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Mixed mood at Moda

A lack of new trends at the Moda exhibitions in Birmingham last week meant buyers spent their spring 09 budgets cautiously.

The mood among exhibitors was mixed, with some reporting slower footfall than expected on the opening day while others reported optimism in the sector.

Within sub-show Moda Womenswear, big-name brands experienced a steady stream of visitors, but quiet stands were a common sight, as buyers seemed to play it safe and cut back on peripheral labels. Mary Dunn owner of classic womenswear indie Golden Girl in Swanage, Dorset, said: “The show is not the most exciting and trade is quiet. We have cut back on budget and on brands.”

Margaret Pearson, owner of classic womenswear indie Style in Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland, has also trimmed budgets for spring 09. She said: “It wasn’t terribly
busy on Monday and everyone is cautious, but the product looked bright.”

But Danny Saul, managing director of Frank Saul of London, said: “Moda was surprisingly busy. I think that everyone has thrown stock into Sale and now they just want to get on with next season, so they are looking at new products.”

Meanwhile, Moda Menswear was also quiet despite the introduction of a new contemporary section called Moda Platform, which housed brands including Matinique, Without Prejudice and John Smedley.

One exhibitor, who did not want to be named, said: “It was dead. They should make a bigger deal out of Moda Platform – it was too tucked away.”

Final attendance figures had not been released as Drapers went to press, but Colette Tebbutt, managing director of show organiser ITE Moda, said: “The attendance was strong across all four sectors of the show and the industry is optimistic about 2009.”

Plans to revamp the show for autumn 09 include better segmentation and more exciting stand designs.

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