From Saturday 12th Feb-Tuesday 15th Katrina, Jordan and I went off to London for the UKs biggest fashion trade shows; Pure, Pure Spirit and Stitch and it was my job to keep and eye on the men…..
When: Saturday 12th- Tuesday 15th Feb 2011
Where: Earls Court, London
Stitch started its infant years in Old Billingsgate Market, until this year when it teamed up with E-Map and Pure Spirit at Earls Court. Initially there was quite a controversy around whether Stitch had sold out by jumping into bed with E-Map and if they’d still be able to keep a hold of the individuality…even after all 50+ brands signed up to take part in the A/W’11 edition of Stitch, no presure then.
On first arrival to Earls Court you could almost certainly see the divide in the two shows, Pure Spirit exhibitors were allowed to literally go mad and create their stands into whatever brand fantasy they liked, whilst Stitch took a more low key approach. All the stands were white washed, with fixed rails and shelves, with art work positioned along the back of the stand, allowing each brand to make a stamp of individuality, but not to out do each other.
At first glance it may seem a little boring, but I actually respect Stitch for sticking to their guns and setting some boundaries, which ultimately allowed the smaller individual brands to not feel like bullied out, by the more wealthy brands.
Saying that though brand experience from visitors point of view at the show was a little shy and I felt if you wasn’t a buyer- there was nothing much to keep you in there. But, having said that, Stitch have recognised this and addressed it by bringing in Radiator PR to work on marketing activity, brand association, and experience. Radiator PR are specialists working within culture, lifestyle and fashion and are the link that Stitch were missing.
Most importantly though it’s about the brands and here are my top three:
The name ‘We Are The Superlative Conspiracy’ symbolizes what WESC as a brand and company represents: a group and family of good. The Swedish born brand offers men’s, women’s and kids and is a recognized leader in street fashion.
When I think of this brand it usually reminds me of my youth and boys wearing white tees with WESC in bold letters on the front skating up and down the seafront. So maybe because I’ve had that perception in my head, I’ve been walking around with my eyes closed and not noticed how this brand has matured and 10 years later (bit like some of those said boys)- it’s looking hot! With the A/W collection consisting of suits, sweatshirts, dressed shirts and chinos, all with colour pallets inspired from the environment. The designs are versatile and marry together street and luxury menswear perfectly.
BECK AND HERSEY-RED LABEL.
Another young brand that stood out at this years Stitch was, Beck and Hersey Red Label. Forget the usual graphical tees of Beck + Hersey, the Red Label has taken a new design direction that aims to serve a more considered demographic.
The collection consist of full menswear, (including denim and footwear) which to me looks like it has found a great balance of urban streetwear, meets clean-cut lines. With its mature yet youthful pallet of colours and design direction, this brand seems to be targeted at a 20-35 lifestyle group.
Zaal Kaboli Creative Brand Manager, Beck & Hersey comments, “Showing at Stitch was integral to the birth of the new collection. It bought the whole concept together and dressing the stand, mixing the apparel and the new footwear helped materialize the new direction of Beck & Hersey Red Label”
For more trade information on Red Label read Drapers Marie Davis report on Drapers.com
The new kid on the block Stone-Dri launched their collection at this year’s Stitch.
The brand originated from the 1940s, but after a series of brand buy outs went dormant from 1960-2008, until it was bought out by Joel Brown, owner of Baker Street.
Every brand has to have a niche and for this brand it’s outerwear. The brand is owned by Baker Street clothing and outerwear design and development company; based in Manchester. These guys are specialist when it comes to outerwear and it shone through in their first collection.
Joellah Crowther, Head Designer who has worked Philip Start at Woodhouse, comments how important it is that Baker Street uses its expertise on the Stone-Dri brand to give buyers confidence;
“With the current issues in the Far East, buyers need confidence in a brands quality and ability to deliver on time - Stone-Dri gives that. We have staff out in every factory who ensure quality control throughout the manufacturing process”.
The collection has taken classic designs such as the parker and the mac and re-created them into a fashion forward deigns aimed at today’s consumer. From the Italian fabric used, to the smallest buckle detail, the technical development and consideration to detail are second to none.
The collection also consists of Tee’s and sweats, totalling 45 pieces all in all.
Footfall at the show was up with numbers coming in at 6,000 visitors and website registrations up 64% compared with the previous show and 55% of the brands that exhibited at this years Stitch have re-signed for S/S’12.To find more about Stitch visits their website: www.stitchmenswear.com
To find out all the goss on the parties visit this blog or to read TFN review of the whole of Pure and Stitch visit here