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UK absentees fail to dampen B&B mood

Streetwear show Bread & Butter delivered an upbeat spring 12 edition with a strong international presence despite many brands claiming there was a drop in UK buyers at the show.

Official visitor numbers were not provided, but Bread & Butter, which took place at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin from July 6-8, said the show was the best-attended since its  returned to the city. It added that contrary to anecdotal comments, UK attendance had risen significantly.

Diesel UK managing director Jonny Hewlett said although he was only at the show for one day he saw all the “big UK players”, but added that UK attendance was about “quality as opposed to quantity”.

Multiple retailers attending the trade show included House of Fraser, John Lewis, Shop Direct and USC. However, brands noted fewer UK indies in attendance than in previous seasons. Those that did make the trip included Scottish indie mini-chain Xile, and Javelin, which has two stores in Suffolk.

Charlie Henery, international sales manager at women’s young fashion brand Motel, said there were benefits to the show being quieter. “When it’s not mad busy you’ve got a bit more time to chat and suss out what’s what.

It was still very positive. There was a good vibe and it didn’t feel tired.”

Bench head of product and marketing Rob Griffiths also said that despite trade being tough in the UK, he had “detected some enthusiasm”. He highlighted Germany, France and Spain as growth areas for exports at the streetwear brand.

Meanwhile, Darren Conway, buying director at premium indie mini-chain Choice, said the show was less about finding new brands than it had been in the past. He added: “The product was very similar to what we’re selling at the moment. There wasn’t anything inspirational.” He did however single out streetwear brand Scotch & Soda as a label he was particularly impressed with.

Carl Peddie, co-owner of West Midlands young fashion indie Diffusion, said: “Product-wise everything looked pretty safe, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering the uncertainty at the moment.”

Some 580 brands exhibited, compared with 650 a year ago.

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