Luxury, color sell at Showtime
Cindy W. Hodnett -- Furniture Today, June 12, 2013
Textile Creations, a new exhibitor at Showtime, said it had a strong response to the Vagabond collection.
Showrooms and temporary spaces were busy and new exhibitors said the show exceeded expectations.
"We are very impressed with the diversity of the customers here," said Dinah Smith, the director of special projects for Textile Creations, a New Jersey-based supplier exhibiting for the first time. "We've seen manufacturers, large chain retailers and independent fabric stores, and many of the people we saw said they seek out the new vendors every show."
Smith said one of the company's strongest placements was Vagabond, a sequin-embellished fabric she describes as "antique, patched saris." The attraction to adorned fabrics in rich, jewel colors at Textile Creations matched the reports of several exhibitors who said high-end introductions were placing well.
"One of our top sellers is Great Gatsby, and it's a $90 velvet," said Pat Sharkey of Patara Silks. "Another top placement for us has been Opulence, an $85 hand beaded brocade silk. Designers tell us that they are buying for large, expensive homes because that client is now decorating again, and everybody is coming and looking for drama."
Ingrid and Audrey is a new ITMA member company and exhibitor that showcased vintage- inspired fabrics created by updating older patterns with new colors. Officials at the company, which introduced 40 fabrics at the show in the $30-$60 price range, said they were pleased with the traffic and response to the line.
"This is our first opportunity to show here, and we have seen a lot of appointments with people who found us through the ITMA website," said Jennifer Lee, co-owner and creative director for the company.
Showtime also offered several educational events and seminars for buyers and exhibitors. In addition to the presentations, the work of the top winners of the Virginia Jackson Design Competition, a product design contest open to students, was on display throughout the show. Firstplace awards in the print, dobby and jacquard categories went to design students from Philadelphia University, Rhode Island School of Design and the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design.
The largest evening event at Showtime was a runway fashion show sponsored by Valdese Weavers, P/Kaufmann, De Leo Textiles, Sunbrella, Keystone Weaving, Home Secrets Textiles and High Five. For the show, apparel was created from the new introductions of sponsoring companies and student volunteers modeled the creations on the catwalk.
|Bright colors, as represented in the Valdese Weavers showroom,
remained strong at Showtime.|
|Roth & Thompkins featured a wall of blues that can be paired
with neutrals in the brown spectrum.|
|Crystal and sequined embellished fabrics were strong for Patara Silks.|
Buyers and exhibitors also visited the trends display spaces put together by ITMA and industry forecasters. Warm metallic, blues, greens and global categories were represented. And while the new introductions and colors were the stars of the show, several suppliers said that the fabric trends were just the first part of a successful business equation.
"We're up 30% this year over last. We have never had a year like this before," said Danny Korori, president of Ramtex. "It's our fabric, but it's also all of the things behind the fabric. When a company copies us, it makes me happy. This is a democracy, so if they think they can match our customer service and our quality control, I say ‘bring it on.'"
Digital printing was also a big topic of interest at the show. Expand Systems had a Class I printer on display, and representatives from the Atlanta-based company said that educating fabric suppliers about the technology was one of their main focuses at the show.
"The main objections to digital printing are that it's too slow and too expensive, but the Class IV is as fast as a rotary machine," said Mark Sawchak of Expand. "It prints 70 yards a minute."
The $4 million price of the Class IV represents the top of the line for Expand Systems, but Sawchak said users can still achieve savings with digital printers at various price points.
|A top placement for Patara Silks was Great Gatsby, the pattern on the right, a $90 velvet.|
|Vilber, a Spanish company that is one of the five
suppliers at High Five Textiles, showed Avo.|
|Para showed classic designs in Tempotest, a
performance fabric line produced in Italy.|
"You don't have to make screens, you use less energy and you require fewer employees," he said. "And printing one yard costs the same as printing 100 yards. You can save thousands of dollars on samples."
The Nicolette Mayer Collection featured digitally printed designs on Belgian linen. Company representative Jonathan Ostrow said that Mayer brings an understanding of "history and global travels into the textile world" that appeals to buyers.
"There is a huge desire for color and scale right now, and this is a very specific look," Ostrow said. "Nicolette has created a company that is unusual, and buyers respond to textiles that they haven't seen before."
Performance fabrics were also strong. Para, an Italian supplier, introduced 50 SKUs, including additions to the Tempotest line.
"We're seeing both new and existing customers," said Pietro Dall'olio, sales director for the U.S. market. "We have two divisions - one indoor and one outdoor. We are printing on our solution-dyed acrylics."
Crypton Fabrics showed 250 SKUs and 25 patterns in the company's new permanent showroom in Market Square Textile Tower. Crypton Vice President Jack Eger said the company was pleased with the response to its Showtime debut.
"This permanent showroom shows that we're serious about establishing our identity as a factor in the residential business," Eger said. "We want partners, and we feel the timing is perfect. We decided to reenter residential when the business is ready for performance."
ITMA Executive Director Catherine Morsell said that the June Showtime numbers were strong for both temporary and permanent exhibitors.
"The show has been very good, and the upbeat mood and positive energy are evident," she said. "You can feel it in the halls and on the Suites floor."
She said traffic was up 5% over last June and 12% over the December Showtime.
"We have seen many first timers, and every exhibitor I have spoken with has had a great show," Morsell said.
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