Kingpins, the boutique trade show that features the crème de la crème of the denim and casualwear supply chain, opened its summer 2009 edition at Skyline Studios in New York yesterday. Created by Olah Inc and sponsored by Dow XLA premium stretch fiber, the invitation-only show featured 26 international exhibitors, including jeans producers such as Blue Fingers from Morocco and Denimatrix from Guatemala, denim producers such Cone Denim and Denim North America from the USA and Kurabo from Japan, and piece-dyed producers such as Burlington from Vietnam. Other exhibitors included makers of dyestuffs, pockets, T-shirts, fiber, labels and trims. Cropmark, a FiberMax cotton farmer and marketer, and TEPL, a Supima yarn spinner from India, were also on hand.

Andrew Olah, the show’s founder, said he expected more than 100 visitors over its two-day run, and noted that representatives from such influential companies as Ralph Lauren and Victoria’s Secret were already there. (Exhibitors were notified of companies’ arrivals via constantly updated Twitter feeds from the check-in desk.) Olah added that this edition of Kingpins was somewhat less denim-centric than prior ones because of the addition of T-shirt producers. However, he noted that the overall size of the intimate show was not, and never would be, increased.

Akiko Inui, global brand marketing manager for Dow XLA, which was showing its newest product, Re:Flex4, a premium, durable stretch denim with four-way flexibility, said the small show was useful for business and for creating awareness of the new product. “We use the show to meet with current customers and to meet new customers,” she said.

The next edition of Kingpins will take place in Los Angeles Aug. 11-12. In addition, a new Hong Kong edition will debut at the W Hong Kong Hotel on Oct. 7-8, 2009.

—Christopher Blomquist