BARCELONA — With Spain the only major European economy expected to remain in recession until next year (by conservative estimates) and a 19.3 percent jobless rate, the Spanish market continues to flounder, with soft traffic and diminished exhibitor presence plaguing fashion fairs here.
In an effort to stimulate vendor participation and business, organizers are laying out bold strategies that include cutting the price of exhibition space, more compact floor plans and, in some cases, fair-within-fair consolidation for a stronger product mix.
For instance, Barcelona’s two main — and completely disparate — apparel shows, 080 Barcelona Fashion and The Brandery, will run back-to-back during the upcoming January editions.
“The collaboration will put Barcelona on the international fashion map, unthinkable with previous industry politics,” said Josep Huguet, director of the regional government’s Ministry of Innovation and Enterprise, which underwrites 080.
Heading into its fifth edition Jan. 25 to 27, 080 is a small but edgy fashion platform. With 18 runway shows and an accompanying “showroom” of 60 small-scale stands, the September expo highlighted fun and funky fashion by indie up-and-comers and a few local stalwarts such as Estrella Archs, recently appointed designer for Ungaro. The three-day event drew 6,500 visitors, an increase of 7 percent from March, and included retailers from the U.K., France, Russia and United Arab Emirates, organizers reported.
On the other hand, The Brandery hopes to take over where Bread & Butter left off, featuring contemporary apparel and sportswear that has taken a page from the high-vibe German show’s book. Bread & Butter severed its Barcelona ties this year. With 113 vendors, Brandery’s first edition, held July 5 to 7 in the Montjuïc fairgrounds, posted attendance of 9,715 — 22 percent of which were foreigners. Fira (or fair, in Catalan) de Barcelona organizers said the event had accomplished its objectives “and is on its way to becoming the major exchange center for brands and retailers in Southern Europe, where most of the Spanish industry’s commercial volume is concentrated,” noted Pere Camprubi, expansion director.
To run at the Barcelona fairgrounds Jan. 27 to 29, The Brandery will feature more brands in bigger space, said a source.
In Madrid, exhibitors at September’s Spanish shoe fair Modacalzado totaled 293, a drop of 134 over last year’s fall edition, but similar to the March 2009 show. They covered 171,792 square feet in three halls at the fairgrounds here. The new pared-down floor plan included a collective grouping of 20 major international brands like Beverly Feldman and Chie Mihara, with identical booths in a streamlined, open space called Espacio Glam. The concept will continue next year, organizers said.
Modacalzado and the Iberpiel leather goods fair, which traditionally run together, drew 10,815 trade visitors. That’s down more than 18 percent over September 2008, but above the March 2009 show by roughly 17 percent. Foreigners totaled 1,604 — mainly from France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Russia and Mexico.
The next edition, slated for March 11 to 13, will include an expanded Buyers Program, support measures such as a 20 percent discount on the price of stands and flexible payment options, said commercial director Félix Pérez-Fajardo.
Madrid’s SIMM show has been hammered since the July 2008 edition, when pushed-up summer dates and a sharp decline in consumer confidence were blamed for the fair’s poor showing, when exhibitor participation shrunk to 571 and attendance plummeted 60 percent to 6,598. Recovery has been difficult, with the biannual apparel fair in September registering 329 vendors and 8,000 visitors.
Promising freshened-up halls (down to just two in the Madrid fairgrounds) and the addition of a new fashion category, organizers have changed SIMM’s 2010 dates to Feb. 4 to 6 to coincide with Giftrends, the well-trafficked gift and jewelry shows.
Marking its 25th anniversary, the Madrid Cibeles Fashion Week’s catwalk presentations, which ran in September at the Madrid fairgrounds, featured 56 designers — 20 more than last year — including a batch of newcomers and the much anticipated return of such iconic names as Adolfo Dominguez and Roberto Verino. Fashion Week’s upcoming dates are Feb. 19 to 23 in the fairgrounds’ Hall 14.Dominguez and Verino will participate once again, and no major changes are expected, said a spokeswoman.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)