NYC Fabric Shows of the Summer ‘17

I’ve been so busy I haven’t even had a chance to look back on two fabulous shows I attended with some of my Turkish clients in New York this past summer. Since it’s finally getting cold around here (winter is coming!) I wanted to warm up a bit and remember the hot days of summer and the incredible exhibits from back in July.

The first exhibition we attended was Texworld USA. This thing just keeps getting bigger! Messe Frankfurt, the world’s largest trade fair organizer set it all up and it did not disappoint. Tradeshows like Texworld USA are at the epicenter of the fashion world. It’s the largest sourcing event on the East Coast for apparel fabric buyers, product research and development specialists, merchandisers, designers, and sourcing professionals. If you’re a professional in the textile fabric industry and you really want to build your business, this is a must-attend. I certainly wasn’t going to miss it! New fabrics, new textures, new trends!

Texworld USA’s complimentary educational sessions proved to be a big draw for the attendees. The seminar series were informative and focused on hot industry topics like sustainability, trend forecasting, and brand creation. My favorite was “Sourcing in Preference Program Countries.” The discussion centered on the advantages of Duty Free fabric sourcing from all parts of the world. The speakers were from the Economy & Industry Ministries of Israel, Egypt, parts of Africa, and Haiti.

The whole affair was broken into four major parts with the very popular Trend Forum comprising a fifth element. The Trend Forum showcased exhibitor provided fabric samples forecasting color trends and direction for the upcoming season. The primary four sections were:

Texworld USA

This was the main event. It’s been going on for 10 years and it just keeps improving. I can’t think of a better way to meet with manufacturers from all over the world. It was so enjoyable to see such a wide range of designers and buyers mixing and mingling with factory representatives. There were incredible new materials, innovate color palettes, and all types of apparel on display. I found the most impressive fabrics from South Korea, and Taiwan. There was a wide range of fabric mills represented and I particularly enjoyed reviewing the range of high-tech and functional fabrics.

apparelsourcing USA

This section focused on sourcing finished apparel. It was set up to provide apparel brands, retailers, wholesalers and independent design firms a dedicated sourcing zone to link with top apparel manufacturers. I was surprised to find that Guatemala had a substantial presence and Egypt was better represented than in years past.

hometextiles sourcing

As you might expect from the name, this part of the exhibition dealt with home applications: fabrics and products for all sorts of home collections. China – especially Suzhou Province – had a strong presence. It was pleasure to see some familiar faces from the region!

avanprint USA

This was a new section of the exhibition – we got to check it out in Year One! It was set up to allow fashion textile buyers and sourcing professionals to link with digital printing specialists. It featured 27 exhibitors focused on integrating sustainable fibers, such as TENCEL® and Lenzing Modal®, into a wide range of product categories including knits, cotton, and performance fabrics. Wow!

As if that show wasn’t enough for one summer, I also attended Première Vision New York. It is the sister of the legendary Premier Vision Paris – the heart of the textile and fashion world. Première Vision New York provided a chance for designers to introduce new designs to the best mills and manufacturers in the apparel, clothing, lifestyle, and fashion industries. 

There were about 360 exhibitors: weavers, leather producers, accessories companies, designs studios, and manufacturers. Turkey also had a nice presentation with an autumn holiday inspired dinner table. It was organized by Uludag Textile Exporters’ Union (UTIB). 

On display was a wide range of products for outerwear, sportswear, casual wear, lingerie, swimwear, environment friendly fabrics, evening and bridal wear, tailored suiting material, cocktail dresses, innovative fabrics, and more. It was amazing! Along with the chance to display their work, the manufacturers get the opportunity to make professional connections to broaden their business, as well as discuss ways of tackling the various logistical and economic constraints currently faced by the industry. In terms of country representation, Peru had a nice set-up with several different factories that displayed a range of capabilities in Pima cotton, Alpaca, and a variety of blends. They also offered a seminar touting the benefits of manufacturing in Peru.

Another area that attracted a lot of attention was Brazil. They mainly displayed leather products with a focus on the lightness of structure thanks to innovative finishing processes on goat, lamb, and bovine hides.

OK – time to sum everything up. Here are my Key Takeaways from both shows: 

Low minimum quantity supplier exhibitors are incredibly important for independent designers and start-ups – especially in NYC.

Sustainability in color dyeing and finishing methods/ processes is getting more attention.

Finding the right marketing mix – especially online-to-physical product offers – is a key to success for omnichannel retailers.

“Made in USA” has created “Sewn In the USA.” Locally produced products are providing more value for customers.

Social and sustainability standards have been raised and are making a greater impact in fabric and apparel sourcing.

To be eco-friendly and environmental friendly is important, but recycling is the next BIG thing.

To learn more about the shows, exhibitions and sectoral B2B meetings or reaching your SME’s international goals, please contact AFK Strategies Inc.

AFK Strategies Inc. is a boutique strategic advisory and business development company that is committed to serving our partners as their associates in China, Turkey, and the United States. AFK consulting services help companies identify and solve their business challenges via an extensive global expertise. The company assists the growth of small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) in the United States at the local level, while at the same time aiding the growth of U.S. companies in China and Turkey. The services encompass three key areas:business development, supply chain management and brand development. Contact AFK Strategies Inc. to learn more.

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