. 17-19.
In addition, the International Swimwear/Activewear Market plans to return to Los Angeles after a three-year hiatus, staging a show Oct. 10-12 at the CMC. In an effort to compete with Miami’s July SwimShow, ISAM and MAGIC International have joined forces to stage a unified event in Las Vegas Aug. 29-Sept. 1. The October show in Los Angeles will cater to last-minute buyers.
“The California Market Center made us an offer we couldn’t refuse, and we figured we could time it with the junior market and still get some specialty stores who don’t want to buy earlier in the season,” said Barbara Brady, ISAM’s director.