ENKWSA to Highlight Sourcing & Fast Fashion

ENKWSA will expand into a second hall and beef up its seminar series for the next edition, held Aug. 7-9 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas.

David Kahan, president of ENK Footwear Group, said the show, which was repositioned in February as a venue for affordable fashion and sourcing exhibitors, will now feature two halls dedicated to each market. In all, the event will cover 160,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 15 percent increase over the winter installment.

Kahan didn’t release expected attendee figures, but said registration so far is well ahead of last season’s numbers. He added that attendees would represent more than 60 countries.

After hosting a small but well-attended seminar series last season, Kahan said the show has improved its educational program. Highlights of this season’s seminars include a presentation by Matt Priest, president of the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America, about sourcing trends in 2012, as well as sessions on color trends, social media and new sourcing materials.

“What we’ve found is people don’t just want to come and shop; they want information,” said Kahan. “We decided rather than just have a talking head or a panel, we want to give people state-of-the-art, real-time information that they need to make decisions.”

Also new at this show will be the Fast Fashion Design Project, sponsored by ENKWSA and MESH01, a co-creation platform that links designers and brands worldwide. Six up-and-coming shoe designers, who are being chosen via an online competition, will attend the show and produce fast-fashion footwear right on the show floor. “People will vote on the best affordable fashion design, taking into account the fact that it needs to be sourced and priced the right way,” Kahan said.

ENKWSA also will have apparel exhibitors for the first time. While arrangements are still being finalized, Kahan said he expects to have about 25 apparel brands.

“A lot of buyers asked us to solicit apparel people,” Kahan said. “It’s a relatively low cost [for those companies] to show up, and a lot of the [same] buyers are there, so [now] people can look at footwear and apparel at the same time.”

And while economic concerns continue to worry industry executives, Kahan said now is the time to offer affordable footwear.

“Truth be told, the economy is stagnant and consumer spending is challenged. Fast fashion is where a lot of money is being spent right now,” he said, adding that sourcing information is also vital in the current climate. “You can traipse around China for two or three weeks, or you can send someone to ENKWSA and in two or three hours they could find a way to save some sourcing costs.”

Calendar of Events

Summer ’13 Trends
10 A.M.-11 A.M., Tuesday, Aug. 7
2 P.M.-3 P.M., Wednesday, Aug. 8
Sands Expo, Level 2, Hall A
The Lineapelle Fashion Committee presents new trends in leathers, textiles, synthetics and accessories for the shoe, leathergoods, leatherwear and upholstery industries.

2012 Sourcing Forecast

11:30 A.M.-12:30 P.M., Tuesday, Aug. 7
Sands Expo, Level 2, Hall A
Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America President Matt Priest presents a projection of U.S. footwear imports and a look at changing free-trade agreements.

Material Innovation: Innovation That Matters
4 P.M.-5 P.M., Tuesday, Aug. 7
Sands Expo, Level 2, Hall A
A presention by Tiffany Vasilchik, Material ConneXion VP of consulting.

Opening Night Party
6 P.M.-7 P.M., Wednesday, Aug. 8
Sands Expo, Level 1, Lobby
Featuring an Olympic theme, the soirée offers exhibitors and buyers the opportunity to mingle at the close of the first day.

Color Trends for Autumn/Winter ’13-14
10 A.M.-11 A.M., Wednesday, Aug. 8
Sands Expo, Level 2, Hall A
Laurie Pressman, Pantone VP of fashion, home & interiors, previews the colors of the season.

Protecting Your Footwear Designs
11:30 A.M.-12:30 P.M., Wednesday, Aug. 8
Sands Expo, Level 2, Hall A
Enoch Liang and Steve Hansen of Lee Tran & Liang APLC discuss design patents and trade dress.

How to Increase Your Reach

4 P.M.-5 P.M., Wednesday, Aug. 8
Sands Expo, Level 2, Hall A
Stephanie Selesnick, president of International Trade Information Inc., covers using social media for beginners.

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