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Buyers praise Who’s Next but fresh looks are thin on ground

British buyers have complained that the collections at contemporary womenswear fair Who’s Next lacked newness, despite a strong overall brand mix at the Paris event.

The show, which took place from January 25-28 at Porte de Versailles, hosted more than 2,000 brands, with buyers from countries including Russia, Kuwait and China in attendance.

Deryane Tadd, owner of St Albans womenswear boutique The Dressing Room, said the show was good but seemed a little quieter than usual.

“I came away a little bit flat and I am finding the same brands are at similar shows. There wasn’t loads of new stuff. It’s hard when you’ve got a strong brand mix and are looking for something that really makes you go wow,” she added.

Laura Mayer, owner of premium womenswear retailer Jessimara in Temple Fortune, north London, agreed there was a lack of fresh looks: “It didn’t rock my world. Everyone was a bit cautious with what they were showing.”

However, others were impressed. Sarah Ineson, assistant buyer at women’s young fashion store Fabric Boutique in Manchester, said Who’s Next was “amazing”. She added: “We walked our feet off. It was quite a diverse show. The size and variety was stronger than what you get at Pure London and Bread & Butter. This covered all bases and was great.”

Ineson said she picked up new brands including Lucy Paris and Best Mountain, which she praised for its outerwear, and Compañia Fantastica for its accessories and handbags.

Rhona Blades, co-owner of eight-store Northeast indie Jules B, was also won over by the show. “It gives you an idea of what is happening next season in fashion. You can feel a pulse for colour and detail before you embark on any orders.”

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