The economic slump takes a big bite out of Spanish trade shows.
With few exceptions, Spain's fashion-related trade fairs are facing steep declines in vendor participation and attendance.
Taking the gentlest hit is Bread & Butter Barcelona, held this past July 2 to 4. Exhibitors trimmed down to 893 brands — or 60 fewer than the January edition — and on day one, visitors dipped to 30,500, about 500 less than a year ago. For the first time since the Berlin-organized sportswear and contemporary apparel show took root in Barcelona three years ago, attendance decreased compared to the prior year, down to 2.5 percent to 89,168.
“We want to grow but not at the expense of creativity,” said founder and managing director Karl-Heinz Müller, adding that the number of exhibitors at the next edition, Jan. 21 to 23, will not exceed 800.
Müller said exhibition space at the July edition increased approximately 21,500 square feet without the much-ballyhooed use of the neighboring Palau Nacional for daily catwalk presentations, a move that had turned out to be “not the best idea,” he said. “[The Palau] was costly. I’m talking hundreds of thousands of euros and it didn’t really function,” he said.
B&BB’s The Source, a new format that bowed in July made up of about 80 international fabric and denim producers, suppliers, laundry and fi nishing companies, is seen as an area with great potential, according to an organizer. For the January edition, exhibitors are expected to total 120, “with maximum space and capacity for about 150 vendors.”
To combat today’s financial woes, vendors at the Madrid-based Modacalzado shoe show said they are working up strategies to grow market share through strengthened distribution channels and new product categories.
Modacalzado director Pola Iglesias said the upcoming March 17 to 19 edition will pare down exhibition space — from five to four halls at the Madrid fairgrounds — “to offer a more concentrated product mix.”
At the Sept. 25 to 27 edition, the number of exhibitors dipped by 163 compared with the year prior, to 427.
Dropouts included high-end iconic brands such as Pedro Garcia and Castañer, which showed stripes and a washed-out denim espadrille series in its downtown Madrid shop. A spokesman for Garcia, the Elda, Spain-based women’s label, said, “The Madrid fair’s attraction for an international buyer is absolutely nil. The environment is not luxurious enough; the show is too middle-of-the-road.”
According to official figures, Modacalzado and Iberpiel leather goods fair, which traditionally run in tandem, drew 13,312 trade visitors, down 3,900 over September 2007. Foreigner attendees totalled 2,580, a drop of 20.5 percent.
Laura Schumacher, American owner of Espadrillesetc.com, an Alicante, Spain-based site that sells hand-stitched espadrille styles, said, “I’m looking for basics and some fun things. The fair was worth the trip but my market is the U.S., and I’m playing it safe this year.”
Iglesias said, “The show was soft as far as traffic is concerned but strong in quality of visitors and retailers. As organizers, we weren’t necessarily expecting a great fair but it was better than expected and, in general, exhibitors were happy with the results. Hopefully the bad news has bottomed out and we’ll have similar vendor participation next year.”
Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week — formerly Pasarela Cibeles — has a new name and a new venue in the fairgrounds’ recently introduced Hall 14, but the runway shows, held Sept. 15 to 19, attracted little foreign interest.
Referring to the present economic turmoil and weak consumer spending on the home front, director Cuca Solana suggested, “In moments of crisis, if you don’t make changes, you go under.”
With triple the space and two catwalks, the event brought in 40,000 visitors, a 20 percent increase over last February’s edition, organizers said, including a group of 60 foreign journalists invited by the organization; scattered local retailers; special guests, and a few celebrities.
Principally a domestic women’s ready-to-wear platform, Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week featured 36 designers and a lively group of young talents. Under the moniker El Ego, they showcased their wares on and off the catwalk during the five-day run.
Next February’s roster has yet to be finalized but shows will again be held on two catwalks in Hall 14, with a similar number of veteran designers and newcomers, sources confirmed.
For the first time in recent years, there was no trade event running in tandem with Cibeles because SIMM, the biannual apparel fair, moved up its dates — and it got clobbered as a result.
According to official figures, SIMM, which ran July 17 to 19, drew 6,598 visitors, down a staggering 60 percent compared with a year ago. Foreign attendance slid to 973 from 2,010. In addition, exhibitor participation dropped almost 30 percent, from 811 to 571, over last September’s spring-summer edition.
Earlier dates and a sharp decline in consumer confidence — reportedly at its lowest level since 2004 — were blamed for the fair’s poor showing.
“Because of the early dates, fabrics are missing and most of the factories aren’t ready. It’s just not a convenient time for the Spanish market because everyone is on vacation,” commented an Athens-based retailer.
For next season, SIMM will run Feb. 12 to 14 and Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week one week later, Feb. 20 to 24.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews