Denim Première Vision made its London debut for its spring 20 edition, and international exhibitors praised the city’s fashion credentials as a potent lure for new customers.
Denim Première Vision, which focuses on the booming denim market, took place at the Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, east London, on 5 and 6 December.
The aisles thronged with visitors from early on the first day, and exhibitors felt overwhelmingly optimistic about the show’s popularity and potential. Stands including Soorty and Calik Denim were particularly crowded.
International mills praised London as an inspirational fashion capital, and many planned on researching and engaging with the market further through store visits and other appointments during the show.
Exhibitors were largely international, and Turkey and Pakistan dominated with manufacturers who were aiming to enter or expand within the UK market.
One hot topic of conversation at the show was sustainability. Attendees acknowledged the denim industry’s actions to reduce water use and toxic productions within its manufacturing processes, despite the lack of awareness from most consumers.
The show’s “Smart Creation Area”, which highlighted the latest developments in sustainability, drew a steady stream of interested visitors, attracted by sustainable designers such as Bethany Williams and Eileen Fisher. Textiles on display produced in eco-friendly ways included denim made from 100% recycled cotton denim, solar-powered factories and low-toxin dyes.
The organisation of the show itself received mixed feedback. Some exhibitors hoped for more social spaces to network and a simpler layout than the Old Truman Brewery allows. Others, however, praised the industrial feel of the space, and said it gave the exhibition more character than other locations.
Overall, the show was a hit and there were calls for it to remain in London for a second season. Although the next edition of the show is set to move to Milan for June 2019, London remains a hugely appealing destination for global manufacturers seeking to tap in to a strong market.
Mood of the show
Kara Nicholas Vice-president, product design and marketing, Cone Denim
As a US-based company, we’re looking forward to speaking to new UK brands and agents. It’s a great opportunity to speak to so many UK clients in one place. The show seems full and fresh and London is such a good fashion location. I like the intimate feel of the show and the industrial location.
Sustainable options are an increasing trend for denim, and it’s often the first thing customers ask about, so it’s important to be able to offer something that is meaningful to them. I’m not sure how much buying practices and consumer end purchases are affected just by it being sustainable, but it’s good to take a stance.
Aamir Chottani Marketing director, Chottani
We come to the show every year we will see how this experiment [with the London location] works. We’re already part of PV in Paris and its other locations and we have penetrated in those turfs – France and Spain for example – so it will be good to see how it goes with British brands and stores here. For spring 2020, there is a drive to be sustainable and clean up the denim industry.
The denim sector is growing thanks to Instagram and social media. Denim is not just workwear any more – it’s fashion. Our target at Denim PV in London is not so much to see a lot of people and get big crowds, but to see some high-quality buyers and brands attending.
Andrea Rambaldi Chief executive, Fashion Art
The organisation of the show seems very good so far. We haven’t come here to find customers, but to showcase our offer and the different things that we are offering throughout our supply chain.
London is a good city to have the show in, because it has such great connections to northern Europe, America and the Middle East, so you get a very good mix of international companies here. We work mainly with France, but for our market positioning London is a stronger market and location, so we’re excited to show here.
Mehmet Yar Sales and marketing director, System Denim
This is our first trade show in five years, so the British customer is not as familiar with our brand, which is based in Istanbul. We have a strong presence in Italy and France, but the UK market is huge and quantities can be very big, so this is a great opportunity to increase interest here.
Önder Oralkan Export manager, Maritas Denim
We are regular exhibitors in Paris, but it’s good to be in a new location. Designers and exhibitors return for the excitement of a new city and it helps to have different locals from the London market. Once people go to Paris three or four times, they get bored and stop attending.
For denim this is one of the most important shows, alongside Kingpins in Amsterdam.
Mukesh Desai Sales consultant for MD Agency, Firemount Textiles
The show is good so far and I have heard a lot of people are going to travel to the show, especially from Europe. They should keep it in this location for two seasons because of the area it’s in. People come to London and Shoreditch for the shops and brands and then also visit the show. Denim PV is different from the main show as it’s more mid-market: the luxury guys don’t come here.
Vittoria Annunzi Export manager, Imatex
There seems to be a lot of people here already, even though it’s the first morning. We have come here to break into a new market in the UK, and it’s a good show to visit to see what others are doing and what brands are up to.