Mostly Locals at L.A. Textile Show

EUROPEAN PREVIEW: Tessile Group Inc. was among the suppliers of European fabrics at the show.

FIRST-TIME EXHIBITOR: Japanese shirting company Maruwa Shoji Co. showed for the first time in the United States at the Los Angeles International Textile Show.

KOREAN COMPANIES: The Korean Pavilion, organized by the Korea Textile Trade Association, featured 11 Korean companies, including N. Lucks Corp.

A predominantly local crowd turned out for the April 14–16 run of the Los Angeles International Textile Show at the California Market Center, where exhibitors included domestic and international suppliers of fabric, trim, graphics, and trend-forecasting materials.

Among the companies spotted walking the show were representatives from Guess? Inc., Karen Kane, Forever 21, Katy Rodriguez, Poleci, bgreen by NatureUSA, Claire Pettibone, Notice, Bruno Duluc and MartinMartin.

The show featured a mix of seminars including trend reports from forecasters such as Design Options, Peclers Paris, Promostyl, WGSN, Woolworks and Cotton Inc.; business seminars by Fashion Business Inc.; and a knitwear demo sponsored by Lenzing Fibers Inc. and Murata Machinery USA Inc.

Designers Eric Martin and Diane Moss-Martin, owners of MartinMartin, were at the show, looking for new resources.

“We’re looking primarily for Italian and Japanese fabrics from vendors who aren’t represented in Los Angeles,” Eric Martin said.

The two met with reps at Japanese shirting company Maruwa Shoji Co., which was exhibiting at the show for the first time.

“The first day, we had 58 clients,” said Toshifumi Sasakura, senior vice president of Maruwa’s planning and sales departments, speaking through an interpreter at the frequently busy booth. By the second day, designers and piece-goods buyers were referring their friends to the line, Sasakura said.

The 41-year-old company manufactures yarn-dyed shirting fabrics but only recently began working with the U.S. market because of its participation at Première Vision in Paris.

“We wanted to open the West Coast market,” Sasakura said. “We have some West Coast companies—people who come to Paris. We are going to keep expanding the West Coast market.”

The company is also in the process of launching eight branded lines, which are sold in a retail store in Maruwa’s Tokyo showroom. In the booth at the textile show, the company displayed pieces from the apparel collections to show how the fabric performs after washing, Sasakura explained.

Although many of the attendees were local, the show drew a fair number of regional buyers. Los Angeles–based designer Zackariah Bryant was shopping the show with Lauren Griffin, president of Dallas-based Level Red.

The 2½-year-old company recently launched a contemporary division.

“Everything is day to night, work to play, and the price point is amazing [wholesale $42 to $102],” Bryant said.

The two were looking for eco-friendly fabrics, including silk and bamboo. “We’re trying to be as eco as we can,” Bryant said. Griffin said she was on the hunt for silk prints, shirtings and silk jerseys.

By Alison A Nieder

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