From Trade Shows

Meet up at TexProcess

Howdy all. Just a quick message to remind those attending the show here in Atlanta, to meet up with us. If you're interested of course.

Midday meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) to eat lunch is at noon, meet at the food kiosks at the back of the exhibition hall. We are the friendly folks with little stars on our badges.

End of day, we're meeting at the top of the escalators at 5:00 PM and will go someplace for dinner, TBA. Tonight we went to Truva, there were 20+ of us there. Join us tomorrow, we'll be delighted to meet you, no need to be shy.

Worst case, call my cell, 575-635-8131.

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Meet up at TexProcess 2014

texprocess2014As we do every two years, visitors and members of the Fashion-Incubator forum are meeting at the TexProcess trade show in Atlanta GA, USA. The trade show takes place at the Georgia World Congress Center, and features the latest and greatest machines, tools and technologies in the apparel industry. It will be held May 13-15, 2014. Previously, the show was free but the brochure says it costs $25 with advance registration and $50 at the door. No matter, it is a small price to pay and well worth the cost of admittance.

If you are interested in meeting with others from Fashion-Incubator who will be attending the show, fill out this form to be notified of activities and plans. If you're a forum member, you can also post to the forum thread for this event. The latter could be helpful if you want to share a hotel room or arrange transportation.

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Trip report pt.3: Colombia January 2013

thread_planter_fashion-incubatordotcomContinuing on with my saga (pt.1 and pt.2) I pick up again in Medellin where we went for the Colombiatex trade show. If I'm not mistaken, it is the largest trade show in Latin America, spread over several pavilions. If you coordinate your stay with the show's management, there is organized transport to and from from the show so it is very convenient to get there and back from your hotel. The image at right is one of the show decorations, a planter made of a spool of cording. I thought it was a neat idea (I imagine that will go up on Pinterest soon).

The show itself is very high energy, not as loud as Project but just as vibrant. It wasn't what I expected but it was good anyway. I had expected to find more contract services and equipment but it was mostly a fabric show. Designers come from all over Latin America to source their lines. If I had any constructive criticisms to suggest to show management it would be to have more contractors exhibiting -I only found one dedicated contractor. There were some exhibitors who also did contracting (the bra fabric and cup suppliers mostly) but contracting bra manufacturing was an adjunct to their core business. For those of you producing bras, I think Colombia is the closest resource you're going to find. Colombian bra and mold suppliers are keen on innovation and technology -see the photo of this unusual bra cup supplier below:

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Colombia Sourcing in Los Angeles Nov 8-9, 2012

I'm really in the dog house for failing to mention this in a timely way but if you're interested in sourcing fabrics and full package in Columbia, there is an upcoming event you don't want to miss. This event would be good for people who still need to outsource but would like to keep it in this hemisphere and ideally, with the quality and timely logistics Colombia is known for.

As of May 2012, there is no import duty and you can get product to the US in just two days by boat. By air, Medellin is an hour and a half from Miami. I visited Colombia in 2008 and was very impressed. I plan to return again this January (you're invited to come with me!). But back to the event, this from my contact Veronica Echeverri Villa:

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The 3 Rules of Tradeshows

Inspired by discussion elsewhere, I thought it would be useful to write an entry with broader utility.

There are two kinds of trade shows. The kind you sell at and the kind you buy at. This post deals with ones you sell at or would like to sell at. Please follow all links so I don't repeat myself (too much) and be sure to read the comments of those entries.

The three rules of tradeshows are

  1. Knowing where and how you want to show,
  2. getting buyers to your booth, and
  3. having reasonable expectations of what a show can do for you by understanding who the show is designed to serve and who runs them.

Rule #1 is where and how; know what you're getting into.
The first rule of trade shows is, never ever sign a contract to exhibit at a tradeshow you haven't walked. Never. Ever. If you want to show at a larger venue like MAGIC, walk every part of the show. You must understand that you may not get to pick which segment you'll be placed in so if the representative wants to put you in Street but you want to be in Slate, you cannot agree to the change unless you've walked Street because unfortunately, you often don't get to pick where you'll be.

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You, me, Atlanta. Be there. April 24-26

Another reminder of the upcoming trade shows in Atlanta -Texprocess and TechTextil. This show is to buy everything used in the manufacturing process. Things like sewing machines, pressing equipment, software, dress forms, you name it. This show is only held every other year so it's not as though you could catch up next year.

When: April 24-26, 2012, 10-5PM (24-25), 10-3PM (26th)
Where: Atlanta GA USA. The convention center, naturally.
Exhibitor's list Texprocess (the machines and such)
Exhibitor's list TechTextil (technical fabrics*, pdf)

There is also an awesome interactive floor plan map. I mean awesome -with one MAJOR flaw. It can't be read on an iPad! Whatever were they thinking? If there is one thing that should be iPad accessible, that would be a trade show floor map. I emailed them, maybe it will be fixed in time for the show.

If you are going, be sure to let us know by adding yourself to the list so we can coordinate meet ups and ride share from the airport although one can take the train too. For my part, I'm hoping someone will have a car because I need to go to Trader Joe's, the concessions at the show are not vegetarian friendly so I have to bring a lunch. Actually, the food didn't look so great last time so you might want to bag it too.

If you’re not a forum member, we will wait for 30 minutes after the show closes each day in the foyer at the top of the escalator. You will find it. You'll know it’s us because we will have some kind of flair on our badges. In 2010, we had holographic star stickers.

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Trip report: January 2012 WESA market pt.1

denver_mart_WESA_2012_smToday we have part one of a two part guest entry from Jessica Hanebutt Snell of Rockin' B Design, LLC who writes of her experiences at the recent WESA market show. Jess is an F-I member as well as a DE specializing in vintage-inspired ladies western apparel with a keen interest in all aspects of the western lifestyle industry as well as the vintage fashion community.

Even if you're not interested in the western or equestrian related products, this is a very educational snapshot on niche markets. As I've said repeatedly, the western market is much more sophisticated and upscale (very pricey!) than people realize. Lastly, many thanks to Jess for putting this together for us!

I had the pleasure of attending the January 2012 WESA market in Denver, Colorado last month. Held at the beginning of each year (somewhat obviously given the name), the January market is the larger of two annual WESA tradeshow events held at the Denver Merchandise Mart; the other WESA show is held in September in the same location. WESA stands for Western and English Sales Association, which consists of sales reps and manufacturers who specialize in western and equestrian lifestyle products. Anyone wanting to exhibit at a WESA market needs to be a member – this can be done by visiting their website and registering as a new user, then filling out the appropriate application. There are annual membership dues as well as applicable booth and show fees depending on your needs for the show (booth space vs. a permanent showroom, etc.) Exhibition space is allotted based on seniority points, which are earned via event attendance.

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Sewing Equipment Tradeshow -TexProcess April 24-26

texprocess_logoIf you're new to these parts, yours truly and many F-I members have been meeting at a sewing equipment trade show called SPESA. SPESA is no more; it was purchased by Messe Frankfurt (yay!) who have renamed it Texprocess. Catchy, no? Okay so it's not. It is still the happening place to be come April 24-26, 2012 in Atlanta GA USA.

If you're not sure if this show is for you, there is a lot of coverage of this show on Fashion-Incubator. I think it is good to attend even if you don't intend to buy equipment because it will give you a better idea of the kinds of equipment needed to sew your products. There are also ancillary products of use such as software, dress forms etc. Furthermore, it should be a priority to attend because this show is only held every other year.

Many of us have had the show on our calender for two years so I don't remember to mention it. Hopefully it's not too late for you to make plans to attend. If you are going, please let us know so we can plan activities, hotel accommodations etc. If you're not a forum member*, we will wait for 30 minutes after the show closes each day in the foyer at the top of the escalator. I realize that sounds ambiguous but you will find it. And you'll know it's us because we will be milling around, talking in twos and threes and have some kind of distinguishing feature on our badges. As dress is business casual, we won't be wearing suits (hardly anyone does these days except salesmen and even many of them don't). In 2010, we had holographic star stickers.

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NEW! Wholesale fabric show, low minimums NY

You're hearing it here first, the first public announcement of a new wholesale fabric trade show designed specifically for independent designers who need to source low minimum fabrics, leathers, trims, guts etc. The show is so new that it doesn't have a name, a website or way to register for it. Considering everything it took to organize and pay for it, those are very minor details. Trust me. For now, all you need to know is this:

Hotel Pennsylvania
New York City
February 6-7, 2012
Hours: 9:30 to 6:00

I strongly suggest posting a comment (even if it is lame) or these vendors might get the idea this is not such a good thing to do. More importantly, it is critical that this go viral -promote this show to all of your friends, colleagues and contacts because not sharing the details can kill a show like this faster than anything. If you don't make an effort to tell -oh let's just say ten other people- don't be dismayed if this is the first and last year this show is held. If you don't tell ten other people, I never want to hear you complain there aren't any shows for small designers.

You should promote this show even if you don't live in NY or plan to attend! If this show doesn't succeed, the vendors will not be convinced to do it anywhere else. Meaning, if you want a show like this to open in a location more convenient to you, the best way to make it happen is to do what you can to make a show you're not even going to, a rousing success. Make sense?

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Wholesale fabric shows: Premiere Vision or Texworld?

I've received several emails from readers who plan to travel to New York this July to attend one of the wholesale fabric shows. If you're local, it's not a tough decision because you can walk both of them. For people flying in, that the shows are held a week apart makes choosing a bit more difficult. The two shows are Premiere Vision (July 13-14) and Texworld (July 19-21). One show isn't better than the other, each represents different value. Here's what I can tell you.

I went to the Premiere Vision show in Paris (two years ago) but have never been to the PV New York show. I would imagine the NY show isn't quite as good as the Paris show (you'd be surprised how many people can't get visas or don't want a piece of the US market) but few would argue that PV NY is not the top tier designer fabric show in the US. Let me qualify that. Premiere Vision is a better choice if you have a fashion forward bridge or contemporary line with high price points, and have or aspire to have a presence in the EU or Asia. I liked the Paris show very much. See the review I wrote of it (do that enough times and you'd never need to buy a sourcing directory). The ambiance is professional and muted, very conducive to business (as is Texworld)

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