Texollini

G&G Multitex digital prints on novelty knits

The layout during the Sept. 28–30 run of the Los Angeles International Textile Show continued to evolve since the California Market Center debuted a newly renovated part of the 13th-floor A-wing last season that eliminated enclosed suites to make room for more open-format booths.

For some, the new layout meant moving to a better spot on the main aisle, but others were not so happy with the changes.

Eileen Trovato, a sales representative with Se7en , based in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., has showed at LA Textile for 17 years in the same location. But when she was told her regular place was not available last season, she skipped the show. This season, she returned—although her regular spot was again unavailable, so the show gave her a spot in the European Pavilion. Trovato represents several lines that cross over between apparel and home décor, including several U.S. mills: Se7en, a division of Burlington Industries ; Mitchell , a maker of faux leather; print house Duralee ; and velvet resource Wimpfheimer Velvets . She also represents European linen resource Lino

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Despite the change of location, Trovato said she saw some of her out-of-town clients from Texas and San Francisco as well as key local customers.

“Our big customers, like Disney , depend on us to be here,” she said. “It’s valuable to keep our industry supported.”

In addition to Disney, other companies shopping the show included 7 For All Mankind , Karen Kane , BCBGMaxAzria , Laundry , Siwy Denim , J Brand , Mycra Pac , David Meister and Monique Lhuillier .

This was the first time trim supplier Dara Inc. showed at LA Textile. Located next to fabric resources, the company was easy to spot with staff dressed in bright-blue polo shirts handing our matching tote bags.

The company’s chief executive officer, John Hsu, said it didn’t make a difference if the booth was next to fabrics or other trim suppliers. Dara typically shows in a larger booth at larger trade shows, Hsu said.

“I’m very surprised,” he said. “This show has brought in more leads than other shows.”

In addition to more than 30 leads, Hsu said he met with existing customers, including some who recommended Dara show at LA Textile.

“We hear from customers that they’re happy we’re here,” he said.

Dara sells buttons, sewing thread and sewing-machine parts (as well as office supplies and nail and beauty products).

Phil Fox, owner of Los Angeles–based Fox Fabrics , returned to his usual spot in the corner, but this time he brought more of his mills, including Italian mills Profilo , TBM Group , Ciabatti , Furpile , Pacini Nello , Efilan and SMI ; Chinese mill Max Vogue ; Japanese mill Debs ; and a new line Fox picked up, Wen Feng , a Taiwanese maker of activewear fabrics.

Fox said traffic tended to pick up midday and then taper off toward late afternoon.

“From 11 to 3 p.m., it’s been quite good,” he said, adding that he wished the show would switch to a Tuesday-through-Thursday format instead of Monday through Wednesday so people could start their week in their offices.

Another returning exhibitor was Robert Ghodooshim, vice president of G&G Multitex Inc. , a Los Angeles maker of knits and digital prints.

“Overall this year, foot traffic was less than the previous show,” he said. “However, the customers who came in were more substantial. Every time we come to this show, we pick up new customers.”

G&G’s business is split between novelty knits and digital prints. Ghodooshim said the knits represent about 70 percent of the company’s business, but interest in the prints is growing.

The company recently started digitally printing on its novelty knits, creating items such as a double-sided sublimation-printed fabric, a mélange pattern printed on a 5x5 rib and a tropical floral on a poly/cotton brushed loop terry.

“They all want something special,” he said. “Nobody can say we’re not creative in LA.”

Another returning exhibitor, Pat Tabassi, with Los Angeles–based knitter Design Knit , agreed that traffic was steady in the middle of the day.

“We’re getting a good reaction to the collection,” she said.

This is Design Knits’ 30th-anniversary year, so Tabassi said the company looked into its archives for inspiration for the new collection.

Los Angeles–based textile representative John Marshall typically shows the Malhia Kent collection, but this season the company sent its Paris-based representative to the LA Textile Show with its new lower-priced collection called Alexia By .

Agathe Corre said Alexia By fabrics are priced about 30 percent lower than the prices for the main Malhia Kent line. Minimums for Alexia By are 10 meters per style (instead of 5 meters per style for Malhia Kent) and the company does not produce custom orders for Alexia By. The diffusion line features a lot of the same colors as the main line but doesn’t have the oversize repeats that is a signature of the Malhia Kent collection.

“This is to reach more clients,” Corre said. For some companies, the price for Malhia Kent is too high, but others, Corre said, are opting to use Alexia By for large production orders and limit Malhia Kent to exclusive products.

Corre said she saw a mix of existing customers and potential new ones. She said she planned to stay in Los Angeles for another week to meet with designers and work on developments.

“So I will come back to France with everything I need,” she said.

This was also the first time at the LA Textile Show for Manuel Riberiro, product designer for Portuguese denim maker Troficolor Texteis SA .

Troficolor sells to accounts in California, New York and Mexico, Riberiro said.

“There are so many clients on this side of the U.S.A., we wanted to test the opportunities in this area,” he said. “It’s good for the first time.”

This season, the Korean Pavilion organized by KOTRA , the Korean trade association, returned to the Fashion Theater in the main lobby, where attendees said business was a little slow.

“Our regular customers came in to see the new collection,” said Won Kim, president of CDP Consulting , the LA representative for Duksung P&T and L-Button Study , which also runs a permanent showroom in the CMC.

This time, Kim said he met with a lot of startup companies who were looking for small minimums.

Yu Mi, assistant manager for Daegu, Korea–based Jung An Textile , said her company had not exhibited at the LA Textile Show in seven or eight years.

“Compared to other shows, this is not crowded,” she said.

The company, which was founded in 1994, sells its fabrics in South America, Europe and the United States.

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Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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