Menswear brands and agents have largely welcomed the news that Jacket Required will exhibit womenswear for the first time at the spring 18 edition.
At least 20 brands have already signed up to show womenswear at the London show on 26-27 July. Birkenstock, Eat Dust and Wrangler are among those that have confirmed they will show their women’s collections alongside their men’s ranges.
Chris Dent, UK agent for shoes and accessories brand Cole Haan, which will be showing men’s and women’s collections, said: “The expansion of the offer in this direction is very exciting. As a long-standing supporter of the show, I believe this development will not only attract new womenswear buyers, but also act as a larger event for the high-quality men’s retailers who also offer targeted women’s collections.”
Juls Dawson, co-founder of agency Just Consultancies, who will be taking footwear labels Slydes and Good News, and casualwear brand Nicce London to Jacket Required next month, echoed Dent’s thoughts, saying that “it should be a very interesting edition and there isn’t a young street show for ladies wear so it makes sense.”
Andy Tompsett, head of sales and product for menswear brand Merc in the UK, said that the introduction of womenswear might perk up the summer shows, which “always have a little less energy”.
However, he expressed concern over differentiation from other shows: “It’s hard enough to get our men’s buyers to attend a trade show let alone another set of buyers who can go to Scoop and other trade shows.”
The timing of the spring edition was also raised by Kevin Stone, a brand consultant for coat and jacket brand Baracuta: “The difficulty is it’s a good show, but unfortunately the spring 18 edition in July is really late for menswear. But it could be the right time for women’s.”
A spokeswoman for Jacket Required said: “Bringing a selection of womenswear to Jacket Required has been something under discussion with brands and buyers for several seasons, and it now feels like the time is right.
“We have a number of labels which are extremely relevant to the women’s market as they stand, and we are keen to provide them with a platform to showcase a strong womenswear edit of spring 2018 collections to targeted retailers.”
Jacket Required will take place at its usual location, The Old Truman Brewery in east London, on 26-27 July.
Around 250 collections will be included in the spring 18 edition.