Premium womenswear trade show Scoop International made a triumphant return to its ancestral home at the Saatchi Gallery in London’s Chelsea today, as buyers filed into the lower floors looking for quirky new brands to give their stores a point of difference.
The show returned to the Saatchi this weekend after a season away at Old Billingsgate, its temporary home while the gallery hosted last year’s Rolling Stones exhibition. Drapers found the walk down the Kings Road this morning pleasingly familiar, and this sentiment was echoed by many of the brands and buyers inside.
Despite the icy February weather, the mood at the show – which now in its 13th edition – was warm. The venue, with its white walls and bright lighting, continues to impress. “It’s a more comfortable venue and the King’s Road is such a good location,” said Dahlia Razzock, founder of her eponymous womenswear label. “I’m expecting to see more buyers this season because there a lot of boutiques in the area and it’s easy for them to pop round to the show to check out new brands.”
Scoop felt busier than it has in previous seasons, evidenced by bustling queues for coffee and a fight for the increasingly crowded cloakroom.
Buyers seemed to have left the general doom and gloom of last year in the past, hunting for new brands and looking forward to a positive autumn 17. Many said they were prioritising new, unusual brands over anything else in a bid to shake up their product mix.
Karen Radley, the founder and chief executive of Scoop, said it has been a welcome return and that the industry felt broadly buoyant, although added she had worked hard to include a wider range of price ranges in the show.
“Old Billingsgate was fun and gave us the chance to be creative but the Saatchi Galley is Scoop’s home, so it’s great to back. More than ever, buyers are looking for something a bit different, a bit quirky and a bit fun, and that’s why they come to Scoop.
“I think there has been some concern in the industry lately but people are still positive and upbeat. Scoop has never just been about price but this season it was important to include some more entry-level price brands, because buyers want a good variety of price ranges.”
Exhibitors on the ground floor were enthusiastic, praising the strong mix of brands and the level of organisation. As usual, those on the top floor were slightly less impressed as it took longer for buyers to filter their way up.
Footfall dipped after lunch, and it was assumed that many buyers were headed over to rival London show Pure.
Brands seemed less concerned about the drop in the value of the pound than those Drapers has spoken to at other shows, reflecting Scoop’s premium offering. Most said that although they were keeping an eye on prices, it wasn’t a particular concern.
All in all, it was a confident show at Scoop this season and despite fears of an uncertain year ahead, generally buyers were ready to do business.
Scoop runs until 14 February.
Views from the show
Kate Evans, owner of Precious in Spitalfields:
I come to Scoop because it’s a well edited show. It’s such a great location that’s bright and well lit, and when you see products here they look how they would in a store environment. For me , it’s an inspiring space. I come to Scoop to get a general overview of what brands are doing for the season but also to find some new brands, which I have this season.
Pablo Holland, agent at Five 0 Five:
The show has been great for us. It was really busy right from the get go and people have been writing orders. It’s such a well-organised event and we’ve seen a really nice spread of people from across the industry, ranging from indies to buyers from department stores. None of my brands are worried about the drop in the value of the pound or are raising their prices, I think after the initial shock of Brexit, everything’s levelling out.
Lucy Walsh, managing director of The Brand Ambassadors, representing Woden and Mos Mosh:
I have signed three new accounts for Mos Mosh and two for Woden, which isn’t bad for the first morning, and we have seen existing clients. People’s orders have been up. There is a real air of optimism, people have come out fighting after a difficult 2016.
Sigi Dorn, export sales manager at Airfield:
I like the mood and it’s a very pure setting, which is great for showing off the product. There’s a good mix of brands and the art behind [the stands] is very special; it’s part of the experience, and clients like it. So far we have seen mostly Irish customers. There hasn’t been a rush, but there has been a constant stream of visitors. We’re on the first floor so people come in and make their way up.
Judith Jorgensen, owner of Sevenoaks lifestyle indie Danish Collection:
Scoop at the Saatchi Gallery is always a unique show for us. We go to Pure for volume, but here it’s about finding niche brands that help you to offer more value for money and give a different edge to your store. We found [Danish brand] Mos Mosh at Scoop: that attention to detail is what we like.
Mary McCann, co-owner of US brand Kinross Cashmere
“This is the first time we are showing in the UK and at Scoop. The traffic [on the second floor] has been a bit slow but we understand we are a new brand. I think the more established businesses are downstairs. It’s catch 22, we’re very excited about the show but we would prefer to be in an area that’s on the lower floor that has good traffic. We walked the show in the summer [in Old Billingsgate] and felt that was more open and less segmented. But the quality of products here is great and it’s a great fit for us.”
Birgitte Herskind, owner of eponymous brand
“We have had a good show, we have seen some new clients and some old ones and we have already written three orders. There are a lot of people here, but I hope a lot of the big buyers will come tomorrow as they are not here today.”