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Vibrant CIFF pulls in the cool crowd

Last week we moved on to the next trade show destination, Denmark’s capital Copenhagen and its three exhibitions: CIFF, Gallery and Vision.

Graeme Moran

Graeme Moran

Over recent seasons there has been quite a transformation at the week’s biggest event, the 430,000 sq ft CIFF show. Traditionally a vast mainstream fair for heavyweight brands, for a long time it was always the smaller Gallery that got everyone excited and pulled in the buzziest crowd.

Last February, CIFF launched the Crystal Hall, a tightly edited addition at the front of the show that highlighted new and emerging labels from around the world, all in a sleekly designed and rebranded area. Although interesting, it felt at odds with the rest of the show’s mainstream offer, with neither sitting well beside the other.

However, as the Crystal Hall has grown, this swish rebrand has expanded throughout the whole event, with the autumn 14 season seeing a noticeable increase in quality. More and more brands clearly want to be part of the repositioned CIFF, and the Future Classics, Style Setters and Urban Space halls were filled with strong brands that not only pulled in crowds of buyers but offered something fresh enough to get them writing orders.

CIFF’s organisers have transformed it from a somewhat dreary expanse of lookalike brands to a vibrant and interesting show with a spectrum of contemporary, premium, mainstream, menswear and streetwear brands that are starting to sit well together under one roof.

While it might not have taken the shine off Gallery, it does mean CIFF has itself become a destination for buyers in the city. I’m interested to see how it will continue to evolve and whether it can find the perfect balance of old and new.

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