A rejigged layout and plenty of newness made for a refreshing, if slightly sluggish, spring 19 edition of Jacket Required.
More from: Solid showing at sunny Jacket Required
Buyers and exhibitors praised a strong spring edition of menswear-focused trade show Jacket Required, which took place at east London’s Truman Brewery on 25-26 July. The current heatwave helped to buoy a lively atmosphere on a steady first day, which trailed off to a slower second day. In typical Jacket Required style – where networking is as important as the product itself – a buzzing mid-exhibition party on Wednesday evening, in association with Northern Lights Agency and in memory of Nigel Eley & John-Paul Cassidy, may have contributed further to the slower second day, as well as the soaring temperatures on Thursday.
Organisers tweaked the show’s layout again this season, rearranging some halls and creating a path through all areas that meant visitors had to pass by every stand. Some areas had been reduced in size, while others, such as the first main hall on the lower ground floor, had been expanded.
Although adjusting layouts does help the show to feel refreshed each season, spring 19’s changes created a central space with a winding walkway, sparsely filled with a handful of stands and a seating area, which connected the two main halls. This “no man’s land” between the two halls seemed a bit excessive, and some exhibitors felt that the new layout created a disconnect between the two main areas, as traffic was slow to reach from the buzzier hall at the entrance to the first floor on both days.
The show’s ground floor main hall was particularly strong this season, and presented a good offer of new and interesting international brands – many of which were launching or relaunching for the new season. Danish fashion group Bestseller also used the show as a platform to launch its new brand, Selected People.
Independents were out in force, and teams from retailers such as Asos, House of Fraser and Sport Direct’s USC were spotted. While the show was never overly busy, exhibitors praised the quality of attendees.
This season, Jacket Required put more of a focus on sustainable brands and hosted a sustainability panel talk with representative from brands including Fjällräven, Sandqvist and Kings of Indigo. Overall, exhibitors and brands thought add-on elements like the panel were a nice addition, but not essential.