Buyers and exhibitors praised a fresh-faced Pure London this season as a new layout and the addition of menswear buoyed the atmosphere at the autumn 16 edition.
The show got off to a healthy start at Olympia London on Sunday February 14 and the positive mood carried on into this week, as buyers from multiples and independents across the UK and Ireland filled the stands ready to write orders.
Pure launched its new menswear section this season and some brands told Drapers they had decided to show there rather than at Birmingham fair 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.”
Laszlo Molnar, sales manager of Hungarian menswear brand Yuuths, which is seeking to expand into the UK for the first time, said: “We looked at what other 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 that will draw people in.”
“Overall it’s been a really strong show with good buyers from key accounts, and that’s probably been helped by a fresh look and the launch of menswear,” added Rohina Kumar, creative director of men’s and women’s wear brand Brave Soul.
However, some womenswear buyers found the changes confusing.
“It’s a lovely idea but it needs its own sectioned-off area not at the front, because the majority of people coming here will be buying womenswear,” said Ryan Johnson, buyer at Kent-based men’s and women’s wear independent Woods Designer Clothing.
Lauren Ferguson, owner of Sisters Boutique in Falkirk, Scotland, agreed: “I think it’s a bit mad for a show that’s still predominantly womenswear to have menswear right at the front. And the mix of menswear brands and what they are next to is very confusing as well.”
But Deryane Tadd, owner of The Dressing Room in St Albans, Hertfordshire, welcomed the new layout: “It’s good to mix it up a bit, as it forces people to take a different route and they might stumble upon a new brand that they wouldn’t have seen otherwise.”
She added: “I do a lot of my accessories buying at Pure, so the premium footwear moving downstairs into the premium clothing area was great for me as the adjacencies were spot on.”
Gareth Austin-Jones, director at women’s footwear brand CocoRose London, agreed: “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.”