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Berlin shows urged to work together

Buyers forced to split their time across the city, while slimmed-down Bread & Butter gets mixed reception.

Streetwear buyers and brands are calling for the organisers of Berlin’s trade shows to work together so they can maximise their trips to the German capital, while reaction to Bread & Butter’s initial transition phase has been mixed.

With B&B, Premium, Capsule, Seek, Bright and newcomer Panorama all taking place at the same time this week, buyers were compelled to split their time across all of the Berlin shows.

Sally Heath, head of multichannel product and trends for fast-fashion retailer New Look, said she spent less than a day at B&B. “Premium, on the other hand, was heaving and definitely more popular than B&B,” Heath said.

“[But] the denim hall [at B&B] was definitely better curated, with clothing, footwear and accessories all mixed up together to create a look with the right brand adjacencies.”

B&B organisers have already made moves to overhaul the show by culling up to 25% of its long-term exhibitors, mainly mainstream brands that can be found at other trade shows, and temporarily reducing overall space by two halls, as it prepares to showcase womenswear next season.

It has also added new food areas with more cafes and bars, but the changes received a mixed reaction.

Darren Conway, buying director at seven-store southeast indie Choice, said the show seemed “a lot quieter” than in previous years. “It is very clever the way they have hidden the missing space, but there are obviously less brands and obviously less people.”

Sach Kukadia, co-founder and buying director of private Sale etailer SecretSales, added: “New shows like Panorama have also attracted a lot of attention, spreading the focus of attendees across numerous locations.

I think B&B really needs fresh innovation, which it’s currently lacking. The show has lost direction and it’s not a matter of organisation but more that the brand portfolio needs refining.”

A senior retail buyer added: “Seek is really strong and Premium is looking better so I might spend less
time at B&B.”

Nevertheless, brands were pleased with the buyer turnout at B&B as Drapers went to press. Andrew Townsin, country manager for UK and Republic of Ireland at French lifestyle brand Aigle, said: “There may be less people here but we’ve seen some leading buyers and retailers.”

However, Townsin added that the differences between each Berlin show needed to be made clearer, with the organisers working together to help brands and buyers plan their trips.

Andy Tompsett, head of UK for young fashion brand Merc, echoed Townsin’s view on buyer turnout. “It’s a case of quality not quantity. We’ve seen some good UK majors and strong indies.

It’s certainly not a disaster.”

Readers' comments (3)

  • A rare case of poor efficency from the Germans!

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  • Or a typical case of bad prep by the Brits?

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  • Touché!

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