A sense of quiet confidence pervaded the autumn 17 edition of mainstream trade show Moda, which took place at Birmingham’s NEC exhibition centre on 19-21 February.
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Drapers joined the throng of buyers, agents and exhibitors of 1,450 collections making their way to the show to be greeted by a generally positive mood, although there were a few grumbles from exhibitors that the show had got off to a slow start first thing on Sunday.
Traffic picked up later in the show, although footfall did vary from hall to hall. There was a constant flow of people in the women’s and men’s wear sections, but some exhibitors in the quieter accessories hall were left feeling disappointed.
However, reflecting the mood at the London trade shows earlier this month, overall buyers and brands alike seemed in good spirits, keen to get autumn 17 off to a strong start after a difficult 2016.
Plenty of buyers were spotted sitting down to make orders and talk business at the show. Most seemed to be catching up with their existing brands, rather than hunting for new editions to add to their rosters. Nonetheless, several new independents were said to have been perusing the aisles.
The buyers Drapers encountered were mostly local independents, although some exhibitors said they had seen representatives from the larger department stores.
It was the second season for Moda’s burgeoning activewear section, which sat within the lingerie and swimwear zone, and included brands such as Björn Borg, Acai Activewear and South Beach. Exhibitors within the activewear section were pleased with their prominent spot and said an increasing number of lingerie buyers had stopped by the stands, looking to expand their product offer.
“The set-up of the activewear area is really good – it’s a real benefit to be so close to the lingerie brands,” said Kasia Bromley, designer at Acai Activewear. “A lot of business has come from lingerie boutiques looking to expand. The two sit together really nicely.”
Moda offered a seminar schedule for new retailers on the third day of the show. “New Business Tuesday” included topics such as social media for fashion retailers, how independent retailers can thrive through the difficult first 12 months and how best to work with influencers.