Buyers are downbeat ahead of streetwear show Bread & Butter, which kicks off in Barcelona next month.
UK and Irish buyers told Drapers they were not holding out much hope for the show, following a tough season and lack of exciting product at the summer fairs.
Jag Dhami, sales director at Penfield, one of more than 1,000 exhibitors gearing up for BBB, said he was hoping the mood of the UK contingent would improve over the three-day show. "Everyone needs to give it a big kick this season," he said. "The UK market has been slow and I'll be interested to see how many buyers turn up. Retailers are getting bored of not seeing anything new."
However, one source said it was not only the lack of new or exclusive product for the independent market keeping buyers at bay, adding that financial difficulties were keeping many retailers at home.
One young fashion buyer from a multiple added: "It's a Catch-22 situation for some independents. I don't expect to see many because a lot of them owe money on the spring collection. Following a tough season, it is easy to avoid face-to-face contact if you don't go to the shows."
One retailer said sales of menswear had outstripped womenswear over the past season, meaning he would be hunting for new men's brands and trends to carry on the sales momentum.
Carl Peddie, director of Wolverhampton independent Diffusion, added: "Womenswear has been disappointing, but with men's I'm going with an open mind and looking for something different."