Mexican Trade Shows Look to Boost Fashion Exports

Caravana Americana, a Mexican trade show featuring Latin American brands, wrapped up over the weekend, following Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Mexico designers who showed to buyers in the capital one week earlier.

The biannual Caravana Americana fair, which showcases fashion and homewares, has seen a growing domestic and international clientele since its inception six years ago. In this 12th edition at the Indianilla Station Cultural Centre in Mexico City, buyers from Mexican department store chain Liverpool were among 150 retailers looking to diversify their sustainably sourced offerings with more than 40 high-quality local brands on offer.

“We’re aiding a change of direction with big retailers that need to innovate their offering and are looking for fresh, more sophisticated regional products,” says Gina Barrios, designer of Ishi jewellery, who co-founded Caravana with Alessandro Cerutti.

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This season’s standout exhibitors include fashion designer Avila Sotres, jewellery brands Lorena Pestana Coba and homeware designers Taller Maya, Filamento and Estudio Pomelo.

While the fair was open to the general public and welcomed 2000 visitors, Barrios says that trade and wholesale buyers accounted for 50 percent of total sales. This is the second physical edition since the onset of the pandemic though the event continued its partnership with virtual B2B platform Brandboom.

One week before Caravana Americana, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Mexico held a hybrid format (with 16 physical and 4 digital shows) which took place at the Sofitel Mexico City and at locations across the Mexican capital. The event, which has been running since 1995, placed an emphasis on sustainability.

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As Jaime Cohen, Mercedes-Benz Mexico & Latin America chief executive explained, “Sustainability is one of the fundamental pillars in our strategy, through which we seek to be an emission-free company by the end of this decade.”

The event’s highlights included Francisco Cancino, Julia and Renata Sandra Weil, Kris Goyri, Lydia Lavin, Montserrat Messeguer, Prima Volta, Daniela Villa, Vero Díaz, Alexia Ulibarri, Alfredo Martínez, Anuar Layon, Benito Santos and Armando Takeda, among others.

Fashion week will offer more events to buyers across Mexico throughout the year, including shows in Oaxaca in August, Guadalajara in October, and Merida in November.

According to a Sourcing Journal report last year citing analysis by textiles consultant Raul Garcia, Mexico’s apparel exports were worth $2.5 billion in 2020, having experienced a decline of 60 percent due to the effects of the pandemic. Though the bulk of that likely consisted of international brands conducting Mexico-based manufacturing and sourcing, trade show operators are looking to increase the share of Mexican fashion brand exports as the apparel industry recovers..

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