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Fashion SVP taps into athleisure trend for summer show

The summer edition of the ever-expanding Fashion SVP sourcing event took place in London Olympia last week (27-28 June), drawing exhibitors from across the UK and 21 international countries.

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The seventh edition of Fashion SVP, which is now a bi-annual event, hosted more than 60 new manufacturers and was expanded to cover accessories and footwear for the first time. The theme for this season was “Athleisure Pace”, which brought a focus on performance fabrics.

As well as running seminars throughout the show, Fashion SVP launched a new initiative called “The Learning Curve”, a series of workshops for sourcing and buying professionals that will be held at locations across the UK in November.

Exhibitors told Drapers they were pleased with the attendance at this edition, which organisers said was up 14% year on year.

Bhavik Master, director of Leicestershire-based Paul James Knitwear, said: “I thought it was good – a lot more people wanted to source product from the UK. Order sizes weren’t as big as usual, but there was interest for UK-made goods.”

“We met a lot of new potential customers,” said Mark Moore, managing director at hosiery design and distribution company the Melas Group. “Large retailers such as Debenhams and The White Company attended, as well as medium retailers, all the way through to start-ups and students.

“People were most interested in our activewear offering, and we saw similar activity on the stands around us.”

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Outerwear, knitwear and tailoring specialists PDA International attended the show for the third year running.

Operations director Ryan Silvester told Drapers: “We got a good reaction. A lot of attention was focused on athleisure, but I understand it was the theme of the show, and next year there will be something different – we have already signed up for 2018.”

Jeff Keam, managing director at textiles labelling business Asquith Supplies, said: “This show was bigger than the last one, with lots more stands and companies present.”

Organiser Buzz Carter said: “We’re now firmly established as the ‘go-to’ event for all fashion brands and retailers who are looking for a manufacturing partner.

“We are delighted to have supported many new trends and innovations, and to have received positive reaction to them, including a special focus on athleisure, a feature on high performance fabrics from Portugal, our New Designer Awards launch and the expansion of the show to cover both accessories and footwear.”

The next edition of Fashion SVP will take place on 16-17 January 2018.

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