On day one of the Berlin trade shows Drapers’ joined the brands and retailers in negotiating the extreme weather which combined glorious sunshine and monsoon thunderstorm conditions to visit Bread & Butter, Premium, Panorama, Seek and Capsule.
Kicking off at Bread & Butter, held at the Airport Berlin-Tempelhof, all the talk in the morning surrounded rumours of the show’s potential move to Barcelona for its next edition, as reported by Drapers yesterday (July 8) and confirmed later that evening by founder Karl-Heinz Müller.
Whilst the mood was upbeat with brands putting on elaborate exhibitions and expecting a positive show, many noted the main hangars at the former airport seemed quieter than in previous years.
With the theme this year Carnaval do Brasil, in honour of the World Cup, the show was launched at 10am to great fanfare by a display from two Brazilian dancers.
Sharon Fraser, sales manager at fashion brand Glamorous, said the morning had been really positive with buyers keen to secure Native American and tribal prints and printed neoprene skirts, while kimonos remained popular.
Premium was particularly busy on day one with long queues to get in, but brands noted UK buyers seemed thin on the ground with most business being conducted with German retailers.
Representatives on the Current/Elliot and AG Jeans stands both confirmed the bulk of their business was done at showrooms rather than at the trade shows, but the Premium show was important for re-orders and marketing purposes.
Ben Banks, head of UK sales at AG, said: “The show is good – I wouldn’t say it’s been rammed with British buyers though. Buyers here tend to look for things they can’t buy in the London showrooms – something exclusive that they can pick up some extra margin on.”
Similarly at Panorama UK buyers appeared few and far between. German and Dutch buyers were welcomed to the new city centre venue at the ExpoCenter City by impressive stands including a circus themed display from Marc Cain.
Gareth Jones, sales manager at Duck and Cover, told Drapers: “It’s the first season that we haven’t shown at Bread & Butter. It’s a great show but it’s less important now from a UK point of view. You’re paying a big premium to be there and every one was taking it down, it was time for a change. Panorama is the best show for us for the Germans and Dutch markets.”
There was a definite buzz at Seek in line with previous years, including a strong presence from brands with interesting capsules and collections such as Lyle & Scott and its Jonathan Saunders collaboration and Boxfresh with its Boxfresh 89 capsule collection.
Jason McKey, national account manager at Farah Brands, said: “We moved over to Seek from Bread & Butter about two years ago. We felt the exhibitor adjacencies were better at Seek – more aspirational. It’s more about the products here, and not the crazy stands.”
Karlijn Bijvoet, account manager at Folk womenswear, said: “We decided to show our womenswear collection at Seek for the first time as it’s always a really good show for our menswear and we wanted to see what the reaction was from stockists. Bread & Butter has lost its edge it’s too commercial now.”
Capsule attracted new, up and coming brands such as British labels Lazy Oaf and Mo Studior, and US label Samantha Pleet.
Faye Efrussy, wholesale assistant manager at Lazy Oaf, said: “We’re exhibiting at Capsule because Bread & Butter was all about the ‘woo haa’ not the writing of orders and we fit in better here than Seek which is more premium heritage.”