LOS ANGELES — The record number of buyers attending the third edition of the Los Angeles Textile Show said they were generally impressed with the selection of fabrics and the quality of exhibitors.
Some exhibitors, however, while expressing overall satisfaction with the stand, complained about the show’s timing, which conflicted with the New York designer collections last week. Some also complained that the timing falls between seasons and are attempting to get the show held earlier. The scheduling, they argued, cut into potential traffic, keeping some key buyers away.
The three-day show, co-sponsored by the Textile Association of Los Angeles and the California Mart, ended Wednesday at the mart.
According to a mart spokesman, buyer attendance was 7,500, compared with the nearly 6,000 who came in October 1993, the last time the show was held. The inaugural event, last May, drew 5,000.
Four midday trend seminars — on Tuesday and Wednesday — were packed with about 350 buyers each.
Novelty fabrics, especially those with surface interest, were at the top of buyers’ lists. Most buyers placed sample yardage orders for spring 1995, but also sought immediate goods.
Andrea Vincent, owner and designer of AKA Los Angeles, a contemporary knitwear company here, looked for immediate and advance goods at $3 to $10 a yard, primarily in bright shades, including deep purple and orange.
“Doing this show saves me two trips to New York,” she said. “I’m looking for crinkled fabrics and other textures, including denim knits, chunky sweater knits and anything with a laundered look.” Vincent said she found a lot of it from the Knit Trends division of Marcus Bros. and Knit Techniques, both of New York.
“There are a lot of exhibitors to choose from here,” said Elliott Forte, merchandiser for Cherokee Apparel, Sunland, Calif., who said he preferred the exhibit’s showroom setup to the booth format in other fabric shows. He also liked the lineup of major American mills showing in Los Angeles.
Forte said he was looking for a “splash of color,” preferring bleached and pigment-dyed shades that “pop” to complement the natural colors the sportswear company has been offering for the past few seasons.
“The industry swings from one extreme to another, and I think that’s a disservice to consumers,” Forte said. “We want to help our customers build on their wardrobes, not make their past purchases obsolete.” Forte said he was also shopping for textured fabrics, primarily in cotton, including waffle knits.
Contemporary designer Leon Max of Max Studio in Glendale, Calif., walked the show Tuesday to preview spring 1995 offerings. “We haven’t even started designing spring yet,” he said.”That’s not happening for another few weeks. I’m here to get an overview of what not to do. Whatever everyone else is doing, I won’t do.”
Max has been highlighting textured fabrics, ranging from crinkles to pleats, for the past few seasons and said he was ready to move on to prints, including florals and copper screens at up to $20 a yard.
Nina Jabali, vice president of marketing for UBU of California, a contemporary dress and sportswear company here, was also shopping for fabrics at up to $20 a yard. She looked for textured and printed knits in pale colors as well as hot shades of red, blue and fuchsia.
“I love this show,” Jabali said. “It attracts people from all over.”
Sybil Casey, designer for Graff, a misses’ sportswear company here, passed on foreign goods, saying her firm purchases only American-made fabrics.
“Because of the small volumes we deal with, we have not worked with certain people here in the past,” she said. “But we are looking to do that now. We are ordering sample yardage.”
Casey sought lace trims as well as fabrics at up to $6.50 a yard, including some jacquards.
“The more texture, the better,” she said, adding that she preferred midtones including blues, celadon green and peachy earth tones.
Meanwhile, a contingent of exhibitors, including many of the 40 firms that showed under the banner of the New York-based Textile Distributors Association, is lobbying the California Mart to change its textile show dates for 1995.
“We are discussing moving the events to the end of January and the end of August,” said Jim Gutman, president of Pressman-Gutman Co., New York, a TDA board member. “This show is too late for fall buying and too early for spring buying. We are also disappointed this time because of the conflict with New York shows. Key buyers are not here, and it’s a shame.”
A California Mart spokesman said that management is considering the proposal because it wants to “maximize increases in attendance.” Still, dates for the next textile show, Oct. 24-26, will not be changed, he said.