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Not Sufficiently Confusing

Janice Chamberlain, Jennifer Marks -- Home Textiles Today, June 4, 2007

If you're bewildered about when you should come to New York this August to hook up with the customers and/or vendors appropriate to your line of business, you are in good company.

The uncoupling last August between what has traditionally been known as Market Week — the home textiles showroom event — and the Javits-based New York Home Textiles Show was confusing enough.

Or perhaps it wasn't sufficiently confusing — because thereafter followed two developments that muddied the waters even further. One of them was a boneheaded move. The other was brilliant.

The Home Fashion Products Association, an affiliation of some 50-plus leading volume suppliers in the home textiles industry, decided for inexplicable reasons to jettison the long-standing Market Week designation and re-brand the time frame as New York Home Fashions Week. This is a name that means nothing to anybody, and I'll wager that beyond HFPA's board members you'll find few in the industry who recognize it.

Organizers of the New York International Gift Fair — which absorbed the Javits textiles show — pounced, and in a canny stroke of marketing, applied for a trademark on the moniker New York Home Textiles Market Week.

The Gift Fair takes place one week after the big-volume home textiles showrooms do their meetings.

Two showroom buildings that house a large number of giftware suppliers as well as home textiles suppliers — 230 Fifth Avenue and 7 W. 34th Street — signed on as participants in the new New York Home Textiles Market Week, a label that also applies to all home textiles suppliers exhibiting at the Gift Fair at Javits.

The result has been predictably bollixed.

I believe the HFPA one day for the sake of clarity will have to move its summer dates back a week to coincide with the Gift Fair at Javits or bend to the notable showroom hostility toward the August timing and bump the thing into September.

As to the February cycle…aggh! Let's take one thing at a time.

For the record, the current schedule:

New York Home Fashions Summer Market: New York Showrooms, Aug. 6-10, 2007.

New York Home Textiles Market Week: In conjunction with New York Gift Week, select home textiles suppliers participating at 7 W. 34th Street (Aug. 9-16); and 230 Fifth Ave. (Aug. 11-16.) Also includes home textiles suppliers participating in the New York International Gift Fair at the Jacob Javits Center and Piers (Aug. 12-16).

* * *

A note to the many, many showroom suppliers who call or email HTT to share their displeasure about August: Join the HFPA and lobby actively. It isn't the Harvard Club. You pay your modest membership fee and you're in.

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