In July the mercury had hit 30°C (86°F) in Berlin, but how would the show cope with a Berlin winter, especially the Denim Base area and the stands on the airfield apron, which were open to the elements?
TITLE THE ORIGINAL
DATES January 20-22, 2010
The ingenious answer, provided in conjunction with the Berlin company System 180, was in the form of 12,500 metres of stainless-steel pipes, 30 tons of steel, 20,000 nuts, bolts and washers and 5,000 sq m of a plastic awning that featured an air-cushioned membrane.
Described by B&B as an “unprecedented unique masterpiece of scenic architecture”, the structure formed a temporary facade 400m long and over 12m high to protect visitors from the elements. Insulated tunnels led visitors to the free-standing pavilions of Boss Orange, Custo Barcelona, Desigual, Diesel (making its first appearance at a trade fair for 10 years), G-Star, Levi’s and Wrangler. The Original Sin Saloon, the winter version of the Luna Park, proved a popular social centre.
The marketing campaign used images of eight different characters, all of them “originals” of the denim sector. Authenticity and heritage was the theme of the second edition of LOCK (Labels of Common Kin), one of the best-received of the new areas. It brought together 70 brands that focused on craft-based production methods and heritage.
After an unexpectedly buoyant period of trading over Christmas, many buyers were in confident mood at the show, but the smart money was once more put against the reliable sellers such as Superdry, Lyle & Scott, Duck and Cover and G-Star. Comparisons with attendance at previous shows was no longer possible as B&B stopped revealing visitor numbers. Attendance figures were now “irrelevant”, Karl-Heinz Müller announced to Drapers.
Grabbing the style headlines for autumn 2010 were varsity jackets, biker jackets and down-filled jackets, while multi-coloured knits and kitsch intarsias added a bit of life to the continuing cardigan trend. Checked shirts, sweatshirts and work-worn denim washes were other popular crowd-pleasers.
At last season’s show in Berlin I had two clients, which by unfortunate coincidence were at opposite ends of the building. To walk from one to the other took such a long time. I stepped outside the airport building and looked at it arching away in front of me and it was impossible not to be impressed by the sheer presence of its vast size.