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Changes at Kingpins New York Elicit a Mixed Response

Kingpins New York (Nov. 3-4) underwent several changes for its recent show, most notably a schedule shift and a relocation further downtown. Attendees had mixed responses to the changes, which offered exhibitors certain benefits and simultaneously presented challenges.

The show switched locations from its previous home in West Soho at Skylight Clarkson Square to Basketball City on Pier 36. Several vendors agreed that though the show was challenging to access, the 70,000 square-foot space offers a lot more space and a beautiful atmosphere. The open format was also counted as a bonus, in comparison to the segmented rooms at Skylight Clarkson Sq.

“It’s nice having everybody in one room,” said Jean Hegedus, global segment director of denim and wovens at Invista. The main aisle that ran the perimeter of the room was useful to create a traffic flow that ensured every booth got seen, said Ritchie Russell, a representative for Suryalakshmi Cotton Mills.

The show was also moved up from January to November. The new dates put Kingpins New York right between Kingpins Amsterdam (Oct. 28-29) and Denim Premiere Vision (Nov. 18-19). Robert Deakin, sales director at Deyao Textile, said that the frequency of the shows could work to Deyao’s advantage. Kingpins New York is now mixed in with other shows Deyao attends, allowing him to see the same people more often and build momentum conducting in-person business.

Amrin Sachathep, director at Atlantic Mills, said that the November start date works well for him, as the January dates were too late. Sachathep said that in the past he had to come in to meet with corporate accounts in New York in November, prior to Kingpins. Companies need to have their fabrics selected by January, he explained.

Having three Kingpins during this fiscal year may have proved a deterrent for some attendees, Russell commented. He said companies were used to scheduling two Kingpins New York shows into the year, but now, all of a sudden, they have to find room for three in their budget year.

Whatever the reason, the show had lower attendance than usual. However, Enrico Forin, development and marketing at Advance Denim, commented that he was quite happy with the turnout; though not many people came, they were the right ones, he said.