ACTING AS PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL CHAMBER OF THE CLOTHING INDUSTRY, LOPEZ DE LA CERDA, A RENOWNED INDUSTRY MEMBER AND AN EXCELLENT PROJECT MANAGER FOR THE RECENT VENTURES ENTERED INTO BY THE CHAMBER, JOINS US TO TALK ABOUT WHAT COULD BE THE EVOLUTION OF THE BIGGEST BUSINESS TRADE SHOW IN MEXICO AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST IN LATIN AMERICA.
Rubén Díaz: What is your opinion about Intermoda and the impact it has on the sector?
Sergio López de la Cerda: Intermoda is a great event, it is the best fashion trade show of both the Mexican and Latin American industries. In my opinion, they have been doing some interesting work recently. Intermoda needs a strong and perfectly structured alliance with the rest of the industry, as well as communication with the federal, state and municipal governments; there are good times ahead for this sector, which is why it is key to begin a process, invite the presidents of all the Chambers and those who make up Intermoda, so we can sit down and determine a specific agenda to reconfigure the exhibit and really provide the support that this industry needs.
I think that due to the sectorial plan we are working on along with the Ministry of Economy, and hence Nacional Financiera and ProMexico, we need to define where the support will be allocated within the sector, which is why we need more industry participation at Intermoda.
R.D.: Any pointers for exhibitors and buyers?
S.L.: For exhibitors, it is key that we have a trade show in January, to kick off the fall-winter season, and in July to kick off the spring-summer season.
It is important to evaluate this point; manufacturers face the problem of delays in the supply of materials, be it fabrics or inputs, which is why we must sign a national agreement with the clothing industry to show upcoming seasons and allow manufacturers to reach their deadlines. This cannot take more than a year, since our event sells immediate products, which doesn’t allow much long-term planning, and although opportunities may be seized, this doesn’t allow companies to carry out planning processes and long-term objectives that would make them internationally competitive.
I am certain this is one of the most important factors to generate such change, and Intermoda is very much on board. It will be a challenge for the industry members involved, since it will require a solid national plan that offers incentives to entities who wish to present their upcoming collections, and on the other hand, a collaboration agreement between designers and industry members to become industrial partners and catapult industry talent and designers; the importance lies in generating a culture of collaboration and involve as many people as possible.
We are beginning to see an increase in opportunities in this sector__ they are broadening, and a new era for the industry can be seen in the horizon. This shift is different to when the economy was starting to bounce back, even those who didn’t do anything were benefited; now anyone who doesn’t adopt a new framework will disappear, but anyone who does will have great growth and development opportunities.
In the case of buyers, we have the quality and the designs that they require, we just need to deliver them on time. Particularly in the case of major buyers, they will not purchase a product in July that was available four months ago everywhere else in the world. I’m not worried about the buyers, they will show, I’m just pushing for a change in the schedules of Intermoda.