LA TEXTILE SHOW
LA Textile Show Draw Mix of LA Brands, NY Manufacturers and International Attendees
The Sept. 26–28 run of the Los Angeles International Textile Show drew a diverse crowd. Among the attendees shopping the show at the California Market Center were representatives from Karen Kane, Trina Turk, Joie,Halston, BCBG, Bailey44, Black Halo, Guess, Calvin Rucker, Current/Elliot, David Meister, Alo Yoga, Beyond Yoga and Bebe; designers Raquel Allegra, Kevan Hall, Peter Cohen, Corey Lynn Calter, Estevan Ramos and Anna Kinney; and manufacturer Dov Charney. In addition
to local attendees, visitors came from as far as New York and Canada.
“Who was here? Everybody,” said Phil Fox, owner of Fox Fabrics, which was showing an international assortment of fabrics from mills such as Italy-based DBC Tessuti, Polistyle, SMI Tessuti, Efilan, Furpile SpA and Polo Tessuti; Japan based Debs Corp.; India-based Manuela; China-based Max Vogue; and Taiwan-based Wen Feng as well as Fox’s newest mill, Qualitex, a manufacturer of knits and full-package production from Estonia.
“It was fantastic; we had a great two days,” Fox said at the end of the second day of the show. “We’re quite satisfied. Industrywide, it’s been hesitant—it’s an election year, there’s a lot of uncertainty. People are being cautious. However, the mood was positive. They’re looking forward to a successful 2017.”
It was a similar story at Solid Stone Fabrics for Jon Alba, vice president of sales for the company, which specializes in novelty knits for the swim and activewear market.
“The turnout has been good,” Alba said, adding that in addition to swim and activewear accounts he had met with costume designers, dancewear makers, yoga brands and some tabletop companies.
“People will say they’re optimistic, but it’s a little cautious. They’re at least cautiously optimistic,” he said, adding that the company is trying to diversify to address the needs of a few different markets.
“We have an Italian spandex line; we do fabric printing in the U.S. and we [import] from China and Korea,” he said.
This was the first time in several years that Tricot Liesse was at the show. The Montreal company produces high-end knits for the upscale brands, including many in the swim market.
Designer Nathalie Camier said the company recently hired a new Los Angeles–based sales representative, Leslie B. Lesh, and decided it was a good time to return to the textile show.
Camier said sourcing fabrics from Montreal could be a good fit for U.S. companies looking for faster deliveries than China. Surprisingly, she said, she also met with several companies from Vancouver at the show.
At the Buhler Quality Yarns booth, Victor Almeida, textile engineer, and P.J. McCord, director of sales for the Americas, said they were fielding a lot of questions about the Jefferson, Ga.–based yarn spinner’s products.
“Brands are asking where the fiber comes from—we’re getting more questions like that,” McCord said.
Buhler produces higher-end yarns made from premium fibers such as Supima, Tencel and MicroModal.
“A lot of the small brands look for something different—better quality,” Almeida said. “They’re looking for U.S.-made and they want to manufacture here.”
Sourcing resources from LA, Korea
This season, the Korean fabric and manufacturing resources in the Korean Pavilion moved from the CMC’s Fashion Theater to the 13th floor, near the LA Textile show.
The Pavilion was organized by KOTRA, the Korean trade association, and featured a mix of returning exhibitors and companies showing for the first time.
Among the returning exhibitors was Han Eun Tex Co., Ltd., a Korean mill that makes tricot and power-mesh fabrics.
“This area is better than the first floor—even though some people didn’t know what this area was,” said Shin Wansu, Han Eun Tex assistant manager.
Han Eun Tex sells its fabrics in Korea, the U.S., China and Europe. In the U.S., California is its largest market, Wansu said.
“That’s why we’re here at this show,” he said.
Visionland—a vertical factory with facilities in Korea, Shanghai and Indonesia—was a first-time exhibitor, said Brian Chung, Visionland deputy general manager.
The company specializes in women’s woven tops and produces for large U.S. retailers such as The Limited.
Chung said business at the textile show was “okay.”
“We didn’t expect all of a sudden for business to come out,” he said, adding that he was hoping to meet with companies looking for better fabrics and large-quantity production.
“We want to work with wholesalers that bring big volume,” he said.
The Korean Pavilion was located across from a new area for the LA Textile show, the new Sourcing at LA Textile, which featured a small group of exhibitors including HD Clothing, DJ Laundry, IndieSource, Tukatech and Jennifer Loel Designs.
Sustainable Source Studios had a booth at the show, where Michael F. Spann Jr. was showcasing some of the new developments made from Recover, a long-staple yarn made from recycled cotton that has been “recovered” from cotton fabric scraps collected from apparel factories. The fiber is made by Spanish textile makerHilaturas Ferre. Spann said new developments included an eco-friendly version of tri-blend made from 50 percent recycled polyester, 25 percent upcycled cotton and 25 percent Tencel.
“Everyone is interested in sustainability,” Spann said. “We’ve had decent traffic. A few people wanted to meet with us and they found us. It’s worth being here.”
Fil & Needle, a Los Angeles–based private-label manufacturer with no minimums, was also showing in the Sourcing section as well as within the LA Textile Show.
Fil & Needle’s Nekia Hattley said traffic seemed slow but said she talked to quite a few people during the show. Interestingly, Hattley said, even though there was more traffic on the LA Textile side of the show, her numbers in Sourcing were higher.
This was Jennifer Evans’ fifth time at the LA Textile show. Evans, who owns TEG International, a vertical factory in Los Angeles and San Francisco, said she wasn’t asked to be part of the new Sourcing show but had a prominent space within the center of LA Textile.
On the last day of the show, Evans was fielding a steady stream of inquiries, including one from a New York manufacturer who had spent three days shopping the show.
“We work with more and more people moving production from New York,” Evans said.
TEG provides a range of development services, including patterns, samples and small-volume production—“mostly for small designers, no minimums,” Evans said. “This is great for us. It generates good business.”