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Storms hit footfall at positive Moda's opening day

A generally confident mood at Moda on Sunday was dampened by heavy rainfall which affected footfall at the NEC show.

As grey clouds lingered over Birmingham, exhibitors and buyers alike confirmed the mainstream sector was in more positive mood, their spirits lifted by the contrastingly good weather over the past few months. Several brands told Drapers that buyers looking to place orders for spring 15 at Moda had been encouraged by the positive reaction to early deliveries of autumn 14 product.

Tim Ormiston, UK and Ireland country manager for Danish womenswear brand Masai, said: “There’s a good mood as summer was a good summer. Our autumn merchandise [hit stores] on July 15 and has sold really well already; we had repeats within days. Ireland is a little more cautious because of the economy, but we’ve opened 20 new accounts in Ireland (north and south) for spring 15. People are looking forward, not back.”

Michael Black, who was showing the Italian-made womenswear line Latte, remarked: “Buyers are in a much more positive mood now than a year ago. It’s noticeably better. You can judge it by (buyers’) demeanour.”

John McElhinney, owner of McElhinney’s department store in Ballybofey in Donegal, is increasing his budget for spring 15 following strong sell-throughs this summer: “The weather has been great; the takings are up, so we’re increasing our budget for next spring. Moda is great for our occasionwear brands and we’ve already written orders today. Things are improving, there is more confidence out there and there is a real feel good factor in the (Irish) economy that we haven’t had for a while.”

Designer James Lakeland told Drapers: “The mood at Moda is very good. Buyers are going back to buying premium products. They want something modern, but wearable. In the 30-60 market, nobody wants frumpy anymore and the [brands] that have moved on from that are doing well. We’ve had autumn reorders already.”

In Moda Gent the story was similar. Donald Finlay, commercial director of Douglas & Grahame, reported: “There is no longer the same focus on low prices from buyers. There is still caution, but buyers are looking for better product, with more interest and detail.”

As usual, Moda presented a strong footwear section. Adrian Gell, sales manager of Barker Shoes, said: “Moda is always an excellent show for us, but I think the bad weather has had an effect on footfall today. Generally the mood of our buyers is good and they are really picking up on our more contemporary styles and attracting a younger customer as a result.”

Ed Waller, sales agent for Fly London, said the brand had a great start to the show on Sunday. “We’ve had people at the stand since we opened this morning despite the weather delays. Buyers at Moda, like those at Pure and GDS this season, are enjoying the new season product particularly the new metallic styles.”

There was general satisfaction at a reworked layout at the NEC, which saw a new shell scheme for stands, Moda Gent given more space and new areas delineated within Moda Woman. The White section brings together more aspirational ranges while Noir puts the focus on prom dresses and eveningwear.

The 26th edition of Moda, which is organised by ITE Moda, attracted about 1,400 collections across womenswear, menswear, footwear, accessories and lingerie. The show runs in Halls 6, 17, 18, 19 and 20 of the NEC until Tuesday, August 12.

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