Based in Pheonix, Arizona, USA, set up in 1954, non-profit organization Supima's primary objective is to promote the increased consumption of U.S. Pima cotton around the world. Supima is actively involved in quality assurance, various Pima quality research programs, and working with government agencies to ensure a fair and viable marketing environment for U.S. Pima growers. Supima also provides timely crop and market information to its grower-members and licensees. The organization is famed for its licensing program in which select, high-quality textile mills, apparel and textile manufacturers, and retailers are granted a license to use the Supima trademark. Licensees use the Supima trademark to market and promote their textile, home fashion and apparel products made of 100% American Pima cotton. Over 250-fine count textile mills, manufacturers and retailers from around the world are licensed to use the Supima brand. Supima also actively participates in all major international home fashion and apparel exhibitions and events. Jesse W Curlee, President- Supima, graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in marketing. He began his business career in 1968 with Armstrong World Industries in their corporate headquarters in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He later moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he was responsible for the company's industrial sales to the textile industry in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. In 1973, Mr Curlee joined the US textile industry as Executive Secretary of the Georgia Textile Manufacturers Association and its affiliate organization, The Textile Education Foundation, in Atlanta. Mr Curlee joined Supima in 1979 and was named President in 1981. He is a trustee and past Chairman of the Texas A&M Foundation. He also serve as a Director of the 12th Man Foundation at Texas A&M and is a member of the President's Council of Advisors. In 1993, Mr Curlee served as President of the Former Students Association of Texas A&M University. He is a member of the Phoenix Rotary Club; Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations; Advisory Director of the Arizona Cotton Growers Association; and an advisor to the Executive Committee of Cotton Council International. Speaking with Face2Face team Mr Jesse Curlee reveals on the cotton industry worldwide and Supima’s activities in present times.
A warm welcome to Face2Face talk, Mr Curlee! Nice to speak to you again on this channel! Shall we start the conversation with an insight from you on the global cotton industry as it exists today?
I can probably only give you a perspective from the USA in regard to the global cotton industry and in particular to USA Pima. I would say the cotton industry is facing more difficulties in the USA than in anytime in my 30 years in this industry. Demand is weak and prices are weaker….especially for Extra-Long Staple cotton. Growers have more profitable alternatives than cotton.
So, this means your activities had to go more vigorous. It was some three years back we had known from you about activities of Supima during our talk in same channel. Please let us know how they have gone amplified in this span.
Supima activities in regard to promotion/marketing have increased greatly in the past three years. We have continued with our own trade show in New York. It is named the Premium Fabric Show (PREFAB) and has been held bi-annually at Gotham Hall in New York. This is an opportunity for Supima licensees to showcase their yarns, fabrics and finished textile goods to brands/designer/retailers from the USA and worldwide. Supima has also sponsored a fashion show for the past two years during the January PREFAB show. We also opened a retail “Pop Up” store in the Soho section of New York in the spring of 2008. This created a lot of publicity within the industry and was an opportunity to showcase some of our licensee’s products. Lots of other promotional/marketing projects have been undertaken during this time and more are planned for the future.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.