The Local: The Voices Behind NYC Textile Week

Texworld USA: Spring Summer 2017 Trends Look to the Future

This Spring Summer 2017 will be about two things: the present, the future and how they’ll play together.

At the opening day of Texworld USA in New York City Sunday, art directors Louis Gérin and Grégory Lamaud presented the coming season’s trends.

The overarching theme for Spring Summer ’17 is “Contact,” which according to Gérin, is a glance or a thought, the idea that things aren’t the way we knew them, and that concepts will become at once simple and complex.

Transparency also plays a major role, playing into its increasing importance in society as consumers demand greater transparency and as people’s lives become less private in the world of social sharing.

“Knowledge has become the global identity. The zones of shades have disappeared. The light invades each corner of our spirit. We now have all the tools to build our tomorrow,” the directors’ trend book notes.

There are four major themes emerging out of the concept of Contact.

Integration

For SS17, different elements will begin to be integrated together to create new aesthetics and new perspectives will engender creations that hadn’t existed before.

Artists painting on cellophane, 3D printed formations and paintings overlaid with acid serve as inspiration for the trend.

Colors will express the idea of change of space, the sky marrying the earth, holographic insinuation.

“All colors that bring us back to this idea of this new dimension that we can explore,” Gérin said.

A charcoal hue called dark transparency, a rich blue dubbed calm ocean and a bright blush called tactile pigment color the palette.

Fabrics will channel imperfection, with subtle burnout stripes that aren’t entirely straight and random dot prints with uneven circles. Texture will serve as pattern over prints in some cases and transparency will play a leading role. Lace will come with a laser-cut look, metallics will have an iridescent appearance and florals will be more fluid.

Combination

Combination is about the association of different elements, and finding a new aesthetic in something considered ugly before.

The trend channels elements we can’t quite feel or see but that are part of every day life.

Colors are rusty with warm, bright oranges like flat vermilion and sedimentary dawn with touches of flesh tones like dirtied rope and glued dermis. A vibrant but earthy yellow hue called radiant mixture tops off the palette.

Paint splatter prints will grace fabrics, lace will come adorned with raised floral textures, floral prints will be a bit larger scale in the modern color palette, but following the looking of vintage embroidery. Even chambray will get a lace look in keeping with the season’s transparent trend.

Relation

Reality gets turned on its head with Reality as common things become inspiration.

The lines on sports courts, tracks and field are inspiring textile prints and patterns and providing a new perspective and a new way of relating.

Colors are earthy and classic, and as Gérin put it, “A little bit vintage but with a new strong arrangement.”

A straightforward, sporty blue aptly called athletic horizon and subdued tans like neutral ground and a grey-based khaki called concrete corridor make up the trend’s palette.

Texture will create geometric effects in fabric, color-blocked engineered stripes will show up and herringbone will be as it hasn’t been before—imperfect with lines that don’t quite match up.

Die-cut dot patterns will give a new nod to texture, knits will still be chunky and eyelet will come in a more graphic design. Raw, natural fabrics will look rough and course but have a soft hand and light quality. Prints inspired by motherboards and elements found in technology will also be apparent.

Extension

The idea here is, as Gérin explained, “The extension of ourselves to go in a new dimension but with this link to nature. It’s a marriage between this old mechanical life and this new digital life.”

Extension is about being freed from obstacles and the color story is rooted in nature.

Greens make for most of the palette, with a rich forest green called inverted panorama, a cooler, grassy hue dubbed agathe emerald and more blue-infused green called lagoon landscape. A softer opaline osmosis blue and a bright peach called mature floor-tile brighten the palette.

Fabrics will showcase forces twisting, waves and delicate sparkles in the form of knits with metallic threads. Stripes will be textured, and again, imperfect, while velvet will take on a lace-look and fabrics that are transparent in some areas and textured in a pattern will also be present.

Overall, star colors for the season, according to Gérin are: mineral toxin, decompressed asphalt, tactile pigment, mature floor-tile, flat vermilion, collective warning, ethereal forest, distorted border and unifier court, making for a much heavier palette than spring’s past.

“Skin is really big for the season,” Gérin added, “More fleshy colors.”

Milano Unica Partners With CFDA on Fabric Program

Italian textile trade fair Milano Unica and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) on Monday announced the launch of “The Fabric Program,” an initiative that will provide emerging U.S. designers with first-hand experience working with Italy’s production mills.

The aim: to raise awareness for “Made in Italy” techniques and methods of fabrication.

“A core tenet of the CFDA is to provide our designer members with unique opportunities to strengthen and evolve their businesses,” Steven Kolb, chief executive of the organization, stated. “Our partnership with Milano Unica is a perfect example of this as it gives emerging American designers the chance to create custom fabrics with Italy’s best production houses.”

Ercole Botto Poala, president of Milano Unica, commented, “To show [American designers] the Italian way of craftsmanship is a unique opportunity for us and having them learn about our heritage will be knowledge they can take with them into the future.”

Womenswear designer Ryan Roche—best known for her knitwear—and milliner Gigi Burris have been selected to participate in the first round of the program and a menswear designer will be determined in the coming weeks.

Each participant will work closely with Italian merchants to create a signature textile that will be integrated into their upcoming Spring/Summer 2017 collections, which will be showcased in Milan and New York.

Designers and Local Vendors Come Together at CitySource

More than 65 New York-based vendors, ranging from pattern and sample makers and sewers to printers and pleating experts, took part in this week’s CitySource showcase at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

Envisioned by FIT’s Enterprise Studies and Digital Design department and supported by The Garment District Alliance, the biannual one-day event (which launched in 2012 and takes place every January and July) aims to connect designers and small businesses with local resources—a meetup of sorts that Christine Helm said the industry really needs.

Attendees agree: CitySource has been known to draw more than 800 visitors.

“The reason we came up with this in the first place is because it seemed like a way we could help both the manufacturers and the designers. So we could put the emerging designers, which are a very big concern of mine, into the room with all the range of businesses they might need in order to produce their goods and at the same time, manufacturers have a chance to get new clients,” Helm, the Enterprise Studies and Digital Design coordinator, said, noting that the organizers also invite established brands so that contractors and suppliers have a chance to pick up some bigger orders, too.

“But my heart is really with the emerging designer,” she continued, “because while there’s still a garment center and everything is there, things are split. You go one place for your pleating, you go to one place to get your lining and you go to one place to get your sample made. It’s a lot of legwork.”

And putting some of the players under one roof helps to streamline the process.

This year’s participants spanned cut-and-sew factories such as Ferrara Manufacturing and Four Seasons Fashion Manufacturing to pattern, sample and production vendors like Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator and Manufacture New York, as well as button and trims purveyors Buttonology and TrimLab.

A series of free workshops were offered over the course of the day, too, covering such topics as 3-D printing, leather production, development basics and a demo on Shima Seiki, a computerized knitting machine that produces a garment in one piece.

“I think a lot of emerging designers come out of whatever school they attend ill-equipped to run a business,” Helm said, adding, “What I love about CitySource is that it of course does that job, but it also supports our manufacturers.”

What’s New at Liberty New York?

Liberty New York returns Jan. 26-28 at Pier 94 with more lifestyle products for retailers to consider for their Fall ’16 stories.

The Living Room
The show is keying into men’s increasing desire to have their surroundings as unique and personal as their fashion with the debut of The Living Room. “Men have a greater appreciation and undeniable sense of pride when it comes to their belongings,” the show stated.

The new concept offers a selection of homewares and furniture handpicked by Andrew Livingston, co-founder of New York-based Knickerbocker Mfg. Co. The section will offer products by A-Lamp Design, Corbe Company, Douglas & Co. Detroit, Ethan Abramson, Great Bear Wax Co., Kidd Epps, Leadhead Glass, Luke Lamp Co., Misc. Goods Co., Mutual Adoration, Slightly Alabama, Smith Shop Detroit and Symbol Audio.

The Drugstore
The Drugstore, Liberty New York’s selection of apothecary and grooming products for men, returns with a selection edited by cosmetic marketing and merchandising guru David Pirrotta.

This year’s roster of brands include: Balsem, Blind Barber, Context Skin, David Mallett, Ernest Supplies, Gentleman’s Brand Co., Gloss Moderne, Grown Alchemist, Haeckels, Hercules Beard Co., Imaginary Authors, Lite + Cycle, Manready Mercantile, Sachajuan, Ursa Major and We Took ToThe Woods.

British Are Coming
Liberty New York will welcome eight up-and-coming British menswear brands through is partnership with the UK Trade and Investment. All eight brands are new to Liberty, adding a dash of gentlemanly style to the show.

Brands include: Clara Martin, Eye Respect, Haeckels, La Menta, Marcus De, Sarah Hellen, Story MFG and Tom Smarte London.

How CitySource is Uniting NYC’s Fashion District

About 10 blocks north of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) lies New York City’s Garment District, 24 city blocks chock-full of sample makers, fabric purveyors, trim vendors, showrooms and more. Scouring the streets for the best vendors is a rite of passage for most designers, but wouldn’t it be nice have all under one roof for at least one day?

That was the question FIT’s Enterprise Studies and Digital Design department, with support from The Garment District Alliance, posed to students, designers and vendors when it launched CitySource in 2012. The semi-annual, one-day event at FIT hosts over 65 local vendors spanning sewers and pattern makers to experts in pleating, embroidering and accessories. The event draws over 800 visitors, both local and out-of-state, seeking to grow their network of sources while stimulating the New York’s economy.

“There’s so much talk about factories closing down and moving to other boroughs. CitySource is our way to bring local vendors and resources to connect with small designers, emerging designers and established brands looking for sourcing and sample making close to home,” said Melissa Hall, CitySource co-producer and an instructor at FIT.

Part of the equation that makes CitySource a one-stop shop for designers is its seminar series. The upcoming show on Jan. 26 will host talks about 3-D printing, producing leather products, and demo on Shima Seiki, a leading CAD program for knitwear. Designers tend to learn the business of fashion on the job but Hall said attendees can avoid costly mistakes through the educational resources and opportunities FIT has to offer. “We see so much value in offering realistic seminars,” she added.

Realness is one of the show’s strengths. While other shows cater to brands and companies that order large quantities, Hall said CitySource stands out by working with vendors that understand small business and want to build relationship. She added, “It’s New York City pride and this is just one way the school helps support New York City fashion manufacturing.”

Lenzing Modal: 50 Years of Textile Innovation

Five decades of fiber innovation has passed since Lenzing Modal was introduced to the textile market, and the cellulose fiber continues to resonate with manufactures and consumers by tapping into the market’s growing demand for soft and ecological fabrications.

“Lenzing Modal has stood the test of time because the consumer wants comfort and color,” said Tricia Carey, Lenzing global director of business development for denim.

Research for a cellulose fiber that was comparable to cotton but with a higher tenacity profile than viscose began in the 1960s. The resulting fiber created by Lenzing scientists, originally called “Hochmodul 333” and renamed Lenzing Modal in the 1970s, was developed through an environmentally responsible process from tree down to fiber.

Derived from beechwood, which requires no artificial irrigation, Lenzing Modal is made only at the Lenzing headquarters in Lenzing, Austria at an integrated pulp and fiber production plant. More than half of the wood used is sourced locally from Austria and the remainder is from neighboring countries, cutting down on energy and transportation costs. Meanwhile, up to 95% of the Lenzing Modal production materials are recovered at the plant as a result of innovative environmental processes.

The fiber has become known for its unparalleled softness. Originally intended for the knitwear market, Lenzing Modal has been implemented into socks, towels and technical textiles, and into woven and denim applications for softness. Carey said, “The supply chain finds Lenzing Modal easy to blend and process.” It can be blended with cotton, wool, silk, bast fiber and synthetic fibers using conventional machinery.

Over the years, the portfolio of Lenzing Modal fibers has expanded into MicroModal, MicroModal Air, and Lenzing Modal Sun. The company continues to innovate and experiment with Lenzing Modal color and Lenzing Modal black, rope dyed Lenzing Modal fibers for lasting color with reduced water and energy usage.

Lenzing will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lenzing Modal at Texworld USA on Jan. 25 at 4:30 P.M. at the Lenzing Innovations Pavilion. There, attendees can mix, mingle and view 19 exhibitors focused on incorporating sustainable fibers into a broad range of product categories. “We are pleased to celebrate this milestone of 50 years of softness with Lenzing Modal,” Carey said.

What’s New at Texworld USA

Texworld USA, organized by Messe Frankfurt Inc., will welcome a record 331 exhibitors at the upcoming edition on Jan. 24-26 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. The show promises to be the most exciting edition yet, showcasing the most diverse product offering to date, and the debut of the annual Texworld USA Cutting Edge Awards.

New Exhibitors
Attendees will have the opportunity to source across a total of 15 product groups highlighting companies from 15 countries, including: USA, China, Peru, Portugal, United Kingdom, Colombia, Pakistan, Korea, Japan and India. Additionally, for the first time during a winter show, a Guatemala pavilion will host five new exhibitors specializing in performance fabrics and sportswear.

Lenzing Modal Turns 50
Texworld USA exhibitor and seminar sponsor, Lenzing, will toast 50 years of Lenzing Modal with a cocktail reception at its booth on Jan. 25 at 5 P.M. The fiber producer will also spotlight 19 exhibitors focused on incorporating sustainable fibers into a broad range of product categories at the Lenzing Innovations pavilion.

To help designers, companies and buyers start the season on the right foot, the Lenzing Innovation at Texworld USA Seminar Series will return. Hot topics include Spring/Summer ’17 color trends, sustainable designs and standards, sourcing trends and more. A highlight will be a panel discussion onsocial media with Social Fly Co-Founder Courtney Spritzer, Ecouterre Managing Editor Jasmin Chua and Amanda Ibrahim, Google Global Program Manager, Client and Agency Solutions.


The Best of the Best
Innovative and forward-thinking products will be recognized with the first annual Texworld Cutting Edge Awards. The awards will highlight the best of Texworld’s international exhibitors across seven categories, including: temperature control, environmentally-friendly processing, best booth design and more. Winners in each category will be honored for their achievements in innovation during a live awards ceremony taking place during the show on Monday, January 25.

“We not only want to highlight some of the most innovative products and technological advances available at Texworld USA for our attendees, we also want to encourage our exhibitors to continue to develop these cutting edge products by shining the spotlight on their valuable contributions to the industry,” said Dennis Smith, President, Messe Frankfurt North America.

Off the Cuff with Liberty Fairs Founder Sam Ben-Avraham

Sam Ben-Avraham is a curator of cool. For decades, he has handpicked the items New Yorkers line up for at his New York City-based stores Atrium and Kith. His eye for newness translated effortlessly to the fashion trade show circuit, which he stepped into in 2003 with the launch of Project—the contemporary menswear show that he eventually sold to his biggest competitor, ENK International, in 2012.

With more to bring to the table, Ben-Avraham introduced Liberty Fairs in July 2013 in New York and Las Vegas with the desire to shed stale trade show traditions and create an inspiring space that spoke to the fast-changing retail climate. Liberty Fairs have grown to be a blend of “commerce and creativity” showcasing the finest the industry has to offer from the sought-after brands and worthy newcomers.

“When a buyer comes into our shows, we tell them the story,” Ben-Avraham said, noting that the majority of retailers have too many other responsibilities to stay educated and up to date on trends. Liberty aims to help compose that narrative for them. “That’s our specialty and that’s coming from the fact that we have been on the retail floor for 26 years already.”

He continued, “Our shows are buyer friendly, and that’s what I’m most proud of. Our merchandise is unique and current. We have anchors from each category that people can identify and we build everything else around those. As a user, I know what I would like to see.”

Ben-Avraham has brought new meaning to “friendly competition.” Last year, Liberty Fairs traveled to Florence, Italy to team up with Pitti Uomo to showcase Made in USA labels, including MSL by Billy Reid, Red Wing and The Hill-Side—a project that’s continuing into 2016.

“I’m very comfortable with my product and services. I don’t think I need to isolate myself in order to have people come in and be part of what we do,” Ben-Avraham said about partnerships. “The more collaboration and the more things we do together as group will make buyers’ lives easier.”

One of the first traditions Ben-Avraham broke was the alliance he forged with neighboring shows Capsule, Agenda and MRket—a strategic partnership that allows the shows to cross-promote, draw more buyers and streamline travel. “That’s the biggest problem for buyers—transportation. People have to move from one place to another other,” he said. “It’s always hard to find a cab at 5 P.M. There’s no efficiency. It’s our job to make this better.”

The upcoming edition of Liberty (Jan. 26-28) will be held at Pier 92, adjacent to Capsule Men’s. It will also coincide with New York Fashion Week: Men’s, making the Big Apple a one-stop shop for up-and-coming menswear and accessories.

Ben-Avraham added, “That is the bottom line. If [buyers] are here for one week they need to have a full experience and that’s our job as a trade show producers to make that happen, and the only way is to is to speak with one another and try to make things happen together.”

Wise Guys: Invista Brings Smart Technology to Textiles

When you create textiles that can shape, cool, stretch, slim, contour and withstand daily wear-and-tear better than most—and still look good—you need more than a hangtag to tell your story. That’s why NYC Textile Week is integral to promoting Invista’s growing roster of fiber innovations.

“There’s still a lot of textile and apparel business in New York. I think anything that gets the word out of the importance of textiles, and gets the city behind it, is a great idea,” said Invista Global Director for Denim Jean Hegedus about the initiative.

Invista, owner of the Lycra fiber and one of the world’s largest integrated producers of fibers and polymers, is a frequent player at Kingpins New York, exhibiting new advancements, including Coolmax, T400 and DualFX, and sponsoring corresponding informational seminars.

The show also served as a platform for Lycra in 2014 when it rolled out its “Lycra Moves Your Business” campaign for trade, and to further explain its revamped brand architecture designed for consumers to better understand its five consumer brands: Lycra for comfort, freedom and movement; Lycra Beauty for control and shaping; Lycra Sport for physical activity; Lycra Xtra Life for garment durability; and Lycra Energize for wellness.

Last year, Invista introduced Lycra Beauty branded fabrics for shaping denim at Kingpins, followed by Lycra Hybrid in the fall, a fabric that combines the comfort and flexibility of knit with the authentic appearance and performance of a woven. Through Lycra Hybrid, Invista has been able to create fabric with over 100 percent stretch in one direction and more than 50 percent in the other with less than five percent growth.

Hegedus believes this is just the start of smart fabrics, explaining that the integration of smart phones, watches and tablets into consumers’ day-to-day lives has opened the door to a flood of wearables. “We’ve become so accustomed to technology in our life,” Hegedus said, adding that consumers today are looking for fabrics that do, rather than are. She added, “There’s a real emphasis on performance. [Consumers] want them to do something that is more than covering their bodies. Retailers are asking for it, too.”

MRket Launches MOVE for Active Brands

MRket is getting whipped into shape. The redesigned menswear show is partnering with Equinox to launch MOVE, a curated selection of progressive active lifestyle brands at the next edition Jan. 25-26, 2016. The section will spotlight the best in high-end active and performance styling, including brands Rhone, Mizzen + Main and Eysom.

Lizette Chin, vice president of menswear and BJL Fashion Group, the company that owns MRket, said the new dedicated area is a response to a cultural shift. “Men are dressing for a more active lifestyle,” she explained. “Menswear retailers are shifting assortments as health and wellness becomes the new luxury. They will discover the most innovative, better menswear brands for their matric at MOVE.

MOVE will be anchored by Equinox. The fitness club, which is repositioning itself as a destination for fitness and activewear shopping, will present a collaborative pop-up to buyers and host fitness-inspired demos.

“Men’s trends have shifted quickly towards athletic tailoring; MRket, and the concept of MOVE, helps make this shift for men faster and more possible,” said Equinox Senior Director of Retail Frank Rappa.