A deluge of UK buyers and brands escaped the rainy weather back home to attend day one of the Copenhagen trade shows on Wednesday.
There were many familiar faces in the halls at the autumn 17 edition of CIFF (Copenhagen International Fashion Fair), which is taking place at its usual venue, the Bella Center on 1-3 February.
Among the British brands on show, Native Youth, Sibling and Berthold, said they had met large numbers of new Scandinavian buyers, as well as some international names.
Meanwhile, London fashion week’s “fairy godmother” Lulu Kennedy presented a showcase of London talent in CIFF’s Crystal Hall today. The brands were picked from her curated mix of exhibitors selected from her Fashion East talent incubator initiative, and included Art School, knitwear brand Hades and Aries.
“I brought a selection of brands out to CIFF last season and they got sales from being at the show, which is great, so it’s worth being here for that alone,” Kennedy told Drapers.
“That’s the aim at the end of the day. But it’s also a pleasure to bring our brands out here and introduce them to the Scandi market via this platform. Everyone makes great contacts here.”
Overall, there was a positive if relaxed mood and the show seemed busy. While the bigger Scandinavian brands use CIFF as an opportunity to network and promote new category launches or collaborations, Drapers observed plenty of orders being written throughout the show.
Drapers will be at Revolver on Thursday.
Views from CIFF
Raimund Berthold, founder, Berthold
It’s been a good day. Seen some good buyers, even some Japanese. It’s our first time here. I heard really good things about the show and it’s a market we don’t know much about. They just don’t come to London, so we decided to come here to them. The space is amazing – very cool and chic, and the organisation of everything is just excellent. It’s a nice mix of brands and a very chilled atmosphere. I like that it doesn’t feel too much like an old, traditional trade show. The layout lets people look at the collection properly and really talk to the brands.
Andreas Mehr, international sales manager, Woden
It has been fantastic overall – a few people have made orders – although I do international sales and it’s not been so busy for me. Last time we were a bit further down and had a smaller space. This time we’re by the entrance, so it’s better.
Jack Tobin, commercial director, E Tautz
The first day has been good and have met some new domestic indies, which is exactly what we’re here for. We’ve built a footprint in this market that we only made through doing this show in previous seasons, so we think it’s very worthwhile. We even bought the full collection for the first time. You meet lots of small and interesting boutiques here that you just wouldn’t come across any other way. It’s the only trade show that we do because it is really well curated and we love working with the CIFF team.
Ash Kumar, founder, Native Youth
Lots of people have been telling us that we’d do with in the Scandi market and that this was the best show to be at so we decided to give it a try. So far, so good! We’ve met some really strong Scandi buyers and had lots of interest in the collection. It was a really busy morning with a steady afternoon. It’s a really nice trade show – clean, minimal and cool, and all the other brands are really strong.
Sune Bjerregaard, chief executive, The Masai Clothing Company
It’s been a fantastic start to CIFF for us. Masai has extended its product portfolio with a complete outerwear range and this has resulted in a very busy first day on the stand. CIFF has done a good job of promoting itself to international buyers in recent seasons – we’ve seen people from Germany, the UK and Holland today. Previously it was mostly buyers from the Nordic countries.
Sid Bryan, co-founder, Sibling
The show attracts lots of really good buyers and it’s a really professional atmosphere, but is fun too. We don’t do many sales over here, so it’s a chance to meet the local buyers and another chance to get in front of those that might have seen us in London or Paris. And it’s great because it’s a much more relaxed atmosphere here rather than in London.
Terry Betts, head of business development, Thread
I think CIFF is becoming more diverse and international. It always used to be a solid commercial show, but CIFF Raven, [a special project with Japanese retailer] Beams and Lulu Kennedy have elevated it.