INTIMA America, featuring the Intimate Apparel Salon, took place in New York for the first time at the North Pavilion of the Jacob Javits Convention Center on August 3 - 5, 2003 during New York’s Intimate Apparel Market Week. Showcasing lingerie, foundations, shapewear, sleepwear, swimwear, textiles and various intimate apparel accessories by leading industry manufacturers from around the world, 182 exhibiting companies featuring 330 brands spanned 50,000 square feet of exhibit space. Exhibitors from 15 countries, including several European nations and a national pavilion from Taiwan, presented the most impressive international participation to date. Also, both new designers and industry veterans were well represented and displayed their latest fashions to an eager audience.
Matching the largest, most diverse and international exhibitor base, a record-setting attendance of buyers was recorded. Exceeding the organizers and many exhibitors’ expectations, over 2,500 attendees were registered during the course of the 3-day event. Buyers included the nationally leading retail stores, department stores, boutiques, specialty stores, buying offices, importers and wholesalers. Registered attendees came from almost all U.S. states as well as 40 international destinations around the world. The strongest foreign buyer delegations represented Canada, Japan, United Kingdom and Italy. Many exhibitors reported brisk business with domestic as well as new foreign accounts. Cross-over buyers from the fashion and accessory related shows held concurrently at the same convention center created additional business opportunities for many exhibitors.
The fashion shows held twice daily during the first two days of the event received rave reviews and proved highly effective for the participating exhibitors. 36 companies contributed products for the impressive shows presenting the 2004 trends on a runway located directly on the show floor. Beth Sobol of Fashion Week of the Americas brought her talent and experience to the event by coordinating the runway show with glamorous models adorned with next year’s spring and summer collections of participating exhibitors. The standing-room only fashion shows were a hit among buyers, many of whom quickly made their way to the booths of featured exhibitors following each of the shows.
In support of young, upcoming talent for the intimate apparel industry the Young Designer Showcase, co-sponsored by The Underfashion Club, featured award-winning designs by students of the High School of Fashion Industries in New York. Awards were presented to the contest winners by Barry Ross, Executive Vice President of the Underfashion Club and Roland Bleinroth, President of Messe Frankfurt, Inc. during the show. The special display area showcasing the award-winning designs of the talented students proved popular with the show attendees.
INTIMA America also presented an informative seminar program with sessions appealing to a variety of interests. Retail information was a strong topic with one very popular session providing vital information for new store owners, and another pinpointing five keys to retail success. Trends were another focus with sessions dedicated to global views on style and design, as well as color, patterns and fabrics. Session presenters included: Rita Nakouzi, Promostyl Trend Consultant; Mercedes R. Gonzalez, President of The Global Purchasing Group; Richard Isham Sardouk, Promostyl Managing and Creative Director; and Margaret Walch, Director of The Color Association of the United States.
The new location at the North Pavilion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was met with positive feedback from attendees and exhibitors. The single floor layout was easy to navigate for buyers. The unique fabric roof construction and lighting system with partial daylight provided the appropriate atmosphere for the show’s products. A complimentary shuttle service provided easy access to the facility from Times Square and the showrooms.
INTIMA America rounds out 2003 with its November 2 - 4 Intimate Apparel Salon set to take place at the Millennium Broadway Hotel. In addition to the November event, preparations are already underway for the next INTIMA America show being held February 29 - March 2, 2004 with the same format as this year’s August show. Messe Frankfurt also hosts INTIMA Japan, an annual event scheduled May 17 - 19, 2004 in Tokyo, Japan.
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