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Monday, August 5, 2013

SPINEXPO New York 5th Edition Recap

Knitwear designers, sourcing managers, retail buyers and brand directors explored an international offering comprising fibres, yarns, knitwear manufacturing, trend direction and market intelligence at the 5th edition of SPINEXPO New York, held July 16-18, 2013, at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan.

The three-day fair attracted 1379 visitors, a 10% increase over the 2012 edition.  This increase was mainly due to the fact that the exhibition took place from Tuesday to Thursday, versus Monday to Wednesday the previous year.  The majority of visitors represented major brands mostly from New York and surrounding States, with an increased number of visitors from other States compared with the previous session.  37% of the attendees represented the flatbed knitting sector, with 16% involved in knitted fabrics for outerwear, 10% in weaving for clothing, 8,5% working in knitted accessories and 6% in hosiery.

The exhibition showcased 82 exhibitors and a bright and modern show layout.  Exhibitors included fibre manufacturers, yarn spinners, knitwear and machine manufacturers, and design studios from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Mauritius, Italy, Germany, Turkey, France, the UK and USA.

A general forum on the second floor of the venue displayed knitwear trends developed by Sophie Steller Studio, featuring an array of yarns from the exhibiting spinners and executed by knitwear manufacturers Brilliant Global, PT Jaba Garmindo, GTIG Hubo, and Shanghai Xinnuo; as well as a capsule display of knitwear from graduate students at Nottingham Trent University.

 “The trend forum is a great opportunity for our merchants and design teams to see the way the yarns look in knitdowns,” commented Trish Pasquino, Senior Director, Product Development and Sourcing for Knitwear at Lands’ End.

Also on the program were seminars from WGSN, Nelly Rodi, knitwear designer Steven Oo, and a presentation on textile recycling and garment longevity from Helen Hill of NTU and Karla Magruder of the Textile Exchange.

Knitwear manufacturers with a variety of specialties added their expertise to the show; some offered complete vertical service from yarn to finished garment. A collaboration between machine manufacturer Shima Seiki and yarn spinner Nikko Textile created excitement at the interactive stand of PT Jaba Garmindo, Indonesia’s largest knitwear manufacturer. The stand attracted a large number of visitors who could check the manufacturing quality of the Indonesian company.

A seminar by Shima and Nikko is planned for the upcoming September SPINEXPO in Shanghai, and promises a fascinating look at the new technologies being developed for knitwear.

“SPINEXPO gives me the ability to see the full picture, from raw materials to finished product. I was really pleased to see vendors with full-service operations such as PT Jaba Garmindo,” enthused Kristin Schmidt, Director of Product Development for Knitwear at PVH. “The show’s seminars were quite rich and full of information,” she added.

Buyers were definitely looking for novelties, and this was the main factor for the exhibiting companies’ success or lack of success. The mood in the US is good, so buyers are not interested by basics but looking for innovation and research, products with added value. Information on products before the show is also an important reason for visitors to chose who they visit: most visitors allow only one day in the exhibition.  Preparing ahead of time is a must to succeed in the US market, and this is the reason why SPINEXPO works at gathering the maximum information on the exhibitors’ products before the show: those who provide this type of information are the most successful in attracting buyers.

Visitors had a positive reaction to exhibitors who displayed an outstanding quality of developed yarns, and to the growing sophistication of some of the exhibitors’ presentations. “The quality seems much better than in the past, with more cashmere and Merino being shown,” commented a knitwear designer from Ralph Lauren.

Pat Tunsky, Creative Director at Doneger Creative Services, remarked, “What I liked was the mix of spinners and knitwear manufacturers, and the diversity of products from Asia as well as from the West.”

Fine cashmeres and Merino wools, cashmere blends, and chunky but light weight yarns with a vintage look were most sought-after, reported the spinners. Blends with kid mohair and baby alpaca were beautifully on-trend, such as those offered in combination with cashmere at Ningbo Consinee, or the brushed luxury fibre yarns at Manifattura Igea. However, many US buyers preferred cleaner looks, according to the exhibitors. “We can’t supply enough mohair. It is our top seller, but not in the US,” remarked Jacky Chien of Best Shan International.

At Hongye Cashmere Co. Ltd, a vertical supplier of greasy cashmere and spinner of cashmere and sophisticated cashmere blends, Kevin Feng expressed his satisfaction with the exhibition. “I’m very happy with the results. I’ve seen many customers here and they are decent customers, big companies, and good labels. They love our qualities.”

The quality of the visitors reflects the very strong vision for SPINEXPO: the exhibition does not target a large visitors’ attendance but selected brands able to generate suitable quantities at a correct price.  The New York show is meant to be a platform to meet the majority of the best US brands.  The exhibitors’ success in entering the market depends on the quality of the products and the efforts brought to their collections.  Time is no longer in offering the same collection over and over again.  Innovation is the key to success.

The 22nd edition of SPINEXPO Shanghai is planned for September 3 – 5 at the Shanghai World Expo Exposition and Convention Center, with space already at a premium. Last year’s September show featured some 200 exhibitors and over 11,000 visitors, and many of the spinners who showed in New York are planning to offer additional new developments there.

“Expect surprises,” advised Tony Yan, Director at the Hualian division of GTIG Hubo, who exhibits both the spinning and knitwear divisions.

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