• Cindy W. Hodnett

Showtime stepping up on international stage

Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles organizers say they expect more than 42,000 visitors at the Aug. 27-29 show. One noteworthy item is that Proposte - an Italian trade fair organizer - is hosting a pavilion at the Shanghai show for the first time, bringing premium Italian and European decorative and furniture fabrics exhibitors to buyers in China.
     One participant in the pavilion is Vigano SpA, a high-end velvet producer. The company's Piercarlo Vigano said the decision to exhibit in Shanghai resulted from an increased demand for high-end Western products in China.
     "We decided to approach the Chinese market because we feel consumers there are very interested in Italian design and style," Vigano said. "We chose this fair to better understand the market in order to establish the most efficient approach there and to combine local needs and wishes with the existing high standards of our products."
     In addition to local exhibitors and the Proposte pavilion, Shanghai also will welcome exhibitors from Belgium, India, Korea, Pakistan, Taiwan and Turkey. Buyers will also be able to preview carpets, interior decorations and wall coverings along with fabrics, and will see a lifestyle trends forum.
     Sounds a lot like the High Point and Las Vegas markets, doesn't it?
     Showtime, the High Point textile show that wrapped up in early June, drew more than 3,000 international visitors. Among the show's more than 170 exhibitors were 44 in the International Pavilions. The exhibitors included a variety of fabric producers, some large and some small, and buyers were purchasing for furniture manufacturers, retail stores and design services.
     The event generated a tremendous amount of excitement and optimism, as well as enthusiasm for a variety of fabrics and price points. Buyers found an incredible diversity of product, much of which will appear again in the fall on upholstered furniture.
     Estimates put the economic impact of Showtime at $1.4 million, a significant amount of revenue in any economic climate. Of course, it's a figure organizers would like to see increase, and the staff at International Textile Market Assn. is doing a great job of expanding Showtime's social appeal with breakfasts, cocktail hours and product-centric events like the runway show that highlights fabric introductions via creative fashion ensembles.
     ITMA members should be proud. They put on a successful show in a city with a population of just over 105,000, compared with Shanghai's 23 million. High Point became an international destination for thousands of buyers outside of the furniture market. Hats off to ITMA for the effort, and let's hope the upward trend continues as more people from all over the world discover the textile treasures that await them at Showtime.

Vilber showed
High Five Textiles
Vilber showed summer-themed fabrics in the High Five Textiles showroom.
The International
The International Textile Market Assn. showed color and fashion trends in room displays at the temporary exhibits in the Suites at Market Square.
Design students entered original upholstery projects and award winners were displayed at Showtime.
Design students
Brights were prominent
Brights were prominent at Showtime, as seen in this paisley pattern from Sunbury Textiles.
Crypton Fabrics showed new fabrics and ideas for retail display options at Showtime.
Crypton Fabrics
The digital printer
The digital printer drew a crowd at the Expand Systems space during Showtime.
Adesal Jacquards showed new color introductions in complementary groupings that were replicated in giveaway tote bags.
Adesal Jacquards
Cindy HodnettCindy W. Hodnett | Upholstery/Style Editor

As the Upholstery/Style Editor for Furniture/Today, I spend my work hours studying the sloping curves of sofa frames, the intricacies of fabric and the nail head trim and button accents that function as jewelry on a piece of upholstery. I research the companies that bring these things together for retailers, and ultimately consumers, and interview industry leaders about their business strategies and where they think furniture is heading in the future. And when traveling, I provide a sneak peek at what I'm seeing, whether at international markets or in High Point or Las Vegas.

I look forward to sharing what I see and I hope you'll feel free to do the same. Email me at chodnett@furnituretoday.com or follow me on Twitter @CynthiaWHodnett.


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