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Win Some, Lose Some

LONDON — It hasn’t been the best of times for trade show organizers Emap Fashion. They announced the closing of their young streetwear event 40 Degrees, shortly after their last show in August 2002. Launched in 1996, 40 Degrees had always...

LONDON — It hasn’t been the best of times for trade show organizers Emap Fashion. They announced the closing of their young streetwear event 40 Degrees, shortly after their last show in August 2002. Launched in 1996, 40 Degrees had always been a strong contender on the U.K. trade show scene but after 13 shows, the organizers decided the show had run its course.

This story first appeared in the November 27, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“We created a new genre for fashion trade events worldwide and the show has proved to be a successful platform for many brands,” said Steve Newbold, managing director of Emap Fashion. “This is a market that we know incredibly well and we instinctively feel that now is the right time to move on.”

Emap Fashion looks set to concentrate on the Pure and Premier women’s wear shows (both scheduled for Feb. 16 to 18 at London’s Olympia Exhibition Center), their joint venture with the Igedo Company. They are launching Pure Spirit in February, a space for young, vibrant and creative fashion, to run alongside Pure. (Exhibitors have not yet been confirmed). Although there has been no specific reason given for the closure of 40 Degrees, word has it that the show’s popularity has dropped during the past few seasons.

“The main aim of any brand at the shows in general, is to attract and secure new business,” said a spokesperson for the trade show Moda UK, also scheduled to run Feb. 16 to 18 at the NEC Exhibition Center in Birmingham, England.

“Often success is quantified by the number of new accounts signed up during the event. At Moda UK, we try to make it as easy as possible for brands to meet as many bona fide buyers as possible.” The future of Face Up, Emap’s exclusive show for contemporary, top-end labels that launched in February 2002 and ran alongside 40 Degrees, is also uncertain. At press time, no news on the future of Face Up could be provided.

Moda UK, whose organizers proclaim it to be “the U.K.’s only national mainstream women’s wear event” has had no cause for complaint. They saw their show more than doubled in size from its debut event in February 2002 to a second showing in August this year, representing more than 13 countries and more than 6,000 brands.

Waiting in the wings, however, is a new trade show for mainstream street labels. For Attention Of the Marquee, organized by Brand Progression, will launch Feb. 16 to 17 at the British Genius Site in Battersea Park neighborhood. It is the sister show of Brand Progression’s To Be Confirmed, a juried trade show that launched four seasons ago in February 2001, which invites only niche exhibitors, buyers and press, with labels including Fred Perry, Millcrate Athletics and One True Saxon. This show has had such an extensive waiting list of exhibitors wanting to take part that the company decided to open FAO to cater to more labels.

“Some brands show their premium and diffusion labels at TBC, but their mainstream labels, which aren’t right for the event, also need a platform,” said Gary Bott, a spokesman for FAO. At TBC, where exhibitor numbers are kept tight at 60 to 100, no marketing, such as flyers, posters and campaigns, is allowed and each stand has only one to three garment rails. “The aim is to focus solely on the product,” Bott said. FAO’s confirmed exhibitors for February include labels Komodo, Pepe Jeans, Traffic People and Red Tape.