“Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics- Spring Edition 2014,” the world’s largest international apparel fabrics and accessories trade fair was held from Mar 3 to 5.

According to the organizer Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd., 40,000 visitors came to the fair. This is a new record and an increase by 60% in comparison to the number of visitors that came to the one held in Beijing last year. Visitors outside of China increased by 105% and domestic visitors by 52%. Excluding China, the most visitors came from Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, India and the US (in order from the highest).

Exhibitors from 1,400 companies across 23 countries/regions, mainly from Europe and Asia, gathered at the fair. This is an increase by 7 countries/regions compared to the previous year. At the press conference held on the opening day, CCPIT revealed that the number of exhibitors that registered was more than double, and that expectations for the future of the Chinese market are high. Next year, the fair will be held at the China Expo Complex, which is approx. 100,000 square-meters in size and twice the size of this year’s venue. It was announced that the Intertextile Home Textiles and Yarn Expo will also be held at the same time.

Thirteen companies participated from Japan. “With the change of venue from Beijing to Shanghai, we saw an increase in visitors from the southern regions of China.” (Moririn Co.Ltd.) “We see an improvement in China’s economy and orders have increased.” (ICHIMURA SANGYO CO., LTD.) “We decided to participate after the venue was changed to Shanghai. Intertextile has the strength to gather many visitors. This season, we saw the industry lean towards European trends. Chinese makers/brands are trying to incorporate trends seen in high fashion brands.” (Withall in Osaka).

Materials that received favorable reviews at the Premiere Vision and Japanese fabrics attracted visitors. “Indigo fabrics made in Japan which were popular in Paris are great draws.” (Chikuma) “In addition to standard materials, distinctive ones also sell well.” (Kumazawa Shoji Co. Ltd.) As the fair was held relatively early, many visitors ordered materials for both 2014-15 AW and 2015 SS.

- European Companies Keen on Asia

Salon Europe exhibited items from 124 companies including Loro Piana and Thomas Mason. At the press conference, Silvio Albini of the Albini Group emphasized the importance of Asian markets in recent years.

Jeremy Somers, director at design studio Circleline, said “We came to China ten years ago, and we can see that the fashion scene here is growing fast these past two, three years. A unique style fusing the gorgeous sensibilities of Asia and the history of Europe is becoming established. Many young creators are reaching out to the world for inspiration.”

Liberty London, which opened an office in Shanghai two years ago, exhibited at the fair to promote the brand in China. Another exhibitor, the Riri Group holds an office in Shanghai and Hong Kong from 19 years ago.

The 2015 SS Trend Forum held by the Intertextile Directions Trend Committee also attracted attention, and scenes of buyers listening to presentations and checking textile samples were seen.