The seventh Bread & Butter Barcelona saw a bit of spring cleaning by the organisers.
TITLE NEW ORDER
SLOGAN Profile your business
DATES July 2-4, 2008
After a weeding out of less-than-selected brands, there were about 60 fewer exhibitors (leaving a measly - ha ha - 893 for visitors to view). The halls and sections, meanwhile, were re-engineered to improve navigation.
An improved entrance arrangement speeded the ingress of the more than 89,000 visits. This was a decline from the previous season - the first time the event had lost numbers. Fewer visitors from Spain, Germany and Italy was the cause. By contrast, UK visits increased to a new high of 7,516, up 12%.
Some new attractions did not excite many UK visitors though. One was The Source, the new B&B hall for the textile industry - mainly the denim sector, actually. But for its inaugural Denim Talkshow,
B&B typically pulled in big names - Elio Fiorucci, François Girbaud, Adriano Goldschmied and Luigi Martelli of the eponymous Italian laundries formed the undeniably expert panel.
Inspired by the Bauhaus movement, the season’s advertising campaign highlighted the show’s “New Order”. But buyers looking for new things to order were disappointed as brands once again paraded rails full of checks, 1980s sportswear, printed tees, coloured denims, tech-looking fabrics and fruit-salad brights for womenswear.
Happily, any worries about what might entice punters to buy in the autumn were forgotten as the Brit pack partied heartily at the Buda Bar and at parties thrown by, among others, French Connection and lads’ mag FHM.
Karl-Heinz Müller and the highly efficient team he’s built around him have changed forever the way the jeans and casualwear business interacts. We were used to long-term fairs like SEHM or Cologne staying in one place, but to make a fantastic success in four different venues in two countries is unique. My best memory is not of any show, however, but of Karl-Heinz’s 50th birthday party in Berlin on February 23, 2007. It was organised with all the attention to detail you’d expect and was a complete blast. If they have an equivalent to knighthoods in Germany, I think the bearded smiler is due one.