Denim Fair Vendors See Uptick in Orders, But Rising Cotton Prices Too
Exhibitors and attendees at last week??™s Denim by Premi??re Vision show cited an uptick in business for the second half of 2009. However, the soaring cost of cotton is making price a growing issue for many.
The fair ended its two-day run at the Paris Docks on Thursday. The show??™s organizers plan to move the exhibition to the city??™s La Halle Freyssinet for the next session, scheduled to run June 2 and 3.
???Business picked up midyear, which meant we were able to bring along our merchant??¦[but] the budget is definitely down from last year and I don??™t foresee it getting better for next year,??? said Stephan Szkotnicki, senior director of men??™s denim, and men??™s and women??™s jewelry at A|X Armani Exchange.
Szkotnicki lauded the turnout of manufacturers and said he was meeting with firms based in the Euro-Med zone, where Armani Exchange plans to move some of its production.
???We??™re considering switching small increments to give us leverage for what??™s happening in Asia, as it??™s not always the cheapest,??? he said.
Bruno Van den Weghe, sales director of Italdenim SpA, said, ???Compared to the same time last year, we??™re in good shape. But the pressure is still on to decrease prices, and we??™re already as low as we can go. There??™s still big consumption of denim, but overall retail prices have dropped.???
The firm introduced a new yarn-dye canvas range that lends itself to the burgeoning chino trend.
Rashid Iqbal Nasir, director of Naveena Group, a Pakistan-based denim fabric and apparel manufacturer that works with the likes of Gap, Levi??™s and Jordache, agreed that prices were a sore point. Nasir pointed to a 25 to 30 percent jump in cotton prices.
The cost of a pound of cotton spiked 68 percent to 63.35 cents in November compared with 37.70 cents a year earlier, according to WWD??™s monthly Fiber Price Sheet.
???We are pushing to increase prices and brands will either have to lose out on margins or pass it to the consumers,??? Nasir said.
Denim production has grown significantly in the country with around 12 new plants opening there over the past five years, according to Nasir.
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