Trade fair activity is really heating up in Germany. New shows in new time slots are being launched in Berlin and Munich for the contemporary women’s market, former presentations are shifting cities and existing fairs are actively polishing their profiles as the battle for buyer attention reaches an all-time high in the still sluggish German economy.
Bread & Butter and Premium Exhibitions, the two show organizations that put Berlin on the fashion fair map, are both introducing women’s wear events in September. The July timing of their Bread & Butter and Premium Sportswear Couture events was too early for many women’s wear makers, who will now have a chance to present their complete collections in the German capital, the organizers said.
Bread & Butter’s show, Milk & Honey: All She Wants Today, will be staged
Sept. 10-12 in the approximately 215,000-square-foot Siemens Kabelwerk hall in Spandau. “There are so many women’s lines, and they’re spread out over so many shows. It’s so hard for retailers to find the right stuff,” said Kristyan Geyr, creative director and head of marketing of Bread & Butter in explanation of the new show’s rationale.
Milk & Honey will have the same selective criteria as Bread & Butter, and will include designer-oriented and avant-garde collections, top fashion labels and second designer lines, stylish newcomers from markets like the Benelux countries and Scandinavia, sportier street couture ranges and trendy for-quick-delivery programs from fashion makers.
The show’s subtitle, All She Wants Today, was chosen to reflect the wide range of offerings, which will include apparel, shoes, accessories and lingerie, as well as a focus on today’s style-oriented woman, Geyr said. The organizers also plan to invite beauty companies to present their products in the Wellness areas, which are to be part of Milk & Honey’s more feminine and intimate atmosphere. It is too early, he noted, to provide details on exhibitor names and numbers.
Premium Exhibitions, organizers of the Premium Sportswear Couture and Premium + shows on and under Potsdamer Platz, is launching two new salons: Premium Femmes + and To Shoe, also from Sept. 10-12. Anita Anic, co-founder and co-director of the Premium shows, said she hopes to have 100 apparel and footwear exhibitors lined up for the new events, which may be combined in the Potsdamer Platz tunnel venue or under a tent.
“So many companies expressed an interest in a later date as their women’s collections aren’t ready in July,” said Anic. “September is a super time slot for international buyers and offers a real order-writing date for the Germans.” Exhibitors for Premium Femmes + will include Matthew Williamson, Diane von Furstenberg, Roberto Collina and Y & Kei, whereas To Shoe will include everything from sneakers by Adidas, Puma and Reebok to designer collections from Dolce & Gabbana and Irregular Choice, as well as Birkenstock, Ugg and Car Shoe.
Meanwhile, a traditional order-writing round in Munich spurred the creation of the Munich Fashion Fair WoMen, set to premiere Aug. 14-18 at the Dahmit Park Forum. Moritz von Bulow, organizer and founder of Munich Fashion Fair Men, said many agents and reps come to show their women’s lines in Munich in mid-August, and many retailers come to write. “But running from showroom to showroom and from one hotel to the other is hot and stressful work,” he said.
Munich Fashion Fair Men, now in its fourth season, brought top-of-the-line men’s wear makers under one roof, and retailers and agents “said it would be great if we would do the same for women,” he went on. “Now’s the right moment, because we wanted to first make sure we had the infrastructure to do it correctly.” Collections such as Henry Cottons, Renzo, Cerruti Jeans, Venturo and Rosanna Diva will participate in the Munich premiere.
Germany’s trade fair season actually kicks off in Munich with Ispovision, the Messe Munich’s platform for sports-inspired fashion, from July 4-6. Now in its second season, Ispovision, which runs parallel to the sports hardware and apparel fair, Ispo, will move to a centrally located hall near the entrance to the Munich fairgrounds to ensure easier access. The niche show will feature 20 to 25 sporty apparel makers, including maritime- and golf-inspired ranges, and is further building up its events program, which will feature a European Sportstyle Summit to discuss the problems of today’s sport shops. “We’re half trade show and half event platform,” said Ispovision manager Jacqueline Sasse.
Berlin will be hopping July 16-18 with the simultaneous presentations of Bread & Butter, Premium Sportswear Couture, Premium +, Berlin Fashion Week, Fashion Entertainment Week and Haben oder Sein, the newly named Berlin version of the former Malkasten salon in Düsseldorf.
Under the slogan of Berlin Gold, Bread & Butter will feature about 500 brands in more than 500,000 square feet of exhibition space at the Kabelwerk premises. The “superior area” for men’s and women’s designer collections and exclusive street couture ranges has been expanded for spring/summer. There is a new men’s area adjacent to the Fashion Gallery, while denim, sport, street and street couture share the original Siemens hall. “It’s all about the cross mix,” said Geyr, who expects international attendance at the show to continue to increase. The February edition drew 20,000 visitors, about 42 percent from outside Germany.
Playtime is assured in the outdoor B&B Luna Park, and for after-show downtime, Bread & Butter is taking over the Kronprinzenpalast on Unter den Linden in Berlin Mitte.
Moreover, in an effort to alleviate the opening-day crush and rush, Bread & Butter is inviting buyers to preregister and purchase their tickets online, which will gain them immediate entry at the fairgrounds and a preshow copy of the Bread & Butter brand bible to help them plan their show visit. To avoid taxi traffic jams and put buyers in a better mood, there’ll also be a boat shuttle from Tegel airport to the show. Ferry passengers should follow the signs at the airport for the B&B shuttle bus, which will then take them to the boats.
Upward of 11,000 buyers are again expected to go down into the tunnels beneath Potsdamer Platz to view more than 200 selected sportswear collections at Premium Sportswear Couture. “All the top jeans makers will be there,” said Anic, including Citizens of Humanity, Blue Cult, No Defy, Sacred Blue and Serfontaine, plus contemporary collections such as Plein Sud, CNC from Costume National and Pringle. There will also be 20 to 30 young designers selected and partially sponsored by Premium.
Aboveground, a 60,000-square-foot tent will house Premium +, a slightly more “grown-up version” of Premium Sportswear Couture, according to Anic, which next season will feature brands such as Cacharel, LCFP London, Cherry Picking and younger designer collections like BRD and Sissi Wasabe. And if all goes as planned, the Salon Berlin in last season’s Premium + venue will provide exhibition space for established medium- to upper-priced labels in the German market such as Airfield and Oska. Moët Chandon is sponsoring the outdoor meeting area, and besides complimentary champagne, there will be free transportation links to the other fairs around town.
These include the hip-hop-oriented Fashion Week Berlin at the Sony Center and its offshoot, Fashion Entertainment Week, a cooperative platform for fashion and music to be held in the new Ritz Carlton Hotel, according to the organizers.
It will also include Haben oder Sein, Martin Margiela and Habitual agent Elfie Kleman’s new grouping of fashion collections, young designers, jewelry, accessories and decorative articles to be held at the Backfabrik in Prenzlauer Berg. Kleman said her goal is to offer a new assortment concept that extends beyond fashion, but noted time limits might prevent its full realization the first season. “But you have to start sometime,” she said.
Germany’s largest trade show is and remains CPD, the Düsseldorf megafair to be held Aug. 1-3. More than 50,000 buyers are expected to attend the next edition, which will feature about 2,000 exhibitors from 46 countries at the Düsseldorf fairgrounds and Fashion Houses. These are manufacturers producing women’s wear, men’s wear, children’s and maternity wear, cocktail and bridal wear and accessories. In addition, there are hundreds of showrooms in Düsseldorf housing more exclusive collections.
“Our strategy is definitely not to be a niche show,” commented Igedo company managing director Gerald Böse. “There are enough niche shows and complete confusion about dates, products and who is showing where. At the end of the day, Düsseldorf is the place where you can see it all,” he said.
To “strengthen the creative heart” of CPD, the Fashion Gallery, the venue for more designer-oriented and avant-garde women’s wear, is being moved to more spacious premises in Hall 14. The new Fashion Gallery will have a salon character with an intimate atmosphere, Böse said. “It will be a really nice boutique show within CPD.” Moreover, as a service to buyers, there will now be a direct shuttle service from the Fashion Gallery to the Düsseldorf Fashion Houses and Karl Arnold Platz, where the majority of independent showrooms are located.