An upbeat mood filled the air on day one of trade show Pure London, as stands steadily filled with buyers ready to write orders.
Pure London launched its new menswear section this season and several brands told Drapers they had decided to show here rather than Birmingham show Moda (February 21-23) as a result.
Nick Wilson, southern account manager for men’s heritage brand Wolsey, said: “We used to do Moda but because it’s so late in the season we stopped to try this instead. We figured because it’s the first season of Pure doing menswear there would be a bit of buzz about it and I think being right by the entrance will help. It’s early, but we’ve been told to expect some good buyers.”
Michael Parker, sales manager for menswear brand Guide London, said: “We previously showed at Moda, but it has become a bit bland and we were only seeing current customers. Pure has a good buzz and we are hoping to pick up some export customers.”
For some exhibitors, Pure – which runs from February 14-16 at Olympia London in Kensington – got off to a relatively quiet start on Sunday morning. Laura Fehily, key account manager for TLG Brands, said: “So far so good today, but it is a lot quieter this season. I’m sure it will pick up tomorrow. It’s really important for us to be here as it is how we pick up a lot of our new customers.”
Sanjay Sehgal, director of young fashion womenswear brand Girl in Mind, agreed: “It has been a bit of a slow start, but you can’t tell until the end: sometimes it picks up after lunchtime.”
However, Bethan James, brand manager representing Soaked in Luxury for agency TCA Showroom, said: “So far the first day is going well. We’ve been fairly busy, and it’s important for us to be here, just for brand presence and to pick up some new accounts. Today I am expecting a lot of existing customers, and then tomorrow I think we’ll see more prospects.”
Penny Stainthorp, UK agent for French brand Mat de Misane, said: “We’ve had a busy first morning and already had a couple of key accounts onto the stand. We think it has been well organised, and it certainly feels busier than the Sunday did last season.”
Gareth Austin- Jones, director at women’s footwear brand CocoRose London, added: “It’s still early but moving the premium footwear down into the main hall has been great. It’s a lot busier down here and it makes a lot of sense as buyers can pull full looks together.”
Buyers, meanwhile, seemed pleased with the mix of brands. Brian Linnett, owner of My Guy Clothing in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, said: “We’re here to just walk around and see what brands are here and what the future trends will be. We’re here for new brands and are after forward order and short order stock. We love how professional Pure is and it’s still a really relevant show for us. We’re staying for two days this season as there’s so much to do.”
Jason Hall, director of independent store Gridlock in Deal, Kent, said: “We used to find lots of footwear brands here but I think that area is getting smaller, which is a shame. It’s still a really good show and mix of brands. We’re here for new brands mostly and you never know what you’re going to find.”
On the launch of the menswear section, Ian Holdcroft, director of British brand Shackleton, said: “We were a little unsure at first if we were going to menswear at Pure as well as Jacket Required because that show does such a good job, but Pure offered us some speaking slots which made it more appealing. We’re happy with the footfall because we’re right next to the door but time will tell if it keeps up.”
Laszlo Molnar, sales manager of Hungarian menswear brand Yuuths, which is looking to expand into the UK for the first time, said: “We looked at what others menswear shows were available in the UK but we chose this one because it’s the first time so it’s exciting to be a part of and hopefully that will draw people in.”