Gloomy skies greeted Drapers as the team arrived at the autumn 20 editions of contemporary womenswear trade show Scoop and mainstream show Pure London, which both ran on 9-11 February – but inside it was business as usual.
More from: Fashion braves the storms at Pure and Scoop
Storm Ciara was a hot topic of conversation around the stands at both shows as several exhibitors reported cancelled appointments because of the travel disruption facing buyers coming from across the UK and Ireland on Sunday.
Strong winds meant Scoop, which returned to Old Billingsgate in the City of London this season, got off to a slow start, and the aisles were quieter than usual. However, footfall picked up by the afternoon and Monday was busier as many appointments were rearranged for later in the show, when the storm was expected to have passed. It was the same story at Olympia London, where Pure’s exhibitors seemed generally pleased with the steady footfall.
Scoop founder and managing director Karen Radley said: “I was struck by the number of buyers who fought to get to the show on Sunday. I was told about two who came from Reading [Berkshire] by taxi and another who battled a seven-hour trip from Tarporley [Cheshire] to get the show – that shows how strong Scoop London is.”
Martin Arnold, portfolio director at Hyve Group, which runs both shows, told Drapers he was happy with the turnout at Pure on the first day: “Considering what’s going on out there, we’re really pleased. God has thrown everything at us.
“It proves that this show is important to the industry, as people were willing to travel here. It’s good old British spirit: every Premiership football match was cancelled, but Pure London has carried on.”
For autumn 20, Pure maintained its womenswear focus, and the mainstream and young fashion sections were noticeably abuzz. Visitors and buyers from retailers and brand such as Selfridges, Asos, Laura Ashley, and independent Jules B were spotted browsing the stands.
Olympia welcomed more than 150 new brands, including 17 sustainable labels in the Conscious section’s new ground floor location at the heart of the show, in an acknowledgement of the issue’s increasing importance.
A key date in many buyers’ diaries, this season Scoop returned to Old Billingsgate from its traditional home at Chelsea’s Saatchi Gallery, which is currently running an exhibition about Tutankhamun.
Exhibitors were broadly pleased with the quality of buyers from premium UK and Irish independents. Both buyers and exhibitors praised the venue, remarking that it was easy to navigate, bright and airy, and highlighted the quirky visual merchandising laid on by Scoop, which included model elephants, tropical birds and exotic plants.
As usual, the show was a well-curated selection of premium womenswear, accessories, jewellery and beauty. Drapers had no trouble finding new labels looking to expand into the UK, including Greek label Devotion and Israel’s Me369. New names were complemented by a strong showing from more established brands such as 2ndday and Merci Delta.
While recognising that the market faces challenges, brands and buyers at both Pure and Scoop were generally optimistic. Several mentioned a slight lift in confidence now that the uncertainty over the recent general election and Brexit has reduced.
Views from the show
Sian Currie, owner of lifestyle independent Luxury Bubble in the New Forest
I always come to Scoop. I’m looking for sustainable brands as that’s what my customers are asking for. I’m also looking for brands from the US and outside of Europe post-Brexit. Before the tariffs would have been too high but if there are free trade deals that puts them into a different position, which could be good for me and them. I prefer this venue over the Saatchi Gallery – it is open and easy to navigate.
Lorna Moseley, owner of Icon boutique in Essex
I hadn’t been to Scoop for a few years but it looks really good in this venue. We already deal with a few brands here but I’m back because I’m looking for something a bit different. I’m looking for a reasonably priced cashmere brand. My customers are looking for good value – they don’t want to spend £400 on a jumper.
Lela Noir, UK and international wholesale director, 2nd Day
Even with the storm we’ve seen some good buyers – quality multi-brand buyers come to Scoop. We’ve seen some new and some existing customers and there have been a lot of Irish buyers coming to the stand. We come to Scoop because we’re looking for more UK customers and the best ones come here. Karen [Radley] always puts on a good show. Old Billingsgate is a beautiful venue. I really like the layout – it is very easy to browse through and you don’t miss anything as you walk round.
Natalie Massey, brand manager of womenswear at agency Zone Two
It’s quiet [at Scoop] because of the storm. We’ve had a few people cancel appointments because they can’t get here but they are planning to come on Tuesday instead. We have met a few good customers though, despite the weather, indies from across the UK and Ireland. We are here because this is a relevant show and we want to make sure our brands are on the map.
Bella Singleton, founder and designer at Bella Singleton
So far it has been quiet. I’ve not done Scoop before, so I’m just taking it as it comes. I’m feeling quite positive, we’ve had a few boutiques coming to visit us. I like this venue, it has a really easy layout. Buyers aren’t having to fight their way through rooms. I haven’t done a trade show in a while, so with the launch of our clothing it made sense to come to Scoop. We’re looking for new customers and just wanted to show the buyers the clothes in person – that’s what’s great about trade shows. There’s nothing like seeing it in person and it’s all good exposure.
Amber Clibbens, wholesale manager at Pretty Lavish
We prefer to Pure to Moda as there’s more young brands here like us. We see a lot of our independent stockists here especially from Ireland and Manchester and expect our bigger stockists like Asos, Next and Silkfred to stop by. It’s not as busy as usual on the first day but we’ve had a lot of our Scottish and international stockists and visitors saying their flights and trains have been cancelled. They will still make it for the later days of the show though.
Our section seems quite chilly, compared to summer when it was boiling with no aircon. But there are some really good brands around us. Organisation has been good. The only issue has been that we have a lot of occasionwear styles and weren’t told we needed to pre-order taller clothes rails. We’ll definitely come again in summer.
Lauren Harris, key account manager, Extras Group representing Claudia Canova and Smith & Canova
It has been a bit quiet on our stand [at Pure] and those adjacent which were really busy last year, but the show in general seems quite busy. There aren’t many new faces so far on the first day but that may be because of the weather. Last season had a busier start but its Tuesday that tends to be the busiest. We picked up some key accounts last year, including Stitch Fix and so it’s an important show for us that we will keep coming back to. We usually see Asos coming by and are expecting some key appointments in the coming days. Tradeshows are really expensive so if you had a bad season you do have to consider seriously if you will go back again but it’s important to be out, to be seen and to be able to show buyers a full collection.
Sarah Grogan, UK key account manager, Frugi
It’s been busy, and our stand [at Pure] has definitely seen a lot of traffic, with a few orders already written. We used to do Bubble but this our first time at Pure. So far this season we’ve done Index, Pitti and Supreme. We’re happy with the sustainable section this year, but don’t know as many brands as we thought we might around us and were expecting a bit more kidswear. In terms of where people are coming from, so far there have been Scandinavian brands and also a lot of Irish interest.
Victoria Eaton, designer, Jeff Brussels
We’ve opened up a few new accounts already on the first morning [at Pure], but footfall is down due to the weather with a lot of Irish names missing. It’s usually a stampede on the first morning. When we got here we had some issues with our stand in that they hadn’t built our wall and so that delayed us for a few hours in setting up. We’ve seen Jules B so far which is a big account for us. It’s an order writing show for local UK and Irish buyers and is an important one for us.
Elif Yuksel, director at Turkish manufacturer Creazone Textile
We exhibited at the winter edition last year, and the Pure Origin section is much bigger this time. The stage and catwalks are a nice addition – they attract more people to this area. We’ve seen three to four potential customers on day one, so I’m happy. Even if only one potential customer visits your booth and you then connect with them, that’s success. We’re a high-quality manufacturer so brands come to us when they want to upgrade their quality. We’re working with brands in Spain and Italy in Europe, and now the UK is a key target market.
Milena Zdravkova, owner of London-based Milena Textile Design Studio
Pure Origin is becoming bigger and busier. I like the speed networking area – it has been busy for most of the day. I think the organisers have been doing a good job of promoting Pure Origin, and generally it’s becoming more popular. It’s definitely worth coming to.
Dea Baker, director, Aqua & Rock
It’s our first time [at Pure] this season. I think the show is very well organised with which stand goes where and the catwalks. My market isn’t just the UK, and Pure is an international show, it’s more open than Moda. So far, we’ve seen buyers from France, Ireland and Scotland, as well as ones from Manchester – people like to support British manufacturing. And there are supposed to be buyers coming from Japan on Tuesday.