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Fashion drives Top Drawer success

A growing focus on fashion and accessory brands is helping to drive visitor numbers at London-based trade show Top Drawer.

top drawer exhibition fashion floor hi res

More than 200 labels showcased accessories, bags, jewellery, outerwear, loungewear and footwear at the spring 16 edition at Kensington Olympia on January 17-19, up from around 150 at the last edition in September 2015.

The number of attendees also grew, up 12%, reported the show’s organiser. Across the three days, buyers from the likes of Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, New Look and Arcadia were seen along with several UK independents.

A Top Drawer spokeswoman told Drapers the increased fashion and accessories offering has been key in attracting new and existing visitors.

Deryane Tadd, owner of womenswear independent The Dressing Room in St Albans, said the emphasis persuaded her to return to the show.

“I hadn’t visited for around eight years but I saw a few more things on social media about them doing more around accessories, and so thought I would give it a go again. Accessories is such an important part of our business, making up around 40% of turnover combined with footwear.

“A lot of the exhibitors are very similar to the ones at other UK shows like Pure London [February 14-16] and Scoop [January 31-February 2], but that allowed me to get a few orders in early. And because they are immediates, I should have the stock in a few weeks.”

Debra McCann, director of The Mercantile in Shoreditch, London, said: “Top Drawer has definitely become more appropriate for clothing boutiques in recent seasons. We wrote orders with existing brands and picked up a new jewellery brand.

“With the dates being early it does give you more time to think about accessories, because the later ones like Pure are quite big to get around.”

Top Drawer launched a dedicated space for fashion and accessories at the spring 15 edition in January 2015, having previously focused mainly on gifts, homewares and crafts. It plans to grow this further in future seasons.

It also introduced a catwalk show that ran twice a day over two days, which grew to three times a day over all three days this time.

The next edition of Top Drawer will take place at Olympia London in Kensington on September 11-13.

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