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Image courtesy Pierre-Nicholas Hurstel
Interview

Pierre-Nicholas Hurstel

03.16.15

He’s a consummate Frenchman, entrepreneur and excellent host. Meet Pierre-Nicholas Hurstel, CEO of CURVEXPO, a key player in the $3.3 billion swimwear and $11 billion intimates markets. Hurstel heads up CURVEXPO, the U.S. subsidiary of Eurovet, the global leader of lingerie and swim shows with events in Paris, Hong Kong, Moscow, Cannes and Shanghai. His role entails overseeing sales, events and client relations for four CURVEXPO trade shows a year, plus, the Interfilière fabric and accessories show. It’s no surprise that February, the month traditionally known for romance, flowers and lingerie, was an eventful one for Hurstel. It kicked off with a front page story in Women’s Wear Daily announcing the launch of CURVENV@MAGIC, a strategic partnership with Advanstar. The excitement continued as CURVEXPO co-hosted Lingerie Fashion Night with INVISTA’s LYCRA® Brand. Aptly titled Romancing the Runway, the event took place on February 23rd in New York City. It featured lingerie and swimwear designs from over forty exhibitors modeled by Playboy’s March Cover Girl Gia Genevieve, America’s Next Top Model Stacy Ann Fequiere and others. From boardroom meetings with fellow CEO’s to trade show talks with exhibitors to backstage with lingerie-clad models, Hurstel presides over it all stylishly and seamlessly. Pun intended!

Interview

CURVEXPO in a new partnership! Has this been in the works for a while?

We have been discussing this strategic alliance for few months. It is a great partnership that will unify the Lingerie and Swimwear markets in Las Vegas twice a year. We bring our high touch, personalized service and our global leadership in the category and they bring their scale of marketing, their incredible pool of buyers and a new home for the show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

How is your role expanding with the new partnership?

I continue managing Curvexpo; Curvexpo is organizing CurveNV@Magic. More excitement, more fun, but that’s all.

Any details on upcoming changes with the Las Vegas show?

We will be in a new venue that will be separated from the other shows in our proper hall while being connected and accessible. In August, the size of our show will be doubled with the addition of 10,000 square feet of swimwear brands. We will also have a new preferred hotel for our community at the Wynn Encore Las Vegas with shuttles to and from the show.

What is your business background?

I have always been an entrepreneur, having started my first company before graduating. Before taking the helm of Curvexpo, I was running a consulting boutique firm specialized in change management and strategy.

How many trade shows do you do a year and where are they held?

We have 5 trade shows a year: We put on CURVENY NEW YORK twice a year, the new CURVENV@MAGIC twice a year and also Interfilière New York (fabric and sourcing trade show) once a year in September.

How many years did it take to get here? What were some of the challenges you faced when you launched?

The shows have existed since 2006. Eurovet bought the company in 2012 and I started at this time.

In the past year, we’ve more than doubled our tradeshow portfolio with the new Magic@ CURVENV Las Vegas shows (in February and August) and another Interfilière taking place in New York (September). Some of the main challenges faced are constantly reinventing, meeting the changing needs of the industry while offering a consistent and stable platform.

What is typical day like at one of your trade shows?

The day starts with a huge line at registration. Throughout the day there are constantly appointments in the booths between brands, press and buyers as well as informal meetings and people running into each other during lunch. There are also various meaningful conferences and cool events taking place and always a lot of business being taken care of.

What are distinguishes Curvexpo from other trade shows?

We are the leading trade show for the intimate apparel market and we are part of the leading global tradeshow organizer for this market. This allows us to act local and think global. Thanks to size of this niche market we are able to develop customized services, which we tailor to our clients’ needs. This is unique for a collective media tool like a tradeshow. I also believe that our partners appreciate the European touch we put in the look and feel of our shows.

Please tell us about your exhibitor mix. How much has it grown since you launched?

Approximately by 500%. We have everything from foundation, corsetry, sleepwear, shapewear, men’s underwear, loungewear, swimwear…

You offer programs such as the Hotel Resort & Spa Program so your clients can network. What was the impetus for doing this?

The Hotel Resort & Spa Program aims to create connection between our industry and the Hotel, Resorts and Spas. Those properties offer an incredible experience and represent new avenues for our brands to develop their business. As those industries are not bonded yet, we created an innovative program allowing the players to connect in a different way, more personal, with more content, to create strong interactions, based on mutual understanding, product selection, and business facilitation.

One of these platforms, Lingerie Fashion Night, took place this past February in New York. What can we expect to see?

We were thrilled by the success of this second edition of Lingerie Fashion Night. It concluded the second day of our CURVENY NEW YORK show on a high note, especially for the participating brands that found it the perfect environment to showcase their best looks in a highly professional setting yet relaxed atmosphere. There were some of the best American retailers to discover them and as well as some of the best editors to share with the world. The top models of the industry like Playboy’s March cover girl Gia Genevieve; America’s Next Top Model Stacy Ann Fequiere and Project Runway winning model Alisar Aliabouni ran the catwalk and the event was executed perfectly, organized with Trew Productions and Company Agenda.

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