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Memo from Musgrave: Bread & Butter fades away with a whimper

The last edition of insolvent Bread & Butter is a sorry excuse for a trade fair.

The once-mighty event at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin comprises a street food area and just three patchy sections for start-ups, streetwear and urbanwear labels and Cookies, a small collection of kidswear suppliers. The venue was like a ghost town on the afternoon of the first day (Tuesday) and Drapers saw one Cookies exhibitor packing up to leave the supposedly three-day event.

The quality of almost all the 200 or so exhibitors was way below what was expected when BBB described itself as the “tradeshow for selected brands”. Most of the unknown labels had simple cheap stands. One of the few that had any theatre about it was the stand for the European licensee of Lonsdale, the value-end sportswear brand that recreated a British pub for its presentation. The pub had no customers when Drapers was there. By the middle of the second day, it had seen only “three or four clients” at the show.

In his welcome in the small show guide, BBB founder Karl-Heinz Müller invited visitors to “…reminisce on the beautiful and turbulent rollercoaster ride that Bread & Butter means to all of us”. He added: “Then finish your drink, let bygones be bygones and look to the future, since we all know: every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end… and this is only the beginning!”

As previously reported in Drapers, German ecommerce giant Zalando bought Bread & Butter a few weeks ago. It played no part in this season’s sad display. In 2016 it intends to end BBB’s business-to-business role and convert the event into a “festival of fashion” for consumers.

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