Monday, March 10, 2008

Third Time's The Charm?

The Los Angeles International Textile Show is April 14th through 16th and I'll be there, hoping that the third time's the charm. I've written about my adventures and disappointment at fabric shows in Chicago and New York. I'm fairly certain that this upcoming show in Los Angeles will be the home run that I've been hoping for.

This is the text on the show's web site. "The Los Angeles International Textile Show is the premier showcase for directional textile companies and design resources in the United States. Featuring hundreds of the most creative domestic, European, and Asian fabric and trim collections, in addition to design studio resources, complimentary seminars and trend information, the L.A. Int'l Textile Show is the starting point for contemporary apparel and interior design."

Sounds promising, though I am a little concerned about the adjective "directional" (as in "...the premier showcase for directional textile companies and design resources....") One of the definitions of directional is: "Serving to point the future direction, as of fashion: "A directional group of sweater knit colors are winter pastels" (Women's Wear Daily)." I hope that doesn't mean that the show will feature mostly wacky, "high performance" fabrics like those I found at the show in New York. I do expect that there will be some new-fangled, high tech fabrics available. But I expect some more traditional fabric offerings as well.

Apparently the best, thick, high quality cotton knit that's #1 on my wish list comes from India. So, because this show features Asian fabric collections - among others - I am hopeful that I will find the cotton knit of my dreams. Now that I've written that I realize that I've got a different kind of "California Dreamin'" going on!

In addition to the textile show, I'm looking forward to visiting a wholesale fabric reseller in LA. It's called "Ragfinders of California" and they're a textile "jobber." They buy excess fabric from large manufacturers and sell to smaller manufacturers - like It'll Fit'll! I am excited at the possibility of finding great fabric, at reasonable prices, in practical minimum quantities that I would otherwise be unable to purchase for It'll Fit'll. I also, very much, like the idea that the availability of the fabric is limited.

One of the principles of our "fashion" line (as opposed to our "classics" - standard offerings like jeans and chinos) is that the quantities will be limited. We will produce a limited number of an item - say, a dress - in a particular fabric, in a range of sizes. Once those dresses have been sold, there will be no more of that particular item available. The reason for that approach is that we want to assure that your child has the opportunity for some fashion individuality - that she or he won't "see themselves coming and going", as my Mom used to say. Mom once told me about her favorite local clothing store as a young woman. It stocked and sold each item in just one of each size. So, when she bought a dress there she knew that no other size 8 woman would be buying the same dress. I've always appreciated that concept - ever since she spoke of it so nostalgically back in my high school days, when that shop sadly closed due to competition from national chains.

Of course, we'll produce more than one fashion item per size. But because we'll be a web based business, we expect to have a national customer base and therefore a wider area of distribution for those fashions than my Mom's little store had. So, the idea is the same. You will not likely see a bunch of other children wearing the exact dress or shirt that your child is wearing. The style may be the same - I understand how important it is to our children to wear the same type of clothes that everyone else is wearing - but the particular fabric and trim will likely be different.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to all of the fabric treasures I expect to find in Los Angeles next month. I'll also look forward to sharing my findings - and observations and adventures - with you guys! And, OK, the warm, sunny weather won't be bad either!

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1 comment:

thedomesticdiva said...

A bunch of us clothing designers/manufacturers are meeting up on April 15th in LA while at the LA Textile Show. Perhaps you might want to join us. Go check out where we all hang out.

With friendship,