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Copenhagen spring 17: everything you need to know

The spring 17 editions of CIFF and Revolver delighted exhibitors and buyers alike

The next stop for Drapers on the spring 17 trade show cycle was Copenhagen last week. Running alongside the city’s fashion week catwalk shows, trade events CIFF and Revolver (August 10-12) drew in crowds of buyers. Scandinavian visitors rubbed shoulders with buyers from Harvey Nichols, Net-a-Porter, Browns, Asos, Urban Outfitters, and UK independents End and The Mercantile.

Both shows were positively buzzing, and exhibiting brands and visiting buyers were impressed by the Danish delights on offer, from the brands to the look and feel of the events.

As with most trade shows this season there was a calmer ebb and flow across the three days, although everyone Drapers spoke to deemed the Danish events a success.

CIFF, sited just outside the city at the sprawling Bella Centre, continued to go from strength to strength. Its varied yet edited mix of labels, from mainstream womenswear mainstays to fresh labels and graduates at the directional cutting edge of menswear, offered something for everyone.

As always, Ciff was sleekly presented across its spacious halls with a design-led look – one exhibitor even referred to the show’s elevated feel as an “art exhibition for fashion”. Art installations, a pop-up area by renowned Japanese retailer Beams and a presentation by London Fashion Week’s talent incubator scheme Fashion East and its founder, Lulu Kennedy, added to the appeal of the event, evolving the classic trade show format.

Revolver, which took place at Halmtorvet in the centre of the city, stuck to a more traditional trade show look but drew praise this season thanks to its new and improved layout. Following criticism over the last few seasons, the show built a large temporary marquee at the front of its main hall, creating the feeling that all brands were shown under one roof for the first time, rather than in different buildings. This greatly improved the navigation and general mood of the show.

How was the mood of the shows?

Lee Goldup, senior menswear buyer, Browns

I really enjoyed Copenhagen and loved the city. It was my first time visiting and I would definitely go back. I enjoyed both trade shows, but there was more for us at CIFF in terms of brands. Both fairs were very easy to navigate, were divided well and had great hospitality. Although I’d already seen the vast majority of collections in London and Paris, it was beneficial to see them again in a different, more commercial environment in Copenhagen.

Michael Shalders, co-founder, Love Brands

“CIFF is a great show for us – better than Berlin – and it is so relevant for the UK market. It’s important as a distributor to see what’s going on and what brands are busy. Buyers are being cautious so far this season, footfall was quiet at Pure. But if a retailer in the UK was to travel to one show in Europe, this is the one.”

Emelie Nilsson, chief executive and creative director, Twist & Tango

“We’ve had back-to-back meetings since 9am [on day one], so CIFF has been really good for us. We also had several new accounts today and those were writing orders on the stand. We have seen customers from Korea, Norway and Lithuania.”

Caren Downie, founder, The Finery

“We were very flattered to be asked to take part in [Fashion East founder] Lulu Kennedy’s curated area at CIFF. There’s a great brand mix here. It’s exciting to take The Finery to new markets as the next stage of our development. The Scandinavian market is a good place to start.”

Christopher Fisher, head buyer, Oki-ni

“The Copenhagen shows are quite late in the season but CIFF just keeps getting better and better, and bigger. Some of the big agency show rooms are here, so it’s good to see a lot of things all under one roof. Copenhagen is definitely worth visiting. It’s moved on from just being streetwear focused and it’s great to see brands such as Soulland at Revolver really evolving.”

Lucinda Lammin, head of marketing, Paper Mache Tiger

“Revolver has been good. It is the first time we are showing here as an agency. We want to expand into this territory and thought this was the best place to start as we don’t have as big a presence here. The Scandi buyers don’t seem to travel as much – you don’t see them in Paris or London as much, so we decided to come to them. We’ve had quite a few international buyers visit us here too, from Japan, China and America.”

Christian Jensen, international sales, Wood Wood

“Revolver is always a good show for us with the brand being on its home turf. We’ve had a lot of international appointments here too, even Asian, Japanese and Dutch. We’ve seen good-quality UK buyers too, although it is quite late in the season for UK budgets now. All trade shows are a lot more social now, we do write orders here but there’s a lot of networking too.”

Ashley Marc Hovelle, founder, menswear brand Ashley Marc Hovelle

“I love CIFF. It’s like an art exhibition for fashion. It is probably the best-curated trade show too, and the most chilled out. It gives brands and buyers space to breathe and really think about things and understand brands. Even the rails the clothes hang on and the music are great. It’s one of the best show in terms of aesthetics. We’ll see how well it goes this season in terms of business, but I have met new stores. It is more Scandi focused through, with a few key international. It’s more of a showcase show now.

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