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Domestic crowds dominate busy start to Berlin shows

Domestic buyers were out in force on what was a busy and positive first day (January 19) at Berlin trade shows Panorama, Premium, Seek and Bright.

The aisles at contemporary exhibition Premium, located at Station Berlin, were full from early morning.

Judith Kessous, sales director for womenswear label American Vintage, said: “It has been great for us today, really busy. We moved location this year, to a corner stand so we have had a lot more traffic. We brought our German business in house in September so this is sort of a relaunch for us.”

Simone Wray, international sales executive at French Connection, added: “We were really busy this morning with German buyers, a mix of current and new appointments.”

Sportswear brand North Sails’ international sales manager Patrick Reijtenbagh said: “The show has been really busy so far, dominated by Germany as well as Italy and China, but not many buyers from the UK are here.”

The mood at mainstream show Panorama, located at Berlin ExpoCenter, was also positive with many brands noting a strong presence from the home market as well as some UK buyers in attendance.

Iain Leighton, UK agent for German trouser brand Meyer, said: “We had a very busy start to the day. The show seems to be getting bigger and busier every year and we have seen a good mix of independent and department store buyers from the UK so far.”

Simon Beard, area sales manager for the UK at German mainstream menswear brand Digel, which was also showing at Panorama, said: “It’s a really busy show but it’s 80% domestic buyers. Over Tuesday and Wednesday I expect to see around 25 buyers from the UK and Ireland. But Germany is Digel’s home market so it’s important for us to have a presence here.”

Brands showcasing in Panorama’s new area Nova Concept said the lifestyle concept was attracting many former Bread & Butter regulars.

Bjorn Peters, account manager for Dutch denim brand Denham said: “It’s still early but Nova feels new and exciting like what B&B used to be like. The footfall here [in hall 9] is really good because shuttle busses are dropping people outside and there is registration out there so they are walking through to get to the other halls.”

Footfall was strong first thing at Seek but petered out in the afternoon according to Sunny Aytan, co-founder of streetwear brand Criminal Damage, which moved from Bright to Seek this season. “It was good this morning but footfall has dwindled a bit. I think a lot of buyers are dividing their time between shows so I think a lot more will be here tomorrow after doing Premium today.”

Rob Welsh, head of sales for UK menswear brand Roamers & Seekers showing at Seek for the first time this season said: “It has been really positive for us. It was busy this morning so we’re happy. As a new brand it’s important for us to be here so we can increase our presence in Europe as we’re looking for agents and distributors.”

Mark Reiff marketing manager at Fila and Le Coq Sportif was enjoying a busy start to Bright: “We’re looking to attract indies, concept stores and department stores, and I would say the attendance is mostly domestic. Buyers tend to come to show to network and then the real business is done in the showroom. We like the vibe here at Bright, it’s relaxed and really fits with our brands.”

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