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London Textile Fair gets off to positive start

london textiles fair

The first day of the London Textile Fair received upbeat reviews from both exhibitors and buyers yesterday.

Held at the Business Design Centre in Islington, 422 exhibitors showcased their products to nearly 2,000 attendees on the first day, the organisers reported. Exhibitors were packed in across three levels at the expansive show, and there is a waiting list of 30 mills looking to get spots at the exhibition. Meanwhile, there appeared to be a steady stream of buyers perusing the textiles and trims on offer – big names such as John Lewis, River Island, Miss Selfridge, Jaeger, Hobbs, Ted Baker and Whistles were all spotted.

Speaking to Drapers, show organiser John Kelly said of the first day: “We’ve seen the level of international buyers rise from 10% to 15%, and there has been a good mix of large accounts and new or smaller designers in attendance.”

He added: “Despite the reports of uncertainty in the market, it doesn’t appear to have affected us, and certainly European fabrics are still popular.”

The show continues on Thursday.

Views from the show floor

Hannah Jackson-McCamley, textile agent representing Schwarzschild Ochs 

We’ve had a good start to the show and a steady number of buyers coming through. They have been largely from the UK, which isn’t unusual, and the mood appears to be positive.

Dean Marriott, sales manager, Alan Litman

It has been a little slower than normal. We had a big influx this morning, but this afternoon has been quieter. I think the show is just that little bit too early in the season. Everyone has just got back from Christmas, so I think it would be better if it was in February. However, we have seen a good mix of quality buyers, and have had some accounts like River Island visit, alongside smaller designers.

Lily Cornell, designer, Alan Auctor

This show is amazing and it gets bigger every year. I don’t need to go to Première Vision any more as there is such a good selection here. I tend to come to find new mills. So if I am already working with someone, then I won’t spend my time visiting them.

Filipa Cortez, international sales manager, Sanmartin

The show has been busy for us. We have seen a lot of new, start-up designers, and mostly from UK. The one thing I have really noticed is that they are looking for something different. We’ve had a lot of interest in non-traditional laces, for example.

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