10,560 designers, buyers, and decision makers from both international and regional brands and manufacturers attended the fair to collaborate with the 180 exhibitors from 15 countries. The attendance at the show remains stable, with a slight increase, session after session.
Overseas visitors amounted to 26%, with 513 visitors from Japan, 437 from Hong Kong; Visitors from China showed a spectacular increase of Beijing/North China, which doubled compared to the September session. It underlines the direction towards better knitwear and style which we have publicized during this session.
“SPINEXPO combines European heritage with the Asian future,” explained Karine Van Tassel, founder and organizer of the fair. “China and the countries of Southeast Asia are changing rapidly; spinners are investing in design and hiring European designers, and knitters are becoming overseas designer manufacturers rather than just exporters. Our spinners from Europe and South America find themselves perfectly well-fit within this new level of sophistication.
Ms. Van Tassel also announced the launch of a new SPINEXPO office for Southeast Asia, to be based in Bali. The creation of a new customs system between the ten countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is expected to offer opportunities for the region’s clothing and textile industry.
Sophie Steller, the fair’s Creative Director, explained the new approach taken to trends in the General Forum for Spring/Summer 2014. “Fashion is not about a theme, but is individually driven; and yarn is the hero,” declared Ms. Steller. “We are in a moment of fashion freedom,” added Ms. Van Tassel. “Fibers are not confined to a certain concept… we can have casual cashmere, or dressy denim.
Entitled “Evolutions,” the display created a succession of ambiences organized in tonal color families and pop-up trends. Yarns were provided by the exhibiting spinners and interpreted by Ms. Steller and her studio, with garments realized by knitwear manufacturers Brilliant Global, Shanghai Xinnuo, and Shenzhen Meilian.
In addition to the General Forum, a marketing area offered further inspiration via yarns and knitdowns provided by the exhibitors, with a special display devoted to mohair and alpaca fibers. A collaboration with Nottingham Trent University resulted in an inspiring collection of student designs rendered in yarns from participating spinners; and an ethereal collection from NTU’s recent Lace:here:now exhibition contemplated new ideas for the manipulation of yarns and fibers.
Also new for this edition of SPINEXPO was the Knitwear Pavilion, featuring fourteen leading creative knitwear manufacturers from China, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. “Growing sophistication on the part of the spinners is leading to more sophisticated knitwear,” explained Ms. Van Tassel. ”While we have always had knitters mixed in with the spinners, we felt they needed more visibility.”
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