Reported by Teresa Graphos
The 2013 International Lingerie Show, (ILS), kicked off September 23-25 at the Rio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada. We were able to capture some of the magic which makes this the largest trade expo of its kind. Witnessing the spectacle of lingerie, intimate apparel, undergarments, swimwear, adult toys and a selection of merchandise too vast to list in one article made this writer feel like a kid in a candy store. If eyes could get cavities, this expo would be dangerous!
The show also featured daywear, dancewear, clubwear, quirky costumes, formal wear and gowns, shoes and a large selection of lingerie tailored for plus sizes. With over 50 exhibitors specializing in plus sizes, we asked Laura Wright, owner of Lulu and Kath, what got her interested in catering to the plus-sized clientele and she cited, “…a need in the marketplace,” which is supported by the fact that the average woman today is a size 6 to a size 8.
Another of the unique exhibitors which stood out from the crowd was Mother Plucker Feather Company, Inc., represented by owner/designer, William “Willy” Zelowitz, progenitor of the iconic wings we have seen in so many television and film reels, such as those for Sacha Baron Cohen who flew down on Eminem’s head at the MTV Music Awards. His clients include Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry, and he designed the costumes for Michael Jackson in his video Remember the Time. He has also worked with Victoria’s Secrets.
The highlight of the show for Zelowitz was “…meeting new clientele. That potential relationship is just as important as the established client and the constant influx of new people is what makes that show so valuable.” He went on to credit the International Lingerie Show for much of his success, stating that, “I basically started with the show since the 7th year, which was held at The Tropicana. It has been extremely successful for me.”
We were able to spend some time with Jeff Yunis, owner of Specialty Trade Shows, Inc., the producers of the 2013 International Lingerie Show and asked him if he thought this year’s show was a success. His frank reply, which cited two possibilities, one being the economy and the other being less stores to cater to was, “Fair. The show was good, attendance soft.” He stated, “Whenever you open a Walmart or Target, the Mom and Pop store goes out of business.”
Yunis stated, “It was such a pretty show and went off without a hitch. We didn’t get any major complaints about lights, freight, or air conditioning. Extremely smooth show.”
We are grateful to Jeff and his incredible staff for putting on such a memorable, eventful and professionally produced trade show and look forward to the next show which opens March 31, 2014 and runs till April 2nd, when we will see all the spectacle that makes the ILS candy for the eyes.