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Look back but move with the times

Menswear has been the topic of the week as the Drapers team went en masse to the spring 18 edition of Jacket Required, just around the corner from our offices in London’s Shoreditch.

The show’s layout changed this season, which initially proved confusing for those of us used to the same set-up season after season, but it worked well overall. It had an element of Ikea to it, in that visitors were forced to follow the pathway around the show – a bonus for the exhibiting brands as it meant they all had a chance to catch passing footfall. It also ensured that the show had a better flow throughout, including the areas that were historically quieter, which meant buyers and brands alike got maximum exposure.

The cafe and bar area had also been moved to the centre of the top floor of the show. When I visited, it was a hub of networking – much more so than it had been previously. The mood was positive, and many welcomed the introduction of womenswear this season. It’s something I imagine will increase for the autumn 18 edition.

Heritage brands from the 1980s and beyond were also prominent throughout the show. This is something we’ve looked at in more depth this week – we focus particularly on the sportswear market and discover how heritage brands in this sector are making a comeback.

The key for these brands now is not just to reconnect with customers through their historical narratives, but also to remind shoppers of their key attributes to ensure the longevity of their revival. They have stories that will appeal to customers, but they also need to have quality product with a clear brand handwriting to thrive in today’s market.

Taking of heritage, this week marks the 130th anniversary of Drapers. As we celebrate, we ask industry insiders to highlight some of their greatest influences over the years. Looking through the Drapers archive, it was fascinating to see how much and how quickly the sector has changed, but it also serves as a reminder of everything that makes this industry great – and I’m sure will continue to do so for another 130 years.

I’m so proud to have been the editor for the last 20 months, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support along the way.

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