Updated layouts encouraged brisk business at the autumn 19 editions of trade shows Pure London and Scoop, which ran on 10-12 February
While some exhibitors at Pure said it took a little while for visitors to trickle through to the back areas of the show, there was a buzz in the air at Olympia. Large crowds attended the catwalk presentations and panel talks, and orders were written from the start of day one.
The usual independent retailers from across the UK and Ireland were joined by some international names and buyers from bigger retailers, such as Next.
Pure’s layout had been reworked and this was met by positive reactions. The repositioning of the catwalk area within the main hall, for example, created a much more open feeling within the space.
New section Conscious, which bought together a handful of sustainable and ethical brands, was particularly popular, while the menswear section had also grown. However, newly added kidswear area Bubble was small and attracted little footfall.
Although it remains one of the quieter sections of the show, sourcing and manufacturing area Pure Origin was busier than previous seasons, and visitors walked the aisles, attended industry talks and did business on the stands.
Meanwhile, womenswear show Scoop, which ran concurrently with Pure at the Saatchi Gallery, has always set the bar high In The Style stakes. This season was no different.
For the autumn 19 show it collaborated with the Victoria and Albert Museum to celebrate the floral prints of 19th-century textile designer William Kilburn. The entrance to the gallery was perhaps the most Instagrammable yet, despite the drizzly weather, as flowers lined the path framed by blossom trees.
Inside, the show had its usual premium feel and a subtly refreshed layout. A new champagne bar on the second floor shared space with the made-to-order silk scarf brand launched by Gary James McQueen, nephew of the late Lee Alexander McQueen and formerly his head of menswear textiles.
As with Pure, there was a strong showing of independents, many of whom had travelled from Ireland. Buyers were in the mood to write orders.
There was more tailoring than in previous seasons of Scoop and silhouettes were slimmer, bringing an androgynous feel to some of the collections. A feminine, 1970s and 1980s aesthetic was also notable for autumn 19, and several printed silk maxi-dresses caught Drapers’ eye. Generally, the mix of new and more established brands left buyers satisfied.
“The DNA of Pure, Moda and Scoop are completely different. They are not in competition with each other and we will be keeping their separate identities,” said Julie Driscoll, managing director ITE Group.
“Pure is a festival of fashion ranging across the whole supply chain, while Scoop is a designer show where buyers and brands are looking for a different experience. We will continue to innovate and invest in our exhibition portfolio across the board.”
The mood of the shows
Matthew Nugent, wholesale assistant brand manager, TCA Showroom, representing Kaffe
It’s been busy and there is a great vibe about this show. So far, we have seen buyers from UK, Northern Ireland, Greece, Japan and the US. In terms of product, the 1970s look is going nowhere – you can see it everywhere. We do see existing customers at the show and they place orders, but we are predominantly here to find new clients.
Julia Jaconelli, owner, Courtyard in Guildford
“I always love Scoop and this season there seems to be some great new collections. The show is beautifully presented and has a lovely atmosphere. Karen [Radley, Scoop organiser] chooses collections I know I will be interested in – they are at the right level for me.
The [spring 19] season started well, until the snow, but I feel quite optimistic. I don’t think my level of customer is particularly affected by Brexit.
Noreen Puri, brand director, Pomodoro
It’s been very buoyant. Actually the last few seasons have been very, very good at this show. We have seen people from throughout the UK but are expecting to see more from the south, as we show at Harrogate Fashion Week and Indx [in Solihull] for our northern customers. Day one and two are always very good at Pure.
Josie Smith, buyer and co-owner, Leaf Clothing in Newcastle
I have been doing Scoop for 40 years and for me, it is the best show in the UK. I love the venue and the product.
I’m looking for brands that are wearable. It would be good to have more access to new designers, but it’s not always affordable for them to show.
Juls Dawson, owner, Just a Group, representing Ichi
It has been very buoyant this [Sunday] morning. It doesn’t usually get going until a few hours in, but this morning it was busy from the get-go.
I think the new layout works well with the more open catwalk, as it keeps footfall filtering through.
We’ve predominantly seen buyers from the UK and Ireland and people are placing orders.
Marika Drakakis-Short, head of sales, The Brand Ambassadors, representing MKT Studio
Scoop is mainly about the key independents for us and we’ve already seen Sass & Edge [in Winchester] and The Dressing Room [St Albans].
We find that bigger buyers will visit before placing their orders in showrooms but the independents come to write orders here. Last season we signed up 10 new accounts, and on the first day we’ve already signed five this year.
Irena Gordon, marketing manager, Sahara
It’s been pretty busy – definitely on par with this time a year ago. We’ve seen mainly UK buyers as we see most of our European customers when we show in Dusseldorf. We’ve seen more interest from new customers this season, although we mainly use the show as a place for existing customers to place orders.
Jeni Elliff, agent, Winnie & Eds Showroom, representing Sita Murt
I don’t come to Scoop to secure big accounts, but instead use it to drive customers into our showrooms. It’s mostly independents here. People are definitely being more cautious in spending this year.
Dylan Chadha, wholesale manager, Louche
Pure has been really strong for us. Sunday tends to be all the indies but we had some key accounts on the stand too. It has been busy since the doors opened. It has been half and half appointments and walk-ons. We’ve had plenty of Irish buyers on the stand today, too.
Generally, buyers have increased their spend from last season. We offer flexibility for buyers as they can buy into our short-order collections in season or forward order, depending on what works best for them.
Sofia Tsoukalo, wholesale fashion executive, Charli
Scoop has a more intimate feel that most trade shows. Buyers are at ease – almost as if they’re in a showroom because of the gallery setting. It’s not as congested as Pure and attracts good independent boutiques and it is consistently good across both seasons.
Corrie Davies, owner and designer, festival brand OOTO (Out of the Ordinary)
This is our first time at Pure and it’s going well. We seem to be attracting European buyers, mainly Italian. Our main aim is to get small independent boutiques that can be quite loyal to us. We would like some UK-based stockists.
We are a fun, bohemian festival brand so our customers tend to be quite young. Pure has been brilliant for us because we’ve noticed enthusiastic, bright, young faces. There are lots of fun brands around here, and we’ve been put in a good spot. I think they could have more music to make it a bit more upbeat.
David Smith, sales manager, Level One Showroom, representing Pajar
It’s been the best show we’ve had at Scoop, and we have already written a few new orders on the first day. On Sunday we always see a lot of independents before the big clients come on Monday but there’s already been a great amount of footfall.
Hannah Weaver, senior sales executive at Palladio Associates, showing Urban Code
[Women’s outerwear brand] Urban Code has been coming here for years. The Tuesday is never busy here, but Sunday and Monday are always the busiest. People are cautious. They keep wondering around and then coming back. Buyers are cautious because some people didn’t have very good autumn 18.
We are here to showcase to new clients and to build up our UK client base. However, when we have Scoop on at the same time, it means people split their time between the two shows, so we probably don’t get as many new buyers as we could. However, we have already got two new stockists today: one in Epping, Essex, and St Albans.
Emily Keum, manager, Emin & Paul
It’s our second time at Scoop and we come for the high quality of clients. It’s been a lot quieter so far, I think because of Brexit. We’ve come from French trade shows, where there were a lot of bigger UK clients who aren’t here. We haven’t found any new UK clients yet.