EVOLVE AND FLOURISH
Evolve and Flourish Marks Positive Change at LA Textile
Over 2,500 attendees experienced the evolution of fabric, design, innovation and sourcing at the LA Textile show, held Sept. 28–30 at the California Market Center. Domestic buyers included Reformation, Revolve, Disney, Skechers, FIGS and Karen Kane.
According to CMC Senior Manager Matthew Mathiasen, “Many companies have added sustainable offerings to their collections to adapt to the changes happening in the consumer landscape. Product categories such as faux furs, vegan leathers, recycled fibers and performance fabrics were among the hottest and most requested textiles.”
Ron Kaufman, sales and merchandising manager for Robert Kaufman Fabrics, an L.A. importer of textiles to the U.S. market, said the trends he was seeing speak to a movement toward placing more goods in the U.S. as greater importance is being placed on domestic manufacturing. In addition, Kaufman said, “Clients want sustainables, from organic cottons to recycled polyester. They are definitely on everyone’s list.”
As industry changes have come at record speed, buyers were presented with an array of ways to navigate through the transformation taking place throughout the fashion industry. Swatchon of South Korea was front and center on the show floor with its solutions for the design process, working as a connector across South Korean fabric mills bringing over 150,000 fabrics to the designer. Its partnership with CLO3D allows for realistic CAD simulation with the capacity to provide a new way of sampling, eliminating the time and expense associated with the making of first samples. Swatchon claims to have the world’s largest textiles library for designing virtually.
Woosuk Lee, founder and CEO, has also eliminated many of the problems facing smaller designers. “We only require orders of three yards, and we have stock for quick turn and reorders. We now also have new capabilities for digital printing, allowing for designers to print on natural fabrics like cotton and wool, which previously was not an option.”
CottonWorks, the B2B site launched by Cotton Incorporated, was on-hand at the show to explain how it is helping businesses connect to sources by providing the latest industry information and trends plus professional support. Workshops and webinars allow content to be customized for individual needs, all free to the user.
NK Textile, which specializes in dance, performance and cheerleading fabrics, saw its glitz and glam trending strong. Its innovative foils have become its signature strength, said Vice President Kelsey Kobelt. “Our copyrighted method of using tiny metallic dots on spandex has solved the problem of cracking, and the Mystique line is a bestseller. Other new innovations this season are Vision Foil and NK Superflex, which gives a marbleized effect to the fabric.”
Jessica Glecker, vice president of design and merchandising, and Bailey Hagen, product development manager for the Miami-based Eberjey, were reviewing all the show had to offer. “I’m looking for new and exciting innovations and sustainable fabrics for our sleepwear, loungewear and lingerie,” said Glecker.
Exhibitors came from around the world to participate in LA Textile. In partnership with Texworld NYC, a special showcase highlighted a curated selection of international fabric companies from across Asia as well as the return of premium European mills. A dedicated area of the show was in collaboration with Uludag Textile Exporters, creating a Turkish National Pavilion.
La-Teks knitwear showed a collection of lightweight, colorful, Missoni-inspired knits in striking zigzag and flame patterns. The family-run company was part of the Turkish group of exhibitors. Its reasonable price points, low-minimum-order quantity and approximately three-week lead time was explained by U.S. agent Joanne Satin, who also repped Kotonteks, which specializes in lightweight drape-y jacquards. Satin said, “We keep coming back to this show because we always do really well here. California designers always support us.”
The show not only brought global exhibitors but also drew international buyers, coming from as far as the Philippines. Sydney Cohen of the Vinta Gallery, a chic online fashion house bringing Philippine style to the world, was busy taking orders. “This is my first time at this show, said Cohen. “I feel like a kid in a candy store. We usually source all our fabrics in the Philippines, and this show has opened up a whole new world of options. It’s awesome.”
Throughout the three days, buyers got to experience a myriad of events from trend installations by Peclers Paris to presentations by industry experts including Jacqueline Rumohr of Nelly Rodi Paris.
Buyers enjoyed a creativity lounge, complimentary beverages at coffee and juice bars, and cocktail receptions at happy hour, with snacks provided throughout the day.