”Quality over quantity” buyers at Panorama, Seek and Bright
Brands report strong international attendance
Drapers visits Seldedge Run for the first time
The second day of the spring 18 Berlin trade shows got off to a greyer, drizzlier start than yesterday’s bright sunshine. A bedraggled beach scene greeted team Drapers on arrival at mainstream exhibition Panorama, home to the latest collections from big German brands such as Luisa Cerano and Meyer.
More from: Beaches and big-name buyers in Berlin
Despite the gloomier start, the mood inside was positive. Following on from reports of a strong first day, exhibitors said the morning of the second show had got off to a flying start and they were looking forward to a busy day ahead.
Buyers from Zalando and ecommerce giant Amazon had been spotted walking the aisles. Although there was a large presence from the domestic German market, key buyers from the UK, including Topshop and JD Williams, were at the show. A few exhibitors said that while they were broadly pleased with the quality of people at their stands, the number of visitors was down on previous editions of the show.
As ever, exhibitors at Panorama had pulled out all the stops. Many had gone for an eclectic botanical theme, choosing to adorn their stands with bold florals, plenty of greenery and vintage picture frames. Marc Cain’s stand, complete with mannequins striding down a catwalk and a “backstage” area, stood out from the crowd.
As the day got brighter, Drapers hopped on a shuttle from Panorama to check out Seek and skatewear show Bright. The buzzy outside area at Seek, looking out on to the river Spree, had been transformed into an urban beach. A stylish, young crowd enjoyed the brightening weather perched on deck chairs and inflatable golden swans. In fact, some exhibitors said they were having trouble encouraging visitors to move inside to look at the stands.
Generally, however, the mood was positive. Many praised the brand mix and design of the show and said the second day had been busy, despite a slower afternoon on the first day. Again, exhibitors mentioned “quality over quantity”, saying they had seen key accounts rather than hordes of visitors. Most had come to meet European retailers, and buyers from Urban Outfitters were among those taking in the aisles.
It was a similar story at Bright, where Vans’ T-shirt customisation stand drew long queues, and the lure of a whisky cocktail bar tempted buyers all the way to the back of the exhibition floor.
As the day drew to a close, Drapers paid its first visit to “quality garments” show Selvedge Run. A relative newcomer to the Berlin scene, spring 18 was its fifth edition. The show was a quieter affair, away from the hustle and bustle of the other Berlin shows. However, exhibitors said this slower, more considered approach was exactly what they were looking for.
Selvedge Run was heavily focused on denim. Targeting high-end, specialist denim buyers, it attracted clientele from as far afield as Japan. Some brands told Drapers the show was a good alternative to the craft denim section of the now repositioned Bread & Butter show, and had similar brands and buyers in attendance.
What is the mood of the shows?
Tina Joensoe Sales co-ordinator, Caddis Fly
It’s been really busy. Yesterday we saw a lot of people in the morning, but fewer in the afternoon. We’re hopeful for today, though: it’s been busy already and we’ve already made a few orders. The buyers have been coming from all over: Poland, Italy, France and Germany, of course. We’ve had one from the UK and one from New Zealand as well. It’s a good mix. We see both independent retailers and department stores here.
We were at Premium last season, and this is much better for us. It’s really well attended, there’s a good atmosphere and we’ve had good comments on the collection already.
Ceulie Celistup Sales, Soaked in Luxury
Yesterday morning was very busy, but the afternoon was much quieter. Today has been busy so far – we’ve seen German and Dutch buyers in particular, and a good mix of independents and bigger stores. We’re expecting today and tomorrow to be just as busy as it was yesterday.
Chloe Lennox Designer, Neon Rose
We had a really good start yesterday, and a lot of interest on the stand. There have already been a lot more people today, so it’s been a good start – we’ve seen key accounts and people such as Zalando, Simply Be and Topshop.
Troels Thomsen Sales manager, Jack’s Sportswear
The quality has been better than the quantity so far. This is mainly a show for the Germans, but also for Dutch and Belgian buyers. We used to see a lot more from the UK as well.
We’ve seen a mix of indies and department stores, but we’re seeing that while the big stores are still coming, the independents are lagging. When you only have a couple of members of staff, it’s hard to man the store and also come to the shows during the summer trade show season.
We’ve been coming here 10 years now and it is still the best commercial show in Europe.
Julia Walbaum International sales manager, Thought
Yesterday was a very good day for us – it was super-busy. Today started off slightly slower, but it’s definitely got busier as time has gone on. Obviously we’ve seen lots of customers from Germany, but we’ve also seen people from Holland and Austria. There have been lots from European independents. In fact, I think there’s been more international buyers this season than at previous editions of the show.
We came to see the European market, particularly Germany, which is very strong for us. There have been some buyers from the UK, but not that many, perhaps because they are choosing to visit domestic shows such as Moda and Pure.
Philip Chaimo Chief executive, Apricot
It’s been a good show for us, although today has been better than yesterday so far. Around 80% of the people we’ve seen have been from Germany, which is what we expected – we’re grateful if we see anyone else. We’ve seen both big customers and smaller customers, so it’s been a nice mix.
It’s our fourth year at the show and overall it’s a little quieter than previous seasons. We don’t show in the UK because we’re looking for bigger customers in that market.
Rhys Davies Sales consultant, Nicce
There are a lot of people from the German market here, and it’s a good calibre of customer. We’re not expecting anyone from the UK, as they have already done their business in Pitti, and most brands here will have representation in London.
Mark Thorpe Sales manager, Palladium
The brand mix here is really strong and very relevant. There is a good contemporary vibe here, and now shows are as much about vibe as they are about product. The mix of brands attracts the kind of buyer that we’re looking for.
Ash Kumar Founder, Native Youth
We had a really good day yesterday. There was a good flow of buyers all day – around 60% were appointments and 40% were walk-ons. We’ve seen both big and small German retailers and a lot of other Europeans here, from the Netherlands and Switzerland. We have showrooms in the UK, so we tend to catch up with our UK customers there.
The show looks great – it is very minimalist, but it’s still delivered in a very premium way. The “beach” is great as well, and trade shows should be doing more stuff like that. Buyers need somewhere they can go as a nice area to take stock and write up notes. Trade shows are hard work, so people do need places to go to revive and refuel.
Tim Neugebauer Marketing manager, Herschel
Yesterday was calmer – there was less traffic, but it was very full in the beach area. Summer shows are always more relaxed, as people are happy to spend time outside. This is more of a marketing show for us, we do orders at other shows, like ILM, but not here.
Seek is a great place to showcase the brand, and there is always a sense of innovation here. Big brands keep coming back to Seek, because of that innovative feeling in the brands and the show.
Andi Schwarz International business relations, Afield
Yesterday was good for us, and we saw some new accounts.The second day is always busy, and we’ve mainly seen German buyers, but have also seen some Japanese customers. It’s very independents-focused here for us. For us though, it’s just as important what happens out of the show. Our sales manager is out at meetings and we’ll judge the success of the show based on what happens overall.
Jerry O’Sullivan Press and marketing manager, Lazy Oaf
Today has been a little bit quieter, but yesterday was very busy and overall it’s been a really good show for us. We’ve seen a real mixture of people from across Europe and lots of our existing stores.
We haven’t seen as many British, particularly buyers from British independents – it would have been nice to see a few more here. Perhaps it’s because there a lot of streetwear labels here and it’s a bit niche for some people.
It’s a really nice show with a great atmosphere. We’re looking for more German stockists – Berlin is a very cool city and, when you see people walking around, they look like our kind of customer.
Paul Coffineres Founder, Quatre Cent Quinze
Seek has been very good for us so far – we’ve seen lots of customers. It’s our first time here – we’ve previously done shows in Paris and New York. We wanted to meet more European accounts and I’d say it has been busier here than at the Paris shows. There have been buyers from Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic, but I’m not sure if we’ve seen any from the UK. It’s mainly been independents, which is what we are looking for as a brand.
Pau del Campo Co-founder, Pipe Residents
We’ve been talking to a lot of people, but the real work happens after we talk further next week. This is our first show outside of Spain, and we’re here to get the brand out there. If all the customers we’ve spoken to come through, then it will be fantastic. It’s an expensive decision to come here, but we have to be here if we want to grow the brand.
Andre Bruck Area representative for north Germany, Mephisto
It has been quiet today, but yesterday was good. There has been a good mix of European buyers, but mainly from smaller stores – we expect to see the bigger stores today. We’ve had a good reaction from being in the show and I think it’s opened a lot of doors for us to a different kind of customer.
Luca Montaldo Managing director, Lee Cooper
We chose this show because there is a real focus on raw denim and it is much more directional than the other Berlin shows. It’s hard to find shows that focus on less-commercial ranges, but the buyers here are looking for unique denim items. We are handmade in London and that goes down well with the buyers here, especially the Japanese. Buyers have been from Austria and Germany, but generally we do find spring shows are quieter, because of the heavy nature of denim.
Andrew Livingston Owner and creative director, Knickerbocker
The show is great for us, and the nice thing is that there are a lot of like-minded brands here. We do some of the bigger shows, which is good for exposure, but it’s nice to be here with people that share the same interests as we do. This show has a heritage background and even from a branding point of view is very contemporary. They are the most accommodating show we do.
We see the big guys at Pitti, so we’re here for the boutiques. They share similar values to us and as they are part of our business it’s important that we see them face to face.
This is a much better edition than the last one we attended two seasons ago. The space is cool and well thought out. It’s easy to see everyone and brands don’t feel like they’re being missed.
Yoshinori Hasuoka Director, Pallet
We heard about this show from a lot of brands who used to do Bread & Butter and are now here. It’s been busy, but kind of slow at times. This show allows us to spread with European clients.
Big names spotted browsing on day two in Berlin