A niche offering attracted a strong European turnout to the 32nd UK edition of alternative fashion trade show LondonEdge.
The three-day bi-annual event, held at London’s Business Design Centre in Islington on September 6-8, welcomed international buyers from as far as Germany, Australia and Spain.
Buyers from UK retailers including Asos.com and Topshop were also in attendance, looking to capitalise on the demand for grunge-influenced clothing and footwear.
Around 130 exhibitors filled the space including footwear brand Jeffrey Campbell, vintage-inspired label Collectif and Asos-stocked The Ragged Priest, with all reporting a steady flow of buyers, particularly on the opening Sunday.
Speaking to Drapers at the end of the second day, Nicki Asher, marketing and PR manager of vintage-inspired womenswear brand Voodoo Vixen, which is stocked in Simply Be and Debenhams, said: “We’ve been so busy today, almost as busy as yesterday, which was non-stop.
“There have been lot of buyers – 70% have been our existing accounts and then around 30% new ones.
“We’ve filled up our order book too, which is great. Traditionally the show attracts European buyers but we’ve seen a few Americans as well. But [the show] needs to be in London because this is where the alternative scene started.”
The Ragged Priest, which has a concession in Topshop on Oxford Street, London, was positioned on the upper floor of the venue.
Head designer Bex Hyde said: “This is the first time we’ve done the show. It feels slower today than it did yesterday but I think a lot of bloggers were here on the first day.
“We’ve definitely taken orders, which is good, mainly from small independents. We’ll do the show again but we’d like to be more in the centre next time.”
Michael Ridgway, sales and marketing director of Laceys Footwear, which wholesales brands such as Jessica Wright, Paolo Vandini and Jeffrey Campbell, said: “We dropped Pure this season to do LondonEdge because it’s more of a lifestyle show.
“International visitors have told us they come here because, even though it’s alternative, there’s an Englishness about some of the products here that sells well.
“The foot traffic has been a constant stream throughout and we’ve been writing orders. What we have learnt is that if we do this show again we need to tailor what we bring with more aggressive pieces; more studs, more spikes and more zips.”
LondonEdge managing director Carole Hunter told Drapers the show had the most exhibitors it has in three seasons as well as a rise in visitor numbers.
“We are absolutely delighted with the results of LondonEdge this season. Early indications are that we have seen a rise in footfall from this time last year. We are also very pleased at the number of the potential new exhibitor enquiries that we have had at the organisers office during the show.”
LondonEdge will return to its original venue at Olympia West in on February 7-9 2016.