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Bread & Butter visitors up but no-show for new trends

Bread & Butter put in another solid performance at its autumn 11 edition, although there were signs that some more directional indies looked to other trade shows for inspiration for the season.

While indies at Bread & Butter told Drapers they still attended the Berlin streetwear show for the core of their buy, some said shows such as Capsule and Tranoï in Paris, which ran after Bread & Butter, provided them with new labels.

One directional buyer at Bread & Butter, which took place at Tempelhof airport in Berlin from January 19-21, said he was heading direct from the show to Tranoï in Paris, which ran from January 22-24, to look for “icing on the cake” collections for autumn 11. Others said they returned to menswear show Pitti Uomo in Florence the week before because smarter trends had made the show interesting again.

Another buyer said: “Bread & Butter wasn’t too bad, but I really liked Capsule in Paris. It’s more directional and easier to get around.” Capsule also ran from January 22-24.

Organisers at Bread & Butter did not supply visitor figures for the show, but said the number of attendees had increased. Bread & Butter president Karl-Heinz Müller, said: “We’ve broken all records: more visitors, an even higher internationality [a broader spread of countries] and the best mood on the side of the buyers. No sign of crisis anymore.”

There was an increase in the proportion of British visitors, which comprised 8.7% of the total. Brits made up 7.2% of the audience in January 2010.

Buyers from retailers including John Lewis, Asos, Shop Direct, Bank, Essex-based mini-chain Choice and West Midlands indie Diffusion were at the show, which showcased about 600 brands.

The mood was generally upbeat and, although the number of UK indies that made the trip seemed lower, some said the show was about the quality of those attending rather than volume.

Jonny Hewlett, UK managing director of denim brand Diesel, said: “It was a positive three days for the UK and the team as a whole. All of our major customers sent senior buyers. It was quality as opposed to quantity.”

Price hikes for autumn 11 were at the forefront of buyers’ minds, with some brands reducing the amount of cotton in their collections to reduce their exposure to cotton price rises. One menswear indie buyer said: “Everyone was complaining about how much the prices have gone up due to the price rises in cotton and other fabrics like polyester.

“It’s hard to say [how much prices have gone up] but if you were to include VAT it would be around 4% to 5%. It was quite a funny show in regards to this: optimism with a little bit of pessimism.”

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