Mid-market mainstream Midlands trade show Moda stayed faithful to a traditional format, which pleased visitors and buyers alike.
More from: Comment: Moda holds the middle ground
While some stands at the autumn 18 edition of the men’s and women’s wear, footwear and accessories show, which ran on 18-20 February at Birmingham NEC, were busy, overall footfall felt a little flat. Womenswear brand Marble and newcomer Hope were among those who enjoyed a steady stream of buyers on their stands, but those on the outer edges of the show said they had seen fewer visitors.
Although the aisles felt quiet as team Drapers made its way around the show, many exhibitors said they were pleased with the turnout and had been busy writing orders. As with previous editions of the show, most of the buyers were from UK and Irish independents.
“We’ve been writing orders all and I’d say about half of those have been from existing customers and half from new,” said Yathukulan Kanagaratnam, business development manager at occasionwear brand City Goddess. “People have definitely come to do business. However, when we speak to independents, they all say that business is only so-so, everyone is finding it tough out there at the moment.”
Despite not being the most directional of events, brands applauded Moda for staying true to the traditional trade show format. There were new women’s and men’s wear brands on offer in Moda’s Edit section, which is dedicated to up-and-coming labels, but the show’s staple mainstream brands had some of the largest and busiest stands. One agent argued that it is this consistency in exhibitors that keeps buyers coming back season after season, as they know what to expect.
Several brands also highlighted how the exhibition scene has changed over the last few seasons, and the importance of working hard to market being at a trade show to ensure buyers attendance on their stands.
“The show feels quite quiet compared with last season and there’s wasn’t enough density on Sunday for the first day,” said Michael Shalders, director of agency Love Brands. “However, the customers that have made it here are good quality. The orders written so far have been from new customers, as existing customers are much more likely to place orders in the London showroom. The days of turning up at shows and hoping customers will come on the stand are long gone – you have to really work hard now to get them here.”
There were conflicting views on popular product: some saying that buyers are looking for the more traditional staples whilst others noting that a uniqueness or point of difference is now of more importance.
The mood of Moda
Lauren Casey, brand manager, Fashion Developments
For us, this show just seems to get busier and busier. As the stand is always busy, we constantly attract new customers. We see new and existing buyers at Moda: some come to see the full collection that we have on the stand [in all colourways] as this isn’t always available in the showroom. It’s been a very busy first morning and we expect it to get even busier.
Carol Capener, director, Carol C Collections
We’ve had a good reaction so far and orders have been placed. Moda is always one of our busiest shows. I think it’s the right show for our customer base. We work hard to promote the fact that we are here, but it does work and people do come to the stand and place orders.
Stacy Handcock, sales associate, B Young, part of DK Company
It’s been steady so far – not overly busy, but we have seen buyers from across the UK. This is our first time back at Moda after five years and so far it’s been quite successful. Buyers are looking for bread and butter brands to put money into the tills. We’ve seen both new and existing customers today.
Chan Johal, director, Marc Darcy
It has been busy for us and we’ve opened a number of new accounts. The February edition of Moda is always a good show for us. August tends to be a bit quieter, perhaps because more people are away on holiday. We don’t get hundreds and hundreds of visitors on to the stand, but the people who come here write orders. It is a good show to do in terms of brand awareness and we do pick up new business.
Marc Querol, marketing manager, Double H Agency
It feels a little bit quiet in the aisles, but we’ve seen some really good customers here. We have a better stand in a better position than we did at last season’s show and I think it is making a difference –we’re seeing more buyers walking past and choosing to stop by the stand. People are placing orders, and we’ve seen both new and existing customers.
Luke May, sales representative, Wrangler
Moda is a good hub for meeting buyers from the north of the country, from Scotland and also from Ireland. We didn’t stop writing orders all day on the first day and the show has been consistently busy. It is great for networking. Buyers are going crazy for corduroy and sherpa jackets – they seem to be what everyone is looking for.
Milan Ramanandi, sales manager, Palladio
We always come to Moda with our brand Rino & Pelle, which is riding a wave at the moment and doing really well. It does the job for the middle market. I’d say Pure London [on 10-12 February] was busier because we take more of the collection, but for us doing both shows is always beneficial.
Adele Black, director, Latte Clothing
We’re happy, it has been a nice busy show, and we’ve seen a couple of new customers and lots of existing ones. We come to Moda every season because it is convenient for lots of our customers. And we aren’t here for fun – people do write orders. I’d say this edition of the show is on a par with last year in what is a very difficult market. Buyers aren’t buying the usual bread and butter and the same old – they’re looking for something with a point of difference.