The spring 16 edition of Copenhagen trade shows got off to a buzzy start yesterday (August 5).
Womenswear show CIFF, its menswear off-shoot CIFF Raven and mens and womens show Revolver pulled in large crowds of domestic and international visitors, with changes and new additions to CIFF, which include an innovative new take on the trade show concept, met with widespread praise from exhibitors.
According to Kristian Andersen, fashion and design director of the CIFF shows, which are taking place at the Bella Centre just outside of the city, the newly combined shows attracted over 4,000 visitors by 12pm, up on the same time of the first day this time last year.
For spring 16, the show evolved once again, moving its menswear show CIFF Raven, which launched last season, into a large hall at the same location as the womenswear exhibition. They also introduced a new section called Raven Projects by CIFF, which was curated by London concept store LNCC founder John Skelton.
This new area housed around 20 emerging menswear and lifestyle brands in a new trade show format that merged a spacious and directional retail experience with the traditional trade show concept, through doing away with the classic booth layout and introducing unique fixtures and fittings and a heavily edited approach to brand selection. While footfall appeared slightly sluggish compared with other busier parts of the CIFF show, brands were happy with the new shop-like environment.
“Clothes on simple rails can get boring so this is so refreshing. Buyers see so much over a season so it’s good to have a new concept to excite them. This set up also allows buyers to actually visualise what the product will look like in a store, which is a great idea,” said Charlotte Long, director of London menswear designer brand James Long, which exhibited as part of the Raven Projects area.
“We spend a long time designing the collection so it’s nice to be able to show it somewhere that feels just as considered and really shows it off. I think buyers will more inspired and get to know the brand better than at a normal show,” agreed Katy Rutherford, co-founder of London denim brand Story Manufacturing, who was also part of the new area. “We’ve seen lots of Japanese buyers, some American and Korean too, as well as some from the UK,” she said.
Emil Krainer, export manager for Danish contemporary womenswear brand Bitte Kai Rand, who was showing in the larger Style Setters area of CIFF, was equally upbeat. “It’s been really crowded in this hall and the atmosphere is just fantastic. It’s nice to come to a show that’s really buzzing, considering Scoop [the London womenswear trade show], wasn’t buzzing at all. We’re happy CIFF continues to offer new things, I’m surprised again. The specialness of areas permeates through the whole of the show and puts everyone in an inspired mood.”
Nana Liv, founder of women’s footwear brand Sargossa, which was exhibiting in the Style Setters Bungalow area of CIFF, said this show had the best atmosphere off all trade shows. “The curation is perfect and having all these different areas under one roof is great. We’ve seen lots of Danish and some of our Brit customers, with orders placed increasing by three times.”