With memories of Emap Fashion’s trade event, 40 Degrees, quietly gathering dust, the new kid on the block, For Attention Of, is filling its shoes quite snugly. The street and casualwear show, FAO — launched in February 2003, only one season after 40 Degrees, the main London-based casualwear show that had been running for 13 seasons — finally closed its doors.
This story first appeared in the May 28, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
FAO, organized by Brand Progression, is the sister show of To Be Confirmed, a juried trade show that launched five seasons ago in February 2001. FAO invites only exclusive exhibitors, buyers and press, with 100 contemporary labels showing at the August show, including Clarendon, Noah, Rosasen and Diesel Style Lab.
FAO’s February launch saw more than 2,000 guests file through its South London doors. This season, the event will be held Aug. 10-11 in the Truman Brewery — an exhibition hall on East London’s fashionable Brick Lane.
The show will be extending its exhibitor list from 50 to 80 brands, including Komodo, Criminal, Red Tape and Guide. Covering only 50,000 square feet of exhibitor space, the FAO exhibitor lineup is tightly edited and reassessed for each event, with a selection criteria based upon a brand’s importance in the market, as well as the potential of new, upcoming brands.
FAO has fresh appeal working in its favor, and has created a modern image in the market. All creative work for the show is produced by the design agency Hingston Studios, whose clients include Harvey Nichols, Christian Dior and the Rolling Stones. Exhibitors’ logos are projected sequentially, as a visual backdrop throughout the event and professional digital photography of the event and stand is offered to all exhibitors free of charge. FAO will keep its database up to date throughout June and July with information on new signings and event developments.
TBC has a strict no-marketing policy and allows exhibitors only one to three garment rails.
“The aim is to focus solely on the product,” said a spokesman for the show. In contrast, FAO exhibitors can use flyers, posters and campaigns within their stand, which is available in a pre-built format to make exhibiting easier for some of the smaller brands and particularly those coming from abroad. TBC will run on the same dates as FAO, to be held at the Atlantis Gallery space, also on Brick Lane.
Entering its fourth season, Moda UK — the mainstream women’s wear show — will be held at Birmingham’s NEC Exhibition Center Aug. 10-12. Show organizers ITE Moda Ltd., a member of the ITE Group, would not release attendance figures, though it noted that last February’s show drew 600 labels showing from more than 13 European countries, as well as Canada and the U.S.
The event will expand in August, by introducing two new areas, Moda Bride, a bridal show, and Moda Modern, a casualwear event. “In response to the requirements of the industry, we will have all our collections under one roof on the same date,” said a company spokesperson.
There was an increase in overseas visitors last season — almost doubling the total from August 2002, though organizers would not provide exact figures. North American brands such as Betmar New York and Piccadilly made up 4 percent of exhibitors.
Emap Fashion has been having an identity crisis as of late, closing first its 40 Degrees show and then Face Up and finally deciding to put all its efforts into the Pure women’s wear show, its venture with the Igedo Company, scheduled to run Aug. 17-19, covering a 248,400 square feet of space at the Olympia Exhibition Center in West London.
40 Degrees was closed after the August 2002 event, with a statement saying the show had run its course. Emap Fashion then announced “exciting plans” for Pure Spirit — a new teen-focused event that launched alongside Pure Women’s Wear in February 2002 — and Face Up — a show that ran alongside 40 Degrees and shone the spotlight on contemporary labels. Within months, the company released another statement announcing the closure of Face Up and stressed a new focus on Pure Spirit.
There are now six areas within the Pure lineup: Pure Accessories, carrying brands such as Butler & Wilson, Cosmopolitan and Ollie and Nic; Pure Spirit, with younger labels such as Soochi, Giant and Arrogant Cat; Pure Vision, a range of designers with a focus on creativity and original detail, such as Sophia Swire and Kyros; Pure Life, which exhibits unisex lifestyle brands, including CCDK, Mark O’ Polo and Great Plains; Pure Elan, which shows contemporary brands such as Gotham Angels, Noa Noa and Nougat, and Pure Essentials, a high fashion and casualwear range of labels including Pinstripe, Nomads and Vibe.
This season will see Pure Spirit housed in a 43,200-square-foot arena within the National Hall, adjacent to the main hall and accessible from all other sections of the exhibition. Pure Accessories also has its own 47,520-square-foot floor. “Buyers will see an increase in quick-delivery brands, enabling retailers to compete with the high street,” said Louise Young, Pure’s event director.