The 10th edition of menswear trade show Jacket Required got off to a busy start today.
Buyers turned out early and in good spirits to the show at the Old Truman Brewery in east London.
“I went to Capsule in Paris and was disappointed and Man [also in Paris] had a bit of a buzz but this has another level of buzz, probably more so than last season,” said Nick Snell, director of independent stores Seven Wolves, Dogfish and Catfish in Cambridge and Norwich.
“I’ve been here since it opened and I’ve not actually got very far because pretty much every other stand there has been something I wanted to look at.”
Buyers from Shop Direct, TK Maxx and independents Choice, which has stores in Kent, Essex and London, Zebra in Chesterfield, Woodhouse and Trunk Clothiers in London, and Maze in Bristol, Bath and Taunton were spotted on the first morning.
“It kicked off a lot earlier than normal, from half 10 until gone lunch I haven’t had a minute to stop,” said Juls Dawson, co-founder of Just Consultancies, which was representing brands including Bellfield, Nicce London and new label Fila Black Line. “It’s been the big guys to the small, from north to south. There’s a good feeling around this season.”
Double A Side, a new line of jersey basics and outerwear, which launched in October and is currently stocked at Number Six in Shoreditch and The The Store in Hackney, was among the first-time exhibitors at the show.
Founder Andy Auld said: “I’d heard this was the show to go to and so far it’s been really good. We’ve had a good amount of interest so we’re hoping to pick up some more good independent accounts.”
Kevin Stone, founder of Stone Agencies, which represents menswear brands including Baracuta, BD Baggies and Spiewak, said: ”It seems a lot busier than last season and there’s quite a lot of new brands here which look to fit in quite well. There’s a lot of talk about buyers cutting back on trade shows but you’d have to seriously ask yourself why you wouldn’t come to this one.
“The thing is a lot of people get caught by the scale of it – they come between showroom appointments and then realise how big it is.”
Liam Ormonde, retail brand adviser for Lee Jeans, said: “We’ve seen the buyers from Very/Shop Direct this morning and we have other key accounts booked in for the rest of the show. We’ve doubled the size of our stand and so far we’re very happy.”
“The UK buyers have definitely turned out early,” added Stephanie Byers, account manager at Cheap Monday. “We’ve also seen some international buyers, so the signs are there for a good show.”
Jacket Required celebrated its 10th edition this season, growing to almost 300 exhibitors from just 30 at the first show at the Rochelle School in Shoreditch in summer 2011.
Co-founder Mark Batista said: “It’s been a great start to the show this season and we have some great new exhibitors, including Japanese brands like Detournement and Peel & Lift, as well as well-known brands like Barbour and Lyle & Scott, which are both exhibiting for the first time.
“In general, it feels like everyone is playing it safe so buyers are checking sell-throughs, checking prices and checking everything, which is how retail needs to be now.”