A LOOK AT WHAT CHICAGO’S TRADE SHOW SCHEDULE HOLDS FOR THE FIRST HALF.

The Windy City is gearing up for trend-hungry buyers to breeze in next year and swarm the Merchandise Mart and the Apparel Center in search of the latest looks.

The first show of the year is the summer-fall preview for the women’s and children’s markets, slated for Jan. 25-29 at the Apparel Center. Susan McCullough, vice president of apparel for Merchandise Mart Properties Inc., said that, as in years past, the show will be cross-marketed with the Chicago Gift & Home Market, slated to run Jan. 23-30 at the Merchandise Mart.

The fall 2002 edition of StyleMax, scheduled to take place March 23-26 at the Apparel Center, will feature an expanded outerwear section.

“Great leathers will continue to be important, and we will expand that section,” said McCullough.

StyleMax also will house a larger number of junior and contemporary lines.

Another important show for the region is the National Bridal Market, taking place April 6-9 at the Chicago Apparel Center and the Merchandise Mart.

The bridal show will include a cocktail reception April 6 at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza’s 14th-floor ballroom and seminars on boosting bridal retail sales, cosponsored by the National Bridal Market Association, Modern Bride magazine and the Bridal Marketing Association of America.

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