INTERFILIERE New York 2018: An Inside Look from a First Time Visitor
As someone who has been working as a Technical Designer in intimate apparel industry for 12 years, it’s quite shocking that this would have been my first time visiting Interfiliere New York. However, I feel as though this timing couldn’t have been anymore perfect for me to experience it – I now had the knowledge to understand exactly what the show was all about.
For those who don’t know what Interfiliere is, it is one of the main fabric and sourcing workshops and trade shows in the intimate apparel, swim, and activewear industries. Lasting two days, it brings international textile mills and manufactures to New York City where designers and brands can shop the market and see what new innovations and technologies exist to expand their product design. It’s no surprise that I saw so many of my industry peers there during my visit. The show is produced by Eurovet, and they host shows in other cities worldwide, such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, and Paris.
The show is housed in The Tunnel on Manhattan’s westside, a brick event building with workspaces and small cafes and restaurants. The setting was intimate and close so it felt like a community of creatives buzzing about in the space.
Registration is easy enough, show your business card and get an ID pass for entry. Then you walk amongst about 45 tables of vendors showcasing laces, trims, cottons, and micro fabrications some using advanced technology and 3D screen printing.
Everyone is helpful and informative. My favorite part of the exhibit was the section devoted to themes. Each theme had a mood board backdrop with an explanation, and the participating vendors selected textiles from their lines that represented the theme. It was very interesting to see how each one interpreted the themes and translated them to fabrications. From a designer perspective this was a great way to shop your aesthetic and choose fabrics based off of that, which would be much simpler than going from vendor to vendor.
I noticed that this year there were only three garment manufacturers presenting, of which one of them was a first time presenter, so I stopped to chat with United Swimwear Apparel Limited about their product and how their experience was going as a 1st timer.
Business Managers Irene Ng and Cecilia Chan traveled from Hong Kong to NYC to showcase their beautiful swimwear product, to see new customers and engage with different suppliers. This was not their first show, however this was their first time presenting in NYC, when asked how the NYC show compared to other shows they’ve attended, Cecelia explained
“It’s a little bit smaller, compared with Shanghai and Paris, but I think sometimes small is good, because you can concentrate, the buyers they come and they can concentrate. I think it’s a little bit different but we are happy to be showing.” said Irene. “Also when the show is bigger, the quality is a little different, we find the quality of the participants in NYC is a bit higher than what we see in Shanghai.”
They described the show as more of a community feel. Overall they felt they had a positive experience and would return to Interfiliere NYC next year, explaining they liked the open feel of the space
“It’s good to collaborate, not just in our own booth, but across the aisle, that’s where that community element comes in.” Irene said.
Overall as a 1st time experience I would have to say that Interfiliere did not disappoint, I learned a lot, laughed a lot with some of my old friends in the business and got a chance to see what new things were out there in terms of technology in textiles. I plan to go back next year and down the line be able to attend other shows in other cities around the world.
If you are planning to produce your intimate apparel, swim, or activewear line on a larger scale, you should also plan to attend, because there is nothing like being in the room with so many resources at one time.