Following a year filled with hardships and uncertainty, the denim industry is entering 2021 with a newfound sense of optimism surrounding the highly anticipated Covid-19 vaccine and what it means for in-person trade shows.
An end-of-year letter by Kingpins founder Andrew Olah announced the trade show organization’s plans for holding its first in-person events since the start of the pandemic. Olah indicated it will be “back in action” in China in September, Amsterdam in October and New York City in the late fall. Kingpins has not held an in-person event since October 2019.
In the meantime, Kingpins will continue to organize online shows initially rolled out in April 2020 as a supplement to in-person events. Its first digital trade show of the new year will be held in February to serve the U.S. denim market, followed by a second one in April to serve the European crowd.
Based on the success of the digital events—the first Kingpins24 event garnered 3,500 livestream viewers and 10,000 visitors to the Kingpins website—Olah noted that they will continue to run even after in-person shows return.
“We love the idea of digital information and the challenge to find new and inspiring individuals to share their stories or their products or inventions,” he said in the letter.
In addition to digital events, Kingpins will also continue to expand upon the Kingpins Exchange platform, a partnership between Kingpins and Sweden-based Material Exchange formed in 2020. The initiative allows exhibitors to showcase their textiles year-round and provides denim brands with tools for sourcing denim in real-time and view detailed product data whenever they need it.
This year, the platform will be available in Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese, and will go through a series of improvements that Olah said will “make online fabric viewing a more functional tool for sourcing.”
Overall, Olah considers the new year to be full of exciting opportunities for reinvention. “Strife makes people do things they could never imagine having to do,” he said. “Hope gives us all a chance to reboot, restart and turn the page.”