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German efficiency goes missing at Berlin shows

As you will see from our preview of Berlin, the number of shows squashed into four days in the German capital promises to make for the busiest season yet.

But where will it end? On top of the seven or so trade shows going on at the same time, there is also the prospect of a chock-a-block Berlin Fashion Week schedule to contend with.

While I appreciate it’s unlikely that, for example, the buyers going to Bright are the same as those perched front row at a catwalk show, surely this fashion density is too much for the time- and often cash-poor buyers and indie owners. Running around like a fly with a cobalt derrière is not conducive to making sound buying decisions. As such I would wager that buyers back away from committing to deals there and then, hence how Bread & Butter was considered for a long time as one big party rather than a trade event.

Not only that, but dedicating enough time to digging out the new brands that will make their offer feel fresh is hard when the sheer number of stands a buyer has to get around is unmanageable. This is especially true when you consider the lack of co-operation to coexist harmoniously that the rival trade shows display, with moving around town between fairs a frustrating and time-consuming task.

This can’t be good for anyone’s business - buyers don’t find the things they want, brands don’t get enough one-on-one time with buyers nor order books signed. Before long people will stay away and the next thing you know the shows are emptier than a panto headlined by ex-Big Brother contestants. As such disgruntled exhibitors will confront organisers, wondering where everyone went and subsequently move out. To stop the decline some editing and collaboration is needed, but who’s going to be the big person and sign the peace treaty first?

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