Buyers attending mainstream trade show Moda in Birmingham this week reported that the event was quiet compared with the autumn 11 edition, despite brands claiming orders were in line with expectations.
The autumn edition of the three-day show, which has a strong occasionwear focus in its Moda Woman womenswear section, is traditionally quieter than the spring edition.
However, buyers told Drapers that the show at Birmingham NEC from February 19-21 seemed even quieter than last February. At the time Drapers went to press, Moda organisers said visitor numbers were flat, but could not provide specific figures.
Rachel Meller, co-owner of occasionwear indie Continental Collection in Barnt Green, Birmingham, said: “It was so quiet that we were in and out within a morning.
“It doesn’t help that all occasionwear collections look the same at the moment and we can’t find anything different to serve the customer, who doesn’t want to wear a knee-length dress with a bolero jacket.”
However, brands were feeling more positive about the show, saying that although it wasn’t that busy, they were still writing orders.
Nigel Hughes, director of agency Apt Collections, which represents mainstream womenswear brands Passport and Gelco, said the show had been steady and that it had opened accounts for both brands.
He said: “It wasn’t that busy but it is about quality rather than quantity and the people we saw were placing orders. Shows are never going to be as well attended as they were three or four seasons ago because of the economic climate.”
Away from womenswear, buyers and brands at Moda Footwear were in a positive mood.
“It’s a much better show for footwear than Pure London,” said Damian Scarlett, managing director of footwear etailer Cloggs.co.uk. “There is enough of a critical mass of brands to make it an attractive show.”
Peter Knight, brand and account development executive at footwear brand Base London, said: “Moda this season has been very good for us. We’ve been impressed with both the level and quality of attendance. It seems that most customers are here to order rather than just browse.”
The show also included the Moda Menswear, Moda Accessories and Moda Lingerie & Swimwear sections.