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Denim a hit despite modest visitor numbers at Fashion SVP

The new denim area proved popular with buyers at this season’s edition of manufacturing trade show Fashion SVP. However exhibitors reported lighter footfall than anticipated.

The sourcing event on 26-27 June at London’s Olympia, was attended by start-up designers and smaller brands, as well as larger retailers such as Asos, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis. The event featured 102 exhibitors in total, with 22 in the dedicated denim area.

Buzz Carter, event director at Fashion SVP, said the new denim area was “buzzing”, despite the relatively low levels of footfall at the show overall.

“I have had really good feedback about the dedicated denim area. A lot of these millers have never exhibited before and so it has been great to see them here. The whole denim tradeshow scene is changing. It is becoming much more localised. We wanted to meet that demand.”

He added that visitor numbers rose 7.8% compared to the show last June.

Carter added: ”I think the very hot weather deterred some visitors but the quality of buyers was excellent with 40% more top tier buyers attending compared to last year. The second day was much busier than the first which was unusual. We were also delighted with the strong wave of approval for our Source Denim launch and we were very pleased with the turnout for the conference sessions which were as lively and provocative as ever”.

Tom Rhodes, jean production specialist at T&V Rhodes who was exhibiting at the show for a second time, said: “It is great have a denim show in London. We’ve seen the right kind of buyers looking for jeans and lots of the high street including Oasis, Whistles and Asos.”

However, some suppliers expressed concern over the low levels of footfall at the show compared with previous years.

“It’s been really quiet although the second day was busier than the first,” said Mujde Denizligil creative merchandiser at Turkish company Seven Bros. “Tuesday was saw mainly start-ups but on Wednesday we saw some of the bigger industry players such as Debenhams.”

Pedro Reis, sales manager at Portuguese company Sancar Premium Socks, said: “This is the third time back here – the first two times we developed good contacts that are still working with us, but at this stage we feel the show has not had as much footfall as last February.”

Allen Burns, sales manager at Troop London said: “I’m a bit disappointed with the quality of buyers, they don’t seem serious about doing business.”

Ricardo Miranda, managing partner at Alec, said sustainability was a big concern for buyers: “Buyers that I have spoken to are dissatisfied with Chinese manufacturing and are actively searching for quality manufacturers. I have been asked for certifications in areas such as sustainability repeatedly because it has become a bigger issue across the industry.”

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