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Pure attendance hit by London rioting

Visitors stay away on third day after year-on-year rise over first two days.

Attendance at this week’s edition of Pure London closed 3% down on last August’s show after riots affected the final day.

Year-on-year figures were up on the first two out of the three days, and the number of revisits – visitors attending the show on more than one day – was up 13% year on year at the end of the show. But some attendees stayed away on the third day after rioting overnight in the capital.

This edition saw the show split across two venues for the second time, with womenswear show Pure London remaining at Olympia, while Pure Spirit, its younger directional sister show, stayed at Earls Court with menswear exhibition Stitch.

Buyers attending both Pure London and Pure Spirit were generally upbeat, though most had kept their spring 12 budgets flat.

Speaking on the third day, Kelly Goss, founder of young fashion label Rock ’n’ Needle, said: “I know its nothing compared to what some shop owners have been through but I’ve already had four appointments cancelled today. Thankfully it’s picked up in the afternoon but some people left early. It’s a real shame for some.”

Mark Ashton, owner of young fashion brand Little Mistress, said: “We had a target of 50 new accounts by the end of the three days and we managed to get 48 in the first day. It’s been a brilliant show for us.”

Janine O’Keefe, owner of contemporary womenswear indie O’Keefe in Esher, Surrey, said she was excited by the quality of the brands exhibiting: “I was very impressed with the footwear area and picked up a couple of new brands there. I was looking for brands which offered something that was on trend and good value because, let’s face it, in this climate people are worried about margins.”

A spokesperson for Pure London, which is organised by Drapers publisher Emap, said international attendance at the event rose this year, with representatives from countries such as the US, Spain, Lithuania and Peru.

Lawanda Wallace, owner of New York womenswear boutique Lu’s Bazaar, said: “We’ve been introduced to lots of new brands and the show is very on trend.”

More than 1,100 brands exhibited across the two shows and most were positive about the number and quality of buyers they saw.

However, some brands said they were slightly disappointed with the number of visitors, while one buyer commented that the brands exhibiting at Pure London were out of touch with what customers want.

“It seemed quiet this year,” said Andy King, UK sales agent at footwear brand Mephisto. “We were quite far back in the section though so maybe it just seemed quiet.”

This is the last time that Pure London and Pure Spirit will be sited in separate venues. For the next edition on February 12-14, both shows will be at Olympia.

Meanwhile, at menswear show Stitch, which ran alongside Pure Spirit, brands reported visitor numbers were steady.

Also, this week, premium womenswear show Scoop took place at London’s Saatchi Gallery, menswear show Jacket Required was held at Rochelle School in Shoreditch, and streetwear show Margin took place at The Music Rooms in London. See next week’s issue of Drapers for coverage of all these shows.

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