Feedback on the experience of the Manufacturing Proximity exhibitors during the last show
Exhibitors at Manufacturing Proximity came to showcase the competitiveness of their pricing, their respect for deadlines and their many quality standards. They also showed how they were innovating. Take the example of the Romanian company Formens which now offers Tech-tailoring, a programme for manufacturing natural, stretch, machine-washable, comfortable and crease-proof suits. “At the moment, the challenge in the market is to offer competitive prices and quality. We have to invest to improve our productivity. Launching a concept like Tech-tailoring illustrates that strategy, because everything is calculated to optimise manufacturing,” explained Osvaldo Pivano from Formens’ sales department.
Eco-responsibility is still the number one demand. “We are asked for fabrics with recycled fibres and in our factory, we have put place a system to collect paper and waste,” explained Kahraman Ünalan from the sales and marketing department of the Turkish group Yelkenci Tekstil, which employs nearly 550 people with an average output of 100 suits per day. Like the other exhibitors, he came to meet new order givers, as his primary market is the UK with representatives of John Lewis and House of Fraser.
The trend towards a more casual style of fashion continues to grow. For menswear manufacturers, trousers and jackets as separates are more in demand than business suits. The Turkish group, Gurmen Group can meet that demand. “We are very flexible. We have one factory for suits and another one for more flexible items,” explained Yasemin Demirci, key accounts manager. The same applies for the Moroccan firm, RL Italy, which confirms that a sportier style of suit is in vogue with its clients. This is good news for the Casablanca-based manufacturer as 80% of its clients are Italian labels looking for more casual cuts, such as jackets with a natural shoulder line.
The same desire for casual style is expressed in womenswear at Öztek, a Turkish company that can manage the entire production cycle from manufacturing fabrics through to the tailoring, dyeing and printing. The Portuguese knitwear specialist, Siena, also notes this demand for leisurewear and sportswear products from its buyers, which range from Zara to Armani.
On the business side, the atmosphere of the show was rather calm, according to certain exhibitors. “But those who have come are really here to do business. It is serious stuff and that’s what makes this show interesting,” observed Mourad Faroumi, in charge of marketing and product development at RM Confection, a Moroccan company which produces jeans and chinos and whose references include not only IKKS but also the designer Paul Smith. Some, like RL Italy, have had some appointments cancelled because of the storm that disrupted air travel. The coronavirus is also in everyone’s mind. “It is a problem because China is the world’s powerhouse, but it is too soon to really know what is going to happen,” was the cautious assessment of Osvaldo Pivano at Formens.