The fair dispelled any uncertainty about the state of the global apparel fabrics and accessories industry in the coming year, with many exhibitors reporting strong increases in the number of contacts and enquiries they received compared to last year. While the quality of buyers sourcing at the fair continues to increase, many exhibitors also commented that they received a healthy spread of buyers to their booths, both from China as well as from key markets in Asia and Europe, and that a satisfying proportion of these buyers were new potential customers.
Reflecting the fact that Intertextile Shanghai’s reputation as the industry’s leading event to conduct business each March & October has been steadily increasing over recent years, the exhibitor number grew by 5.9 per cent this edition to 3,341 from 26 countries and regions, fair organizer Messe Frankfurt said. New exhibitor countries included Denmark, Malaysia and Poland. The top 10 visitor countries and regions, excluding Mainland China, were Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, the US, Taiwan, India, Russia, Turkey, Indonesia and the UK.
Amongst the more than 71,000 trade buyers sourcing at this year’s fair were a number of well-known global brands taking advantage of the show’s unrivalled product range. This included Under Armour, represented by John Hardy, director, Sportswear for UA Global Sourcing. “This is my first time to Intertextile Shanghai, and I’m here to source functional fabrics for a sportswear line we are currently developing. The fair is very beneficial and it is great to see all the fashion fabrics offered from different countries. I’m very happy with the selection here. Coming to the fair is easy and hassle free, and I will be back in future editions.” A veteran of around 15 years sourcing at the fair, Katie R Drummond, the menswear technical lead for Marks & Spencer, commented: “The product variety and exhibitor quality are really good. We like the way the fair is laid out where you categorise the products into different zones and pavilions. I’ve seen a significant improvement in the quality of the suppliers here too.”
Another fast-moving trend in the domestic market, which is mirrored in the buyer profile of the fair, is that of boutique online brands, and despite their small size, many were on the lookout for premium fabrics at the fair. Bulong Xu from Japan’s Uni Textile explained: “In this edition, the new buyers we met were mainly young designer brands and fashion garment brands that are revamping their image, as well as e-commerce fashion brands. This included ladieswear brands selling on Taobao that will use our products to attract new customers.”
Part of the fair’s recent success has been its ability to evolve to meet the changing needs of the market. The Functional Lab is one such example of this with the number of exhibitors nearly doubling this edition to 22, mirroring the continued strong demand for functional fabrics in both China and elsewhere. Chinese buyers also confirmed the domestic demand for functional fabrics remains high.
The fair’s Beyond Denim area also grew in size this edition, further cementing its place as the leading sourcing event for denim fabrics in China. (RKS)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India
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