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Feedback from Pure Autumn 14

We asked brands, buyers and agents how the autumn 14 season is going for them.

“Indies are looking for something that looks totally different to that found in Primark or H&M. They are sceptical about all the talk of an economic recovery - it sounds like a false economy to many. They are more concerned about what’s happening to their rent and rates bills.”

  • Harry Rogers, owner of womenswear brand Nougat

“Plenty of independents are doing fine but there are a lot that are struggling. They know they have to do a lot more and work a lot harder these days to grow their business.”

  • Paula Freedman, agent for bag brand Bulaggi, which has exhibited at Pure since the first show in spring 1997

“The mood has been mixed. Some of our big accounts that are doing things well are doing well, but others are struggling. We’re hoping to get 20 new accounts for Tramontana at Pure; it’s an important show for attracting new clients. Pure is the only UK show for us - Moda is a bit too frumpy.”

  • Chris Foster-Orr, managing director, agent FOS Fashion Marketing

“Business in central London is very good, but that’s with international visitors. Outside London it’s a different story. People are cautiously optimistic that things are about to change for the better, but it is hope rather than reality so far. Pure continues to be an order-writing show and there are lots of good collections.”

  • Julian Sterck, owner of BLD Fashion Agency

“Everyone is turning a corner and there’s more optimism as I think we’re over the worst. Buyers have been looking for an injection of newness. They want less eveningwear; they’re looking for more versatile pieces that have to be distinctive. Basics have died, everyone has had to adapt their ranges to offer some wow factor.”

  • Noreen Puri, brand director at womenswear label Pomodoro

“It’s been going really well so far this season, we’ve listened to our customers and introduced more colour into the collection. Buyers are more upbeat compared with last year. The economy is better, people have more money in their pockets and they are spending it. It has been our best season for the past four or five years.”

  • Hari Krishnadasan, managing director of mainstream womenswear brand Capri

“Buyers are happier to take risks and definitely want newness. There is more money and confidence than a year ago, when people were playing it safe. Now people are more ambitious and more confident - partly I think it’s that our brand has more visibility now, but it’s also because people are seeing an uplift in the market. I was at [kidswear show] Bubble London and it was the same there.”

  • Martine Joule, head of wholesale product, Joules

“Buyers are still very budget aware but it’s not as apparent as past seasons. They’re looking for more transitional pieces as the weather is so unpredictable and they do want colour, which is refreshing.”

  • Pauline Wickens, sales agent, womenswear label Yacco Maricard

“We’ve had a lot of repeat orders already this season. The pink shades are flying on Paper Dolls as well as the printed floral jackets. The season has been really great so far. Pure has been so busy, it’s buzzing. There is a really big turnout from Ireland.”

  • Mark Ashton, chief executive, Little Mistress Group

“This season is more upbeat, we’ve been selling for three weeks and are already 50% up on last season. Taking the team in-house has restored people’s faith in the brand and buyers are feeling a lot more confident.”

  • Rachel Wiles, UK and Irelandsales manager, womenswear label Bitte Kai Rand

“The look and feel of the show has improved on last year with all of the changes they have made. It feels wider and more spacious, not so enclosed. I don’t normally come to trade shows but I wanted to see particular brands such as Join Clothes and Zuza Bart. People are still being careful with their buying, with many cutting back on forward order. At Prelude we’re just coming out of our Sale and footfall was great until last week’s terrible weather hit.”

  • Pauline Jones, owner of womenswear shop Prelude in Westerham, Kent

‘Pure has refreshed the brands and layout. When you go into a shop as a consumer you want to see something new and as a buyer it’s really nice to see something fresh’

  • Melissa Wheeler, co-owner, Ambiance of Colchester

“We’re a mainstream online womenswear business about to launch next month, so we thought it would be great to come to search for brands. I really liked the catwalk shows and the talks, and there is also a great selection of brands. We came looking for short order as we want spring 14 stock. Standouts have been Soma London and Suzy D, brands that really suit trends for
20 to 40-year-old woman.”

  • Zoe Sorella, buyer at Sorella, Liverpool

“Our priority is to see brands we haven’t yet been to see in their showrooms, but we do tend to have a look for new brands as well as lots of accessories, which the show is really good for. Pure is in such a convenient location for us and it’s a lot more trend-focused than shows like Moda, though it seems smaller than last season.”

  • Laura Burden, buyer’s assistant at home shopping retailer Gray & Osbourn

“It looks a lot better this season and the show makes much more impact. It just feels more contemporary and a lot more premium, which is nicer. There seems to be fewer brands, which isn’t a bad thing as they have been cut to up the overall level of quality.”

  • Deryane Tadd, owner of womenswear store The Dressing Room in St Albans

‘I like the way Pure has been done this year - it’s more open, with clearer walkways and none of the canopies, which used to be a bit claustrophobic. Best brands so far include Urban Code and Nice Things’

  • Alison Goodman, owner of contemporary womenswear boutique Fifi & Moose in Newbury, Berkshire

“It feels busier. I like the layout as it’s much more open, but there isn’t enough seating. It feels more focused and there are some nice new brands - I liked the look of Simclan.”

  • Louise Garner, womenswear controller at buying group AIS

“I’m going away with a strong feel for cashmere as it’s coming through a lot. The weather has been difficult as it’s been mild - we never really got that cold snap - so I’m buying into more trans-seasonal pieces like ponchos, cardigans and pieces customers can layer up.”

  • Hilary Cookson, owner of womenswear independent Maureen Cookson in Whalley, Lancashire

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