The second edition of Interfilière New York pulled in over 400 executives from the intimate apparel, activewear and swim industries. The one-day textile fair staged Tuesday in Manhattan’s trendy Soho district, was a concise and diversified presentation of fabric and lace collections for intimates, swim and performance apparel hosted by trade fair giant Eurovet and Lycra owner Invista. The event followed up on last year’s smaller initiative, a successful test-run for the U.S. market, which was attended by about 200 industry executives.
Marie-Laure Bellon-Homps, chief executive officer of French-based Eurovet, said the main purpose of the event was to offer a platform of innovative resources to U.S. designers, merchandisers, and senior management from smaller and mid-sized firms that are unable to attend the Salon International de la Lingerie, Mode City and Interfilière shows in Paris.
Bellon-Homps said, “The show has grown from 21 exhibitors to 31 this year, and has proven to be a hit because it’s a local event for a lot of companies that cannot send large production and design teams to the Interfilière in Paris. We have a team in New York City with CurvExpo, which we bought in 2012, which enables us to work very closely with brands and through crossover networking. The brands exhibiting here are now able to work with American businesses.” She added, “Lycra is a very important partner for us because Lycra is an expert in the intimates, swim and performance categories.”
About half of this year’s lineup of textile collections was French, while brands from Asia, South America and the U.S. rounded out the remainder. Exhibitors included Ruey Tay of Taiwan, Seram of France, Vila S.A.S. of Columbia, and U.S.-based Macra Lace.
Dianne W. Lober, marketing and communications manager at Invista, said the show’s “enhanced content” was a major draw. She added, “We had a lot more workshops with more content such as our presentation on our new Lycra brand strategy.”
Pattie Ficorilli, Invista’s senior account manager for intimate apparel, said business opportunities for exhibiting brands are prolific, noting, “This is an all-day event and a great new environment for brands and companies to collaborate on fresh, new ideas.”
Events included a video presentation by Bellon-Homps of Interfilière Paris 2014 referencing fabrics exhibited by Interfilière New York mills and Invista innovations, as well as a presentation by Proexport Columbia, which examined opportunities within Columbia’s $7.9 billion textile and apparel industry.
Meanwhile, Bruce Waldman, vice president of A&S Sportswear, which owns the Miraclesuit brand, said he was “very pleased” with the quality of exhibitors. He said, “I think it’s wonderful to bring the Interfilière to New York. It’s a one-day show. It’s less crowded than Paris and Hong Kong, and it’s more focused. What could be more perfect?”
The show culminated with a presentation titled “Shattering Retail Rituals” by NPD Group’s chief analyst Marshal Cohen. Cohen’s advice to the audience was “break away from traditional retail rules.” He said, “It used to be that holiday business runs Thanksgiving through Christmas… but we have to start to break the traditions we’ve all grown up with. Consumers no longer buy ahead of need.” Cohen added, “The new consumer is clearly different this year, more than a couple of years ago, and retailers need to address that. It’s now all about fabrics, fashion, fit, comfort and diversity.”