(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). The New International Lingerie Show (NILS) is scheduled to hold its first event next March 12-14, 2018, and Jeff Yunis wants the world to know that he is not working “at or for the show.”
As the principal owner of the original International Lingerie Show, which he closed at the start of 2017, many in the industry have speculated that he is behind the NILS, and he asked BODY for this forum to explain his situation. Questions for this email interview were posed by publisher Nick Monjo.
“Before starting I hope you’ll let me say a few things to stop some of the rumors and misstating of facts that have come back to me,” wrote Yunis. “First an apology to those hurt by the unexpected and sudden ending of ILS. Sometimes (should be ALL times) family and personal concerns outweigh business needs. I will not go into details here, but for those reasons I had to be out of business and spend all of my time on personal needs. Otherwise I would have been able to sell the show for BIG dollars.”
“A while ago my former partners at WWIN [the Women’s Wear In Nevada trade show of which Yunis was a part owner, and which he sold in 2015] told me they wanted to start a new show and asked about the possibility of lingerie, of course I was excited. I am still not in a position to work at or for the show but I agreed if they would take on John Pace as a partner, because he had the industry connections, while they had the trade show knowledge. At first they chose a new name which I was against. John called potential exhibitors and they agreed. Finally, for “a dollar a year” I let them use ILS and so it goes. To reiterate, all I am doing is giving advice when asked. I have no other role. I just hope that the ILS name had and has enough good will to make the show profitable for all who attend and for the new owners.”
MONJO: You have been doing all kinds of trade shows for a long time; can you provide a brief summary of those shows?
YUNIS: I started with a trade show for big and tall men’s clothing because at the time I had big and tall shops and had trouble buying. I would go to shows like MAGIC and walk the aisles asking “do you have big and tall sizes?” It was time consuming and a big waste. So I started a show just for the manufacturers that made those sizes and the store owners loved it. Eventually, the chains and mass merchants went into that side of menswear and the customer base disappeared in a few years and so did the show. Fortunately, I saw that coming and had already started what became the WWIN show.... Arguably the best womens wear show in the U.S.
MONJO: Would you share with us the three most important elements in creating a successful trade show, whatever the industry?
YUNIS: Of course, first you have to find a need for the attendees and the exhibitors. You then have to find a location that is suitable and finally, you have to sell like crazy... Maybe making deals with major buyers and sellers to get things rolling so that others will want to join.
MONJO: Because you were one of the owners of the original International Lingerie Show, some people have wondered about your relationship with the New ILS.
YUNIS: See my opening statement. I am a consultant to John Pace who is a friend of thirty plus years and worked for me at ILS. I have NO decision making authority for the new show.
MONJO: Based on your perspective of almost two decades running the old ILS, where do you think this new show will fit in?
YUNIS: There is an obvious need. The new Altitude show is owned by a few exhibitors. They get the best spots, they get the best deals (and maybe the profits off other exhibitors). I think a trade show should be run by an independent company so that every exhibitor and attendee is treated the same.
MONJO: With everyone so interested in connecting on the internet, why do trade shows still have a place in the apparel and lingerie businesses?
YUNIS: People are social animals. We like to talk and meet face to face. Plus seeing and touching a garment cannot be done (yet) over the internet.
MONJO: Will there always be trades shows in the lingerie business?
YUNIS: I’d like to think so.
MONJO: Do you have any other comments about trade shows in general or about the NILS?
YUNIS: Just that I am sorry I am as old as I am because I’d love to still be producing them. I am excited that enough buyers and exhibitors thought enough good things about ILS to already sign up for the NEW ILS. They are going to have a much better opening than I had and will start out MUCH bigger than the competition.
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