BERLIN — This city is turning into German trade show central in January, as the fall season kicks off with eight almost simultaneous trade fairs as well as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.
Bread & Butter’s triumphant return to Berlin at the landmark Tempelhof Airport last season, plus Premium’s ongoing development and the steady growth of the MBFWB runway shows, has made the capital city a magnet for domestic and international exhibitors and visitors. Regardless of size, show organizers have reported faster-than-ever bookings this season, and flights and hotels for the Jan. 19 to 23 period are also becoming hot commodities. The other Berlin players now include Boudoir, 5 elements.berlin, Jam, Spirit of Fashion, TheKey.to and ProjektGalerie.
Bread & Butter chief Karl-Heinz Müller said there’s been “an enormous run on our denim hall. Even people we’ve been after for a long time, like Diesel and Boss Orange, will be there.”
These and four other big brands also will be exhibiting in a new format that includes a 180-degree, membranelike back wall system providing reception areas leading to six closed white cube exhibition spaces at the back of the Denim Base area.
While he continues to take a strict “no numbers policy” when it comes to attendance, Müller nonetheless said B&B is expecting “many more visitors” in January. To help create a real “get-together” atmosphere, as well as provide a place for large-scale, on-site meetings, there will be an Octoberfest-like tent with catering and entertainment. “But we don’t want too much party. I’m telling brands to bring their international sales reps so they can really do business, not just be here,” he emphasized.
Premium also has no room to spare this season, and has attracted many desired brands, from German designer collection Rena Lange to New York’s neo-Goth range, Improve.
“The typical Premium approach is to break the assortment, to build things up from the other side — what the end consumer wants to have,” explained the show’s co-founder and director, Anita Tillmann.
Men’s wear is not only being spun off to a separate area, but also Premium Men will open a day earlier with a mix of about 100 tailored and young fashion brands. “Unmistakable Design” is also premiering this season, featuring the next generation of German designers such as René Storck, Kaviar Gauche and Sam Frenzl.
Elsewhere in the halls, young designers will be able to show their collections, while Premium’s “Guest Zimmer,” or “Guest Rooms,” will host the blogger scene this season.
The intimate apparel market also is calling Berlin home with 5 elements.berlin and Boudoir, now in their second editions. Both shows start Jan. 19 to allow exhibitors time to get to the Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris, and 5 elements.berlin is offering participants an overnight transport service for its collections.
New at 5 elements.berlin: the “Concept Store,” presenting the latest collections and POS systems in a stylish “shop” look. Boudoir is moving to the larger Postbahnhof venue, and will double its exhibitor roster to include more commercial brands such as La Charmelle as well as luxury and designer lines. There will be a special kickoff event with Agent Provocateur, as well as trend and visual display seminars in cooperation with the Intima Group.
After a season’s break, Spirit of Fashion, which addresses the rock, rockabilly and Gothic fashion segments, is returning to Berlin in new digs at the Kosmos, an atmospheric cinema-turned-event space.
TheKey.to, a fair for green fashion, sustainable lifestyle and culture, also has moved into more sophisticated quarters at the Heeresbäckerei on the banks of the Spree in trendy Kreuzberg. And ProjektGalerie will continue to provide a platform for young, avant-garde collections in a gallery setting.
New to Berlin this season is Jam, a showcase for more mainstream denim and sportswear brands such as Gin Tonic, HIS, Baby Phat and Pioneer. Now in its sixth season, Jam has traded Cologne for the huge industrial Rathenau Halls in Berlin Köpenick. The reason: “Buyers need more information than ever,” commented director Sebastian Klinder. “And with all the shows, they can get more of it relatively cost effectively in Berlin.”
Elsewhere in Germany, Düsseldorf’s CPD is now concentrating on its women’s wear origins. Highlights include Impulse, more of a high-fashion showroom segment in cooperation with the Munich Fashion Company; Concept 11 for lifestyle brands; Decorate’s accessories assortment; the new Big Is Beautiful area for large sizes; an evening-cocktail fashion focus, and the Fashion Gallery.
“Our primary goal is to offer specialty stores new collections in every segment as thoroughly as possible,” said Mirjam Dietz, executive fashion director.
Active sportswear mega fair Ispo is celebrating its 40th birthday and 70th edition in February. Around 2,000 exhibitors are expected in Munich, where there will be a new emphasis on sustainability, free-riding, functional “Sport Style,” premium sportswear at “Ispovision” and the more classic winter sports segments.
Also in Munich in February, the textile fair Munich Fabric Start will build its denim Blue Zone to include 60 weavers and finishers, and showcase 80 to 100 high-end Asian producers in its Asian Salon in addition to its European women’s and men’s fabric collections.