Berlin Fairs Prove Stable Focal Point For Local Market
The eight trade fairs during Berlin Fashion Week establish as focal points for the D-A-CH market with distinctive proposals.
the Berlin trade shows was upbeat as the German economy remains robust and consumer sentiment continues to rise.
After last season’s uncertainties around the restructuring of Berlin Fashion Week, the eight trade shows running from July 3 to 5 provided some stability for the local fashion industry. They remain a focal point for brands that want to establish a market in the D-A-CH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), the Benelux countries, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
Premium Group further defined the profiles of its four platforms: Premium for men’s and women’s premium apparel; Show&Order as an immediate order point for lower premium women’s wear with a focus on accessories set up as an example department store; Seek for streetwear, and Bright for skater culture.
Messe Frankfurt’s Ethical Fashion Show for sustainable apparel and Greenshowroom for sustainable premium clothing, Panorama for commercial men’s and women’s wear, and Selvedge Run for denim and heritage brands also homed in on their niches.
While traffic was much lower than in past seasons, buyers appeared focused and exhibitors noted that their clients were much better informed.
“The buyers who come are extremely well-informed. They know exactly what they’re looking for and which brands can deliver to their needs and understand how to speak to the end consumer. We are very happy with the fair. Our new collection is colorful, inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat, and we received fantastic” feedback, said Vitus Overgaard, head of international sales of Danish brand Samsoe & Samsoe at Premium.
“The frequency was lower, but all our important buyers were here. The buyer really is much better informed and very focused,” echoed Michael Kramer, chief executive officer of Herzensangelegenheit, who presented a colorful collection that was popular with German buyers.
“The fairs are important for us because we plan our budgets and meet the brands. We wished the big denim brands would return to the trade shows as we sell a lot with those. We’re always looking for new trends. This season we look for more colors, more chinos and a little less jeans,” said Martin Stehr, owner of S18 stores, which operates a network of six stores and a website in Saxony.
Besides the return of color and maximalism in the premium segment, the lifestyle aspect is growing stronger, with all fairs exhibiting more accessories, beauty products and tech and mobile gadgets.
The shift of sportswear and outdoor brands into fashion continued. While Red Bull presented its fashion brand Alpha Tauri at Premium, Swiss heritage brand Mammut globally launched its new urban line Mammut Delta X offsite during Berlin Fashion Week.
“Functionality and fashion are growing together and we’re definitely looking into this development. We discovered a French ath-leisure brand at Premium that we are very much interested in working with,” confirmed Markus Höhn, executive partner at Lodenfrey, one of Germany’s biggest department stores, located in Munich.
As the economy remains robust and consumer sentiment is rising, more young international brands from countries like China, Korea, Thailand and Russia exhibited at the fairs this season.
“We can gain more attention here than in Paris, and heard positive things from other young Thai brands who have been to the Berlin fairs,” said a representative of Bangkok-based The Parrot.
“I launched my brand in 2015 and the D-A-CH market is relevant for me and Berlin the go-to-point for Middle European and Scandinavian countries. And while slightly too early in the season, it’s better than too late like Tranoi, where I was last season. I also think that the clear profiles with clear product and price proposals are much appreciated by buyers and exhibitors alike, as you know exactly what to find where at which price point,” said Laura von Hagen of Swiss bag brand Lahara.
Highlights from the fairs: DESIGNER: Antonio Marras INSPIRATION: A journey from the countryside to the cities of Sardinia with a poppy flash of American road-trip imagery à la Jack Kerouac set the scene for the resort 2019 collection, citing Sardinian folklore elements alongside American rock ’n’ roll. Italian country girl femininity meets motorway pop culture in this playful collection with plentiful contrasting colors and shapes.
KEY STYLES: Girlish blouses and dresses with Sangallo lace, floral prints and volants reflect the Sardinian influences while T-shirts with prints, wide dungarees, biker jackets, mechanic’s uniforms with denim and leather embody the American pit-stop and motel culture. RETAIL PRICES: Prices range from 70 euros for T-shirts, 199 to 485 euros for pants and jeans, to 1,017 euros for denim jackets.
DESIGNER: Lydia Maurer INSPIRATION: The third edition of Lydia Maurer’s body-positive swimwear line is a homage to Salvador Dalí’s muse Gala Dalí, with a color palette of red, burgundy, copper and notes of blue, reminiscent of French elegance as well as the summer colors of the Spanish coast of Cadaqué. The additional collaboration with Rita in Palma is a crochet collection made by refugee women in Berlin’s Neukölln. KEY STYLES: Phylyda’s concept is based on tops and bottoms that can be easily combined, made of Lycra, textured jacquards and Swiss cotton for a better fit. Among the bestsellers are high-waist bottoms, wrap tops and halter-neck tops.
RETAIL PRICES: Bikini bottoms start at 49.99 euros, tops are sold for 99.99 euros, swimsuits for 129.99 and beach caftans for 199.99 euros.
DESIGNER: Anna Heinrichs INSPIRATION: “Horror Vacui” translates into “the fear of emptiness,” and, in psychology, is related to the urge ►
I'M Isola Marras