The autumn 18 edition of trade show Pure London was bustling with buyers in the main hall, and new sections added interest
Winter sunshine shone down on Kensington’s vast London Olympia exhibition centre as the Drapers team braved icy temperatures to join the throngs of buyers heading to the autumn 18 edition of trade show Pure London, which ran on 11-13 February.
Sunday brought a buzzing start, particularly in the main womenswear area, where a strong mix of premium, mainstream and contemporary womenswear labels offered colourful, texture-rich and print-heavy collections for the new season.
This season there was a greater focus on ethical brands among Pure’s 700-strong exhibitor line-up, alongside new sourcing section Pure Origin, which aims to bring international manufacturers and textile producers together under one roof.
Julie Driscoll, managing director at Pure London, said: “This edition has been really positive. The sun’s out, and it feels energetic.
“With Pure Origin, we wanted bring the whole supply chain together. [US trade show] Magic does it in Las Vegas, and Ispo in Munich does it for sportswear, so it’s a proven concept that’s missing in the UK.”
Driscoll hoped that Pure Origin, which is likely to be expanded further in future editions, will help draw in new retailers that do not usually attend the show. Denim, shirting and athleisure manufacturers were all present, and Drapers spotted producers from around the world among the 60-plus exhibitors, including the Textile Forum, India’s Handloom Export Promotion Council members and Era Garment from Turkey (see views from the show).
Like the Pure Man and Athleisure sections of the show, Pure Origin took a while to warm up. They were all generally slower than the busy main womenswear hall and adjoining young fashion-focused Spirit section. Drapers struggled to get on some stands, including Rino & Pelle and Emin & Paul London, which were crowded throughout Sunday.
Buyers were also poised to do business. Orders were written on stands across the womenswear and Spirit sections, as buyers sought to bolster their brand mix with new and exciting product. While footfall in some areas was slower, the liveliness of the main space meant feedback was positive, with brands and visitors alike satisfied with the show.
Mood of the show
Pablo Conde, export manager, Spanish womenswear brand Alba Conde
Pure is always a really good show for us, because we see a real mix of international customers. We also go to trade shows in Paris, Madrid and Moscow, but when we do those shows we tend to only see customers from the domestic market. Here at Pure, we see British buyers, we see Irish buyers and we see some from across Europe. And London is London – it always great to come here. We had a really busy first day, it has been really good.
Kane Michael Luke, country director UK and Ireland, Tiger of Sweden
We’re showing at Pure London for the first time and we’re happy with our decision to be in the menswear section. The show got off to a good start, and we’ve had some good appointments and meetings. It is mostly indies here, which is exactly what we’re looking for. I was expecting the menswear section to be a little bigger – it still feels like the womenswear section in general is a lot better. The show has a huge variety of brands with some interesting names from all over the world.
Vicky Ng, director, Paisie
The Sunday at Pure London was particularly busy, which we weren’t expecting. We came to the show looking to expand our presence in the UK, and meet the right contacts from independents and department stores. Pure is a good show for networking – you meet lots of good people. We’re pleased.
Ashley Cumming, UK agent, Fly London
The footwear section feels slightly smaller than usual and some brands are missing. However, we mainly do appointments here, and have a steady stream of people to the stand. There is no other show for us in London, so we need to be seen here, but we do also show at Moda. We are here to see mainly UK independents.
Siah Howard, designer, Siah Howard
We’re showing at Pure for the first time to raise brand awareness and to write some orders. Pure is a great place for us to start as a brand, because you see the right people and the quality of the brands here is good.
Simon Bradley, managing director, Jack Carter
We’re debuting our brand here in the menswear section. We’ve had a few good conversations. I was surprised how busy the show started. This is a great opportunity to spread the gospel of our brand. That is the most difficult thing, getting the message out there, but we’re confident Pure is a good place to do it.
I came as a visitor last season and the menswear area was a lot sparser. It’s refreshing to see it busier and fuller. I’m pleasantly surprised. In the summer it felt like a womenswear show with a menswear area that was a bit of an afterthought, but it feels like there is more emphasis on men’s now.
Rachel Wiles, UK and Ireland country sales manager, Bitte Kai Rand
Last season’s show was good, so we decided to come back to Pure. I had booked in a number of appointments beforehand but we’ve also had new people come on the stand to see the collection. It’s got busier and busier. The mood is the same. People have the same budgets, and it’s been a tough few seasons, but people are looking for newness, and colour has been particularly popular.
Yaovrou Konate, sales manager, Sophyline
The stand has been packed from the start of the show and we’ve already seen lots of existing customers. Pure London is always a great show for us and is a good place to see our European customers. Although the vibe feels slightly quieter this season as there is less music playing, it is still incredibly busy, and orders are being placed on the stand.
Aleks Przedpelska, director, Sugarhill Boutique
We have seen lots of existing customers as well as some new. We schedule appointments here, and people do write orders. The brand has grown up over the past few years, so we have moved from Spirit to Womenswear and although it seems generally quieter this season, we always do well.
Liesbet Geenen, manager of Belgian store So Sweet
I’m looking for new womenswear brands, and placing orders with my existing brands for autumn 18. It’s my third time here at the show, and usually I can find something for [my store]. It seems as busy as it usually is. I look for retro and vintage brands that fit with the feel and surroundings of my store –clothes that stand out and offer something different.
Cordula Wagner, buyer for Islington-based tailor Fenton
I come here regularly; I’m here today to look for women’s casual and streetwear clothing for autumn 18. I’m looking for clothing with copper, rusty or tobacco tones, and there’s always something to be said for a good, distinctive floral print. I would also like to find bold colours like emerald greens.
Pure london autumn 18 (23)
Vox pop: Pure Origin launch
New this season, the Pure Origin section focused on UK and international manufacturers and fabric suppliers:
Li Chew, garment technologist, Impromundi
We are here to represent the factory and show what we can do. We’re looking to grow our European customer base. Day one started quite quiet, but we are expecting it to get a lot busier as footfall filters through to this area.
Miguel de Oliveria, CEO, Confenix
We’re Portuguese manufacturers looking for mostly UK brands but also European. We work with brands of all sizes, and so are open to all conversations. We currently show at London sourcing event Fashion SVP, but thought this would be a good show to try.
Roman Narcy, founder, Era Garment
We’re based in Turkey and the UK is an important market for us. Pure London is a good opportunity for us to meet new contacts from the high street and new brands from the middle market where we sit. We currently show at exhibitions such as Denim Première Vision in Paris but wanted to trial a more general show. We think it will be better for us on Monday and Tuesday, when the larger retailers come to the show.
Joao Raposo, partner, Mindshirt
Pure Origin is a chance for us to showcase what we do through the range of samples we have on the stand. We are looking for small and medium-sized UK brands – we find them easier to work with than the larger guys, as they look for quality first before price.