LA Textile foreshadows a glamorous but sustainable future
Julia Ingalls, Contributing Editor | Thursday, March 3, 2022
A live designer, a good Aussie coffee, a shift from quick fashion to cut-to-order – Spring/Summer 23 Textile LA show had it all. Kicking off the February 23-25 edition on an exceptionally cool Los Angeles morning, attendees ascended to the 10th floor of the California Market Center‘s C building, where LA Textile Show Director Matthew Mathiasen warmed everyone up with an informative seminar. Mathiasen took to the podium and explained that of the 146 companies exhibiting at the show’s 90 booths, 72% had a sustainable option for buyers.
“That’s a huge telltale sign of how you should view your business,” he said, drawing nods from the audience. “We don’t just use the word ‘sustainable’ anymore, we actually do. It is happening. Guess what? Shops across Alabama are now buying sustainably. This was not the case 10 years ago. Many exhibitors agreed with Mathiasen, citing the preferences of their own customers.
After briefly reviewing fashion trends: “90% of our customers turn to our staples; the quality is not so chic, not so chic, but rather has relaxed and stretchy qualities; customers prefer drapes” – Bogachan Doganay of Turkish company Özel Tekstil confirmed a move towards sustainable fibers and processes. “We try to perpetuate all our qualities. Organic cottons and hemp are quite important. Some suppliers do not use hemp because hemp fibers are very tough [to work with]but right now most designers or purchasing managers are trying to find linen grades and hemp grades for the summer season because these fibers don’t need certification.
Doganay also confirmed that the cut-to-order trend is on the rise among his customer base. “Everyone follows their own direction. It seems like everyone is following their customers a lot more than before the pandemic. »
In the Premium & Designer Collections section, Laura Keefer of CBC was also aware of the growing importance of sustainability. “Europe has always been ahead of sustainable fabrics, but it’s getting even more committed to it,” she said, “and our line is embracing it.”
Francois Damide from Solstis showcased the company’s gorgeous Spring 2023 offerings, some of which feature a mix of chamois and lace. Resplendent, bold colors and intricate patterns woven largely on technology the company has used for more than 150 years, dazzled visitors to the booth. “The new line is always a mix of different styles – very red carpet, very luxurious. We have bright colors, that touch of the 70s.”
For Julia Abrahamian and Raissa Hannon from the designer collection Kalimo, lush color and durability make this a great match. As Abrahamian explained, “I believe that eco-friendly styles and trends are here to stay. After this pandemic, people are much more aware of the environment but also of themselves and of being in the moment, of enjoying the moment, of enjoying the present. We try to translate this a bit into our fabrics and our collections.
Hannon also previewed an exciting new advancement in Kalimo’s use of technology for customers. “We are going to launch a new platform where our customers can go online, check their impressions, create their own boards and access the trends we have.”
For designers just starting out as well as fashion veterans, Bennett bristles has many new options that are not only of the highest quality, but also display a distinct playful approach. John Barle commented on a room decorated with hot air balloons: “I call it the Montgolfière after the Montgolfier brothers, who invented the hot air balloon. It’s so whimsical to me in a stylish way. The minima are adjustable for someone who is just starting out.
In the Fabrics section, the two RC International and hemp traders were mobbed by visitors as they unveiled their new hemp-infused options. The wide variety of colors now available portends not only a sustainable but also a bright future.
In the Texworld pavilion, Michael Vaux Morrell of Liberty Denim talked about the benefits of performance fabrics, which include both denim and hemp. “There have been performance attributes in terms of linear compression fabrics that are tailored to give, so you fit a larger mode of human body with the same SKUs. “hard-friction” fabrics where they offer flexible abrasion resistance, the crotch and knee do not blow.
For upcoming looks for the spring and summer seasons, he previewed a line of crew fabrics in whites, lighter shades, soft blues and “mother nature’s color” as well as “fabrics heritage with flashbacks to the 1980s, 1950s and 1960s”.
Morrell also explained how hemp is becoming an increasingly popular fiber in the industry. “Hemp is still relatively expensive, but it is falling. The amount of seed going into the ground is increasing, and the supply should go up and the demand should bring it down, at least in theory.
Finally, what better palette cleanser than a new literal palette? At Pantone booth, Pat Brandt unveiled the company’s new paper traveler, a collapsible compendium of Pantone’s must-have palette for on-the-go designers and other shade-conscious clients. Brandt demonstrated how the Pantone Paper Traveler folds and unfolds effortlessly to make it easy to quickly demonstrate and select specific Pantone colors from anywhere.
With its roster of international exhibitors, friendly and welcoming hosts, and emphasis on information rather than hype, LA Textile provided a comprehensive glimpse into the future of glamorous yet sustainable fashion.