The spring 18 edition of Pure London kicked off in style embracing its “oriental futures” theme with an eastern-inspired catwalk on Sunday 23 July.
Despite the uncharacteristically cold weather and recurring London transport issues, buyers took to the halls of London’s Olympia at a steady pace and the larger womenswear brands in the main hall praised the first day of the show.
The aisles felt busy in areas on the ground floor and the main stage catwalk drew a crowd, as did the seminars in the Spirit area, including one hosted by Drapers head of content – fashion and features Graeme Moran.
While the ground floor was busy in the morning, areas further into Olympia – including the menswear, footwear and athleisure areas – were quiet, although exhibitors were hopeful footfall would improve later in the afternoon as buyers filtered through into the various areas.
Views from the show
Lesley Edwards, owner, Jaba Yard
It has been quieter than normal in general. We’re here looking for new brands. I’ve found that a lot of our existing brands are showing at Moda instead this season as it is less expensive.
Kerim Van Der Looy, managing partner Global Shoe Xpo
We’ve found some new brands here. We’re from Amsterdam and we come to London to find something different.
Sajjad Baig, CEO and founder, Closet London
This is our second time at Pure since 2004 [having returned in February this year] and it has been good for us. We have our Irish and Scottish agents here, and we have made lots of appointments. I find that when we show here, our customers can see a broader range of products and a more complete story. It’s a great opportunity to see our customers, even if it’s not really an order-writing show.
Michael Black, founder, Latte
We’ve had a very busy morning. It’s been mostly independents and although it’s always difficult to tell how the show is going to turn out on the first day, the people we’ve seen and the orders we’ve taken have been very promising.
Christian Lawaczeck, country manager UK and Ireland, The Masai Clothing Company
We’ve had a good solid start to the show and there’s been a great reaction to the spring 18 collection, so we’ve feeling very positive. So far, it’s been predominately the independents that we’ve seen which is what we expected, the bigger customers will be along on the later days of the show.
Laurence Morse, UK and Ireland country manager, O’Neill
It has been quiet this morning but I’m guessing it will pick up later on today in terms of footfall. It’s our first time showing at Pure. We’re reinvigorating the brand at the moment, so it’s good to come here to gauge customer reaction to the product. For us it’s about getting the brand out there again rather than writing orders.
Emily Ko, sales manager, Emin & Paul
We’ve been coming here for many years now and we have a very fixed customer that we always see at Pure London. Our customers are expecting us to be here now, so we have to be here. People need to come and see the collection in person and touch the fabrics to get a feel for it. People come to Pure knowing what they want, and knowing the kind of brands they want to find so we tend to see the same people each season.
Chantelle Sowter-Murphy, UK account manager, Birkenstock
It has been quite quiet upstairs but I’m hoping people will filter upstairs soon. We’ve had a really good season so far. The good weather has helped of course but we’re pleased with the brand’s overall performance. We are now working with some great accounts including Mr Porter and Oi Polloi and our stockists are feeling positive.”
Nicole Pitter Patterson, consultant, Afrodesiac
It’s been a good start and there’s been a steady stream of interest in our stand. I’ve spoken with an Italian agent and buyers from around Europe, so I’m excited about the opportunities the show will bring. I’ve been following up from conversations with people via email and it seems positive.
Morten Roed Simonsen, sales manager, Rosemunde
Being a Danish company we of course read the headlines and see Brexit is going on and we’re trying to figure out what it’s all about, like everyone else. But customers like our products, they’re good quality, and that’s why they come back to us. So we feel the mood [among buyers] is positive.”
Rachel Leggat, sales agent at Just Consultancies, on the Ichi stand
It’s been quite quiet so far but it’s early. People have breakfast first, it’s more of a leisurely day. Having said that, we saw our first customers at 9:30am. I think people are buying deeper into existing brands, as opposed to looking for new names. They’re sticking to what they know is safe because it’s a difficult market. If they take a risk on a new brand, they’re keeping the orders really tight.
Shelley Crockford, founder, Barror
It’s our first time showing at Pure. I’ve worked in the industry for a long time and Pure’s always been the one people mention in the UK. I looked at trade show Jacket Required but they want you to be already selling to people. I know there were some plus-size brands here but not lots, so that was an opportunity. We have had a few people come over and we’ve had some very positive conversations. We will see if any of that materialises into direct orders – but either way, it’s good to get that exposure.
Jay Chawla, director, Nova of London
It’s been OK so far. It’s been 10 years since we’ve been to Pure, so it’s a bit of a relaunch for us – we came back to reintroduce ourselves to customers. Trade shows are not the same as they were 10 years ago – they have evolved so that they are finding more ways to bring people in, and trying different ideas. But I think more needs to be done to target and attract European buyers in particular. With the pound as it is at the moment, there is always an advantage to be gained.