BERLIN — Product will be moving into the forefront at the next Bread&&Butter in Berlin Aug. 31 to Sept. 2.
At a special B&&B preview here Wednesday, Zalando revealed the B2C festival, now dubbed “The Pop-up of Style and Culture” would be morphing into a real “see-now-buy-now” weekend packed with more than 100 limited-edition drops, exclusive products, collaborations and prelaunches from more than 40 brands. These can be purchased on site during B&&B at Berlin’s Arena as well as online. Also reflecting the push for more: a second ampersand is now officially part of the Bread&&Butter name. It had previously popped up in the event’s abbreviated form, but is now the official event name.
Moreover, Zalando will be launching a year-round shopping hub, breadandbutter.com, at the end of August. The online “destination for style and culture” will feature exclusive product drops and a trend assortment of selected streetwear brands, Zalando said.
Prior to the preview, Carsten Hendrich, vice president of Creative Lab Zalando, told WWD, “When we first started B&&B, we built it up like a market. It was about the shopping experience, but this year we’re moving further” with a heightened focus on product. “We worked very closely with the brands not only to get more product, but there’s a need to bring in special product,” he stated.
Among the “specials” to be found at August’s third edition of B&&B: Adidas Originals will have a storytelling pop-up revolving around its archive Falcon models, and visitors will be able to get their hands on a limited amount of Falcon and Yung-96 shoes before the rest of the market. Timberland will introduce Timberland Park spotlighting the brand’s ongoing commitment to environmental causes, as well as unveiling the Timberland x Christopher Raeburn collaboration, while The North Face will combine a unique limited-edition product drop with an experience tapping the outdoors, fashion design and music for its B&&B debut.
Other B&&B first-timers include Carhartt, which is teaming with London’s NTS Radio to broadcast live with local and international DJs as well as offering exclusive Carhartt WIP x NTS logo products, and MAC Cosmetics, which will be doing a backstage experience. Zalando itself will present its collaboration with 032c, a capsule called “BOA17” inspired by Jérôme Boateng.
There will be brand-guided pop-up performances, such as Topshop Topman’s Voguing Ball, and Vans is staging House of Vans with a mix of music, art and street culture. On the music front, the emphasis will be less on big names than on up-and-comers and artists “on the tipping point.” Among those expected in Berlin: Princess Nokia, Yung Hurn, Sheck Wes, Tiffany Calber, Stefflon Don, Hamza, Lyzza, Kitty Cash, Gunna and Evian Christ.
Hendrich said Zalando had learned a lot in the first two years about B&&B’s potential and target group: Generation Next. “It’s the demographic between 20 and 30. They’ve grown up digitally, challenge the status quo and are consumers who blend culture with commerce in a way. Louis Vuitton and Virgil Abloh show how things are going,” he suggested.
Last year’s B&&B attracted more than 30,000 visitors, resulted in 1.45 billion impressions and reached 35.4 million via live-stream. “We saw in general a strong uplift on brands that were at B&&B,” Hendrich noted, adding that the event’s impact in terms of communication was more “efficient” than a traditional media campaign.
“Bread&&Butter proved to be a success in marketing and communication, and now it’s about product and getting the right people profiling with the right product,” he remarked. “Without the great brands we carry we wouldn’t get there. [B&&B] feels like a joint effort versus us saying ‘Here’s a shelf.’ It’s B2B bonding,” Hendrich summed up.