NEW! Wholesale fabric show, low minimums NY

[amended 1/31/12] Unfortunately, it has become necessary to close comments to this post (hopefully temporarily). Here is the cheat sheet for people who post questions  instead of reading the entry and comments that answer the questions people have asked:

There will be a special meet up for F-I members who will have an identifier on their badges. If you’re already a member (click on this link ->) please post here (<-click on that link) to let us know to expect you (see this to become a member). If you cannot login at the link above, you either aren’t a member or your membership has expired (please renew).  At the first link you will find meet up information and suggestions for accommodations, transportation etc. If you want more information on the show itself, go to the show’s website.  [end amend]

You’re hearing it here first, the first public announcement of a new wholesale fabric trade show designed specifically for independent designers who need to source low minimum fabrics, leathers, trims, guts etc. The show is so new that it doesn’t have a name, a website or way to register for it. Considering everything it took to organize and pay for it, those are very minor details. Trust me. For now, all you need to know is this:

Hotel Pennsylvania
New York City
February 6-7, 2012
Hours: 9:30 to 6:00

I strongly suggest posting a comment (even if it is lame) or these vendors might get the idea this is not such a good thing to do. More importantly, it is critical that this go viral -promote this show to all of your friends, colleagues and contacts because not sharing the details can kill a show like this faster than anything. If you don’t make an effort to tell -oh let’s just say ten other people- don’t be dismayed if this is the first and last year this show is held. If you don’t tell ten other people, I never want to hear you complain there aren’t any shows for small designers.

You should promote this show even if you don’t live in NY or plan to attend! If this show doesn’t succeed, the vendors will not be convinced to do it anywhere else. Meaning, if you want a show like this to open in a location more convenient to you, the best way to make it happen is to do what you can to make a show you’re not even going to, a rousing success. Make sense?

This is something we’ve been privy to in the forum so I can only post a partial vendor list from there although our henchman tells me more have signed on since he last updated the thread. Speaking of, you should let us know if you’re coming by clicking that link; F-I members get members only perks at the show (Jay is taking names). Here is a partial list of vendors, see the comment thread for still more:

Appliques with Glitz
Barbie International
Carr Textile
Dill Buttons of America
Elliott Berman Fabrics
Fabric Avenue
Fishman’s Fabrics
Global Leather
HWC/ Hamburger Woolen
Labels IG
Kendor Textiles
Novatex Int’l
One World Button
Philips Boyne
Products From Abroad
Robert Kaufman Company
Sextet Fabrics
Shannon Fabrics
Solid Stone Fabrics
Stylecrest Fabrics
W and W
Zinman Textiles

Our contact says:

I remember Kathleen writing something about fabric vendors not doing you a favor in selling you because the independent designer market is one that can be maneuvered profitably for a fabric resource. Fabric resources sell to DEs because they make money at it.

Like any business segment, there are ebbs and flows. DEs must be flowing because something pretty cool (and expensive to produce) is going to happen -a trade show. This show will feature quite a few fabric, button, zipper, label and many other types of vendors. These vendors almost all target independent designers so sampling and small production purchases will not just be “tolerated”, they will be encouraged. So far, over 30 vendors have put up some serious cash and the show is now a certainty.

The vendor list is pretty impressive. From my point of view, what is terribly exciting about this is that it is not a rep show. So far, everyone that has signed up is a vendor and not a sales rep. This show is happening because DEs are not just a viable segment. This show is happening because DEs are an important segment.

Obviously the meet up possibilities are endless. I lived in New York during all of the 1980’s and I am anxious to spend some time there. I would be more than willing to take F-I members to all of the cool places I hung out except I don’t remember any of them. When I lived in NYC I spent an extraordinary amount passed out or explaining why I would not provide markdown money to big department stores. It was not the scenic tour!!

Did I just print that last paragraph? Well, better you know what sort of people you’re likely to meet there. Speaking of, I might be one of them if I can work out the logistics of it (help?). And yes, there will be a special meet up just for F-I members who know the secret handshake. Just kidding, we’d be happy to charm you if you come. How else to better convince you that you need to join us? If you’re already a member, please post here to let us know to expect you and also, maybe some of the locals can help with hotels, transportation and all of that.

Stayed tuned for more updates. Till then tell your friends, lovers, enemies and frenemies.

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