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Visitor numbers on the rise at Pure as buyers brave the summer heat

Visitor numbers at contemporary womenswear show Pure were up 9% compared with last year despite the sweltering weather.

Exhibitors and buyers were impressed with the order-writing focus of the show, held at London Olympia on August 5-7.

Tim Parker, wholesale director of Finnish design house Skandium, which was showing the Marimekko brand, said: "We've seen the people we expected to see and have also opened new accounts, despite many retailers having experienced a tough summer's trading."

However, some brands expressed concerns over Pure's growth. "We've been very busy," said Amanda Pratt, co-owner of Avoca Anthology. "But I wonder if the show has expanded too far. The contemporary element could lose its focus."

But several young fashion brands exhibiting in the Spirit section said Pure had plenty of room to widen its appeal.

"Pure needs to introduce menswear and become an all-encompassing trade fair," said Terry Fraser, owner of premium denim brand Blood & Glitter. "Like us, lots of the brands here have a mature menswear offer that we haven't been able to present. Having said that, we've opened several new accounts."

Buyers were upbeat about the show. Carl Peddie, owner of four-store Midlands indie Diffusion, was on the lookout for trend-reactive collections. "We haven't been to Pure for two seasons, and it has grown," he said. "Unlike Bread & Butter in Barcelona, people actually write orders here and we've found some great labels that can turn product around within three weeks."

This enthusiasm was shared by David Fairthorne, owner of two-store retailer Trapeze of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. "There are so many smaller interesting womenswear labels here. Our women's business may not be doing quite as well as men's, but we're still looking for new things," he said.

Pure is organised by Drapers publisher Emap.

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