By and  on February 8, 2007

BERLIN — Denim manufacturers exhibiting at the Bread & Butter Kraftwerk and Premium trade shows here last week expressed continued faith in the denim market, but acknowledged that the style landscape was shifting.

Traditional denim labels, in particular, are finding cause for optimism as the frenzied pace of newcomers entering the market has slowed. Consumers, who faced an overabundance of brands in recent years, are returning to more established and trusted names.

"The market is reorienting itself," said Heiko Klauer, Levi's director of marketing for Germany. "Over the last few years, there have been so many labels offering jeans that consumers have really lost the overview. People are now moving back to the traditional denim brands."

The organizers of Premium, which took place Jan. 26 to 28, said that 700 labels showed and the number of visitors hit a near-record 15,647.

"I am, of course, really pleased that Berlin, which was apparently written off, was very busy," said Premium's co-founder Anita Bachelin, referring to the departure of the Bread & Butter Berlin show. "Next season, with our cooperation with IMG, we will be moving up to a whole other level."

IMG, which already organizes fashion weeks in New York, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Sydney and other cities, announced last week that it would stage a Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin this summer.

Bread & Butter Kraftwerk kicked off its inaugural show in a former electric power station on Jan. 26 and 27, and gave the 30 exhibitors free reign to show their collections however they wanted. There was no lack of creativity on the part of exhibiting brands, from fire-eating cocktail waiters behind an ice bar at Timezone to a Turkish tea house at Mavi. Although exhibitors and visitors said they were impressed with the location, traffic was light. Bread & Butter's organizers declined to give visitor figures, but said the event would take place again this summer, with around 100 exhibitors.

In Germany, the recent rush for skinny jeans has given manufacturers a boost. Over the last season, many manufacturers could barely keep up with demand. Pepe now devotes 80 percent of its collection to slim fits, while Mustang intends to expand its drainpipe range next season.

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