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  • Nick Monjo

ILS September Show Canceled



A spread in BODY depicting the October 2016 ILS event.



It was a sad moment yesterday when I received the email announcing that the “new” International Lingerie Show (ILS) scheduled for September 9-10 in Las Vegas had been canceled.


No word was provided on possible future shows, which have recently been scheduled, once a year, in late summer. The email noted that “it has always been important to ILS that both retailers and exhibitors feel that their time and dollars are well spent. Unfortunately, it appears that we will not have enough resources this year to achieve that goal.” In an email in response to questions, Tim McNamara, one of the current owners, explained, “we felt the right thing to do was to cancel the show and not risk buyers and vendors losing money and time.”


I fondly recall visits to the original ILS beginning more than two decades ago, and phoned Jeff Yunis, who founded the show in partnership with the long defunct Intimate Fashion News. “I had no financial interest in the last iteration but it’s sad to see it end,” he lamented.


The first show in 1996 was held at the Tropicana where it remained for several years, occurring twice a year, generally in the first and third quarters. Eventually the show moved to the Rio, then the Westgate Las Vegas and finally to the Tuscany Suites and Casino.


According to Yunis the event peaked about ten years after the launch. “At it’s biggest in the mid oughts, it had over 200 exhibitors and attracted about 800 retail accounts meaning we had to buy food for 2500 people.” The show provided lunches and, for many years, an elaborate fashion show with an open bar. “I think the fashion shows were events that will long be remembered. For the record, those shows cost a quarter million dollars which was real money in those days.”


Over the next ten years the event lost some momentum. “It started to slow down in 2015 when some exhibitors only wanted one show,” continued Yunis.

 

Looking back, he added, “I was a lucky guy. I made more money than I deserved and had a ball doing it. It was a fun show to do.” —NM

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