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Solid Moda gets ready for a reboot

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Before a refresh next year, the spring 20 edition of Moda met with broad approval from visitors.

There was a quiet hum in the halls of Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) as Drapers arrived from London for the spring 20 edition of Moda. The mood was broadly positive at the Midlands clothing, footwear and accessories show, which took place on 4-6 August.

As is typical for Moda, Sunday morning got off to a slower start. Brands laughed that buyers had perhaps opted for a weekend lie-in. However, footfall did pick up throughout the day. Several exhibitors reported that larger retailers had placed big orders across the course of the show, and most were broadly pleased with the number and quality of visitors to their stands. Regional independents dominated the mix of buyers attending, and exhibitors were primarily seeking to target this sector at the show.

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The big news from Moda was that organiser ITE has outlined a new vision for the show for next season’s autumn 20 edition. Event director Adam Gough said that Moda is dedicated to drawing in “key names in fashion retail, from online retailers to multiples and department stores”.

With this in mind, next season’s show will take place on 23-25 February 2020, to avoid clashing with Italian footwear show Micam. It will be also held in new halls of the NEC, closer to Birmingham International train station and allowing for a major layout overhaul.

Womenswear will be split into four distinct “neighbourhoods” – Edge, Luxe, Occasion and Fusion. Edge will be dedicated to ready-to-wear collections from contemporary womenswear brands appealing to a customer aged from 18 to 30. As a response to demand from independent retailers, Luxe will offer premium collections. Fusion will be home to diffusion collections at a more affordable price point.

“The focus is on having new dates, new halls and a new Moda,” Martin Arnold, fashion portfolio director at ITE told Drapers. “It is the perfect opportunity to do a re-edit of the show.”

Gough added: “The new neighbourhood floorplan will make more sense for retailers when they are searching for new brands, and brands will have cleaner, better adjacencies.”

Moda will also introduce new section Moda Life, which will focus on sustainable and environmentally friendly brands across clothing, footwear and accessories.

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After several subdued seasons, Moda’s shake-up is much needed to breathe new life into the show. Despite a solid reputation within the sector, the show currently fails to match the more distinct identities of its London stablemates Pure, Scoop and Jacket Required.

Hints of changes to come were visible already at the spring 20 edition of the show: a busy catwalk and presentation schedule, brand “edit” zones of noteworthy names and a layout that left fewer remote corners untouched by visitors.

In a tough market, brands and buyers alike are considering their business trips ever more carefully. Moda must deliver a more curated, considered and refreshed show to retain its importance to the mid-market womenswear and footwear sectors.


The mood from Moda

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Adele Black, creative director, Latte Clothing

We didn’t stop on day one. We’ve mainly seen existing customers, and lots of people were passing through and promising to come back. The Sunday at the show is always quieter, but it has still been good.

The profile of the show is perfect for us, which is why we show here. We also show at Harrogate Fashion Week and INDX, but there are too many shows now – we can’t exhibit everywhere. Budget is diluted too much with too many shows and it is not good for the market. We need fewer, more meaningful trade shows. It’s already a subdued market, and there is too much choice for brands and exhibitors over where to go.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the changes will bring. Newness is always a good thing.


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Jan Bielby, territory manager, Targetdry, representing Lighthouse

The first morning was fantastic, and we’ve seen a really big account on the stand already – one that we would not have normally seen geographically, but could come to Moda. We’ve been writing orders.

We’ve had a lot of new interest already, and we’ve mainly seen new customers which is great, but we do expect to see an overall mix of existing and new customers coming as the show goes on. In general customers are a bit nervous when they’re ordering – we do a lot of forward ordering, so the boutiques know they can top up their offer easily.


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Caroline Wardall, founder, Bamboo Wardrobe

The show has been all right for us, and it’s our third summer showing here. For a small business, Moda is better value than other shows, such as Pure, which is so busy and has a layout that makes it easy to be overlooked. Here we have a larger stand in a more obvious location.

We’re seeing a lot of independents and are hoping to see a mix of new and established customers.

The market is tough for everyone at the moment. We had a fantastic summer last year because of the heat, which bamboo clothing is good for. This year has been quieter, but we are still seeing a lot of customers.


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Sam Hunt, founder, Hunted Brands, representing Unisa

“The show has been quiet at times, but we had a really big customer come on to the stand on the first day and that was the kind of customer we haven’t seen at Moda before. Existing customers have also been by to have a look at the collection – we’re building on the back of a really successful season thanks to the popularity of our sports range and our espadrilles.

“We’ve come back to Moda after two seasons away. ITE’s acquisition of Pure and Scoop was one of the reasons we came back. We also found that our customers did miss us being here and that we missed out on business. The show does need work and more needs to be done to promote it, but management are willing to listen. We’re looking forward to the shake-up next season. It is also important that agents and buyers get behind the show and support it, as it is the biggest for footwear in the UK.”


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Shilpa Ganesh, owner, Soulesilk

“We’re a new brand, so it is our first time at Moda, and we came to meet as many buyers as possible and spread the word about the brand. It has been quite quiet, although there have been people popping in and out of the stand throughout the course of the show. We’re fairly local, so it made sense to try Moda as our first trade show.”





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