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Buoyant mood in Copenhagen, as CIFF Raven announces expansion

Brands were upbeat at the Copenhagen trade shows CIFF, Revolver and CIFF Raven, as they welcomed the positive attitude from buyers about the new autumn 15 collections and the organisation of the events, which were spread out at different locations across the city.

Organisers revealed that CIFF Raven, the new menswear show held at Copenhagen’s Forum arena, will be expanded in August this year to include performance wear and fashion-forward sportswear and that it would be even bigger in 2016.

The show, which featured exhibitors including Karl Lagerfeld, Mahirishi, Pendleton Woolen Mills and Stutterheim, aimed to provide an edited selection of menswear brands in a contemporary, spacious setting.

“We may not be able to compete with the big destinations of London or Paris for the biggest show, but what we can compete on is coolness and newness, which is what we are trying to do here,” said CIFF’s fashion and design director Kristian Andersen. “If we want to compete on a global basis, we need to move the dates for CIFF Raven, separately to CIFF – we find that exhibitors like January, but they don’t like August, so this is something we will likely move in 2016.

“We have invested 100m DKK (£10m) in the CIFF concept over the last three years and I’m really happy with where the shows are right now. This season, we had 6,000 more pre-registered visitors than last season at CIFF.”

Menswear label Brixtol exhibited at both CIFF and CIFF Raven and reported making more sales at CIFF, but was using the new Raven show to show off the brand. Co-founder Gustav Kjellander said: “CIFF was really good, but we were hoping for more people at Raven. The Copenhagen shows are a lot more international now.”

Poyan Rahimzadeh, head of sales at Kings of Indigo, said: “I like the brand selection at CIFF Raven, although it is a little quiet. But the right buyers are here, so that’s the main thing. No one else is doing a trade show like it, and that’s great.”

Fairtrade fashion brand People Tree was among many brands that were exhibiting at CIFF for the first time this season. Wholesale manager Nathalie Kurukgy said: “The traffic and interest has been really encouraging. We have been hearing that a lot more buyers are coming here and we’ve definitely had a good reaction.”

Connie Feast, European trade marketing manager at Canada Goose, agreed: “It is our first time at this show for a while and we’ve been really busy. We’re really pleased.”

Over at the Meatpacking District edition of Revolver, which Drapers visited on the second day, brands praised the venue of the show and reported steady trade.

Mie Tingsager Nielsen, designer of womenswear brand An Ounce, said: “The location is really good and the atmosphere is great. Buyers seem very upbeat about the new collections.”

Frederik Hulten, international sales manager at womenswear brand 5 Preview, said: “There has not been that much going on in Scandinavia over the last few years up until now, but the shake-up of the show formats has been a really good change. Retailers have had a good autumn season so there is a good feeling about the show.”

This was echoed by Louise Rasmussen, sales manager at Danish womenswear brand Stine Goya, who said: “This show has been fantastic so far. We have had some great conversations and buyers are in a very positive mood. We’ve seen buyers from Denmark, Italy, Russia and the UK today.”

Asos.com men’s brands buying manager David Clark and men’s streetwear and sport buyer Tim Williams had visited CIFF, CIFF Raven and the Meatpacking District edition of Revolver when Drapers spoke to them, and they said they had seen some existing partners and a couple of interesting brands, including Danish streetwear label Rascals and LA streetwear label Stampd.

“We visit the Copenhagen shows each season, but Scandinavian brands have historically been too premium for us. That does seem to be changing now,” said Clark. “We’re looking for anything interesting at an accessible price point, and we’re trying to get brands that we can sell globally.”

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