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Much to choose from at this year's Showtime

Buyers attending Showtime Summer 2003, July 14 to 17, will have a record-breaking number of decorative fabric and trimmings suppliers to shop as well as a varied program of special events.

Members of the International Textile Market Association (ITMA), sponsor of the semi-annual Showtime, now number 254, up 6 percent, an all-time high, with 17 companies exhibiting for the first time. Newcomers include companies from South Africa, Turkey and Scotland, according to Catherine Morsell, ITMA director. To accommodate this growth, ITMA has accessed an additional 5,000 square feet of space from Merchandise Mart Properties for temporary showrooms on the first and second floor of Market Square.

In an effort to help members stem the tide of global copyright infringement, ITMA has named Richard Taffet to provide legal assistance during Showtime. Taffet, chair of intellectual property and trade regulation practice group at New York law firm Thelen, Reid and Priest LLP, will be on site during Showtime to provide exhibitors with an avenue to address copying issues promptly, Morsell explained.

Taffet has long been a participant in the efforts to combat copyright infringement, with involvements at Decosit, Heimtextil, Surtex and Showtime. "Our members are pleased that we are taking a stand to help ensure the Showtime venue is a fair playing field," Morsell remarked. Taffet noted "designs can be textile companies most important assets. If copying occurs, the investment necessary to make a successful design and product will be lost. ITMA's efforts to address this issue in a systematic way is a very positive step and should help all Showtime exhibitors."

Events planned for Showtime include a roundtable tackling the issues of quotas and tariffs, the lack of industry exposure to international laws and misinformation. The roundtable will be held on Sunday, July 13 at 6:00 pm. Moderator will be Carole Sloan, founding editor-in-chief of Home Textiles Today and senior editor of Furniture/Today.

On Monday the annual runway fabric fashion show will be co-presented by Furniture/Today and ITMA's sponsors — Unifi, Cotton Inc., Solutia Wear-Dated and Pantone — in a first joint effort. Sponsors are DuPont Textiles & Interiors, Textile Fabric Associates, Crypton, Fifield Home Furnishings, Sunbrella and Costa Blanca. The show will be at Showplace from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the main lobby. The ITMA design and student awards ceremony will take place at the event.

A first will be the national directory listing contact and territory information for all registered ITMA member representatives.

On Tuesday at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., Cotton Inc. will hold its Home, Retail and Consumer Trend seminar.

Also on Monday, Pantone will present its Color and Trend Direction forecast at 4 p.m.

On Tuesday, there will be a cocktail and refreshment Showtime Special from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Level 1 at Suites at Market Square.

Breakfast at Showtime, a panel discussion on "Taking the Heat: How Well Can the Bedding and Mattress Business Stand the Heat of the New Flame Legislation," will be held at the String & Splinter Club from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.

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