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Quality buyers perk up subdued second day of Moda

Exhibitors reported varying levels of footfall as the second day of Birmingham trade show Moda drew to a close on Monday.

Moda overview 5

Moda overview 5

Most agreed that the show continued to feel quieter than in previous seasons, as observed on day one. However, most seemed pleased with the number and quality of buyers, which included the owners of several independents and representatives from department stores such as Fenwick and McElhinneys.

”It’s been steady but not buoyant,” said James Lakeland, managing director of the eponymous mainstream womenswear brand. ”There seems to be a lot of caution in the market at the moment. Brexit is starting to hit people, the exchange rate is a problem and people are aware of it now.”

Lakeland said the show felt smaller, partly because Moda has axed its lingerie and swimwear section. However, he said this had an unexpectedly positive impact on his stand: ”We’ve seen some customers maybe we haven’t sold to for a few seasons. Because the show’s smaller they’re buying from us again.”

John Snare, founder and chief executive of ethical womenswear brand Thought, also described the show as “steady”: ”We had a good day yesterday. The first half was really quite busy but then I think people went to have a Sunday roast and it tailed off.

“Today has been similar: people had a little lie-in, and then came in until lunch and it’s been quieter this afternoon.

“Ultimately I think we’re going to be happy. It is an order-writing show. We have picked up new business here as well, good accounts in towns where we don’t have a presence.”

Love Brands co-founder Michael Shalders, who was at Moda on behalf of menswear brands Signal and Bertoni, among others, said: “It has been a bit quieter today, but we’re still seeing a lot of interest on our stands and had some great conversations.

”There have been some good department store buyers, which is what usually happens on the second and third days of the show.”

Brand agent Mike Spriggs, who was also representing several menswear brands, including Bruhl and Fynch-Hatton, said: “It’s been busier for us today – I wouldn’t say we’ve been run off the stands, but we’ve been taking orders. As usual, we saw more independents on Sunday, as it’s the only time they can take away from their shops, whereas we’ve seen more professional buyers today.”

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