After the interruptions during the pandemic, fashion fairs in Europe are returning to normal operations. But the lockdowns have left their mark, brands and buyers alike were often reluctant to travel in light of the uncertain economic situation.
To what extent have fairs like Pitti or Premium been able to return to their old form? FashionUnited has brought together an overview of the fairs for FW23.
Pitti Uomo, Florence
Pitti Uomo is and remains the place where the (men's) fashion industry gathers at the beginning of the ordering season. The number of exhibitors recovered from the slump during the pandemic to a total of 800. Meanwhile, the number of visitors rose to over 18,000: 13,500 were buyers, 33 percent of whom came from outside Italy. Before the pandemic, the fair had 1,200 exhibitors and over 21,000 buyers. In its January edition, the fair was again able to impress with fashion highlights, such as fresh up-and-coming brands and shows by guest fashion designers like Jan Jan van Essche and Martine Rose. For the first time, there was also an section for dog fashion.
Read more about the Pitti Uomo:
Premium and Seek, Berlin
The mood at the Berlin trade fairs Premium and Seek was more relaxed than expected after fears surrounding the Christmas business did not materialise. Around 500 brands showed their collections at the two fairs, compared to about twice as many before the pandemic. According to the organiser Premium Group, a total of around 10,000 visitors were counted, 80 percent of whom came from German-speaking countries.
Overall, Seek seemed livelier with streetwear and many green brands, while Premium was quieter. Some visitors remarked afterwards that Premium in particular could be more curated. For the first time in three years, Berlin Fashion Week took place at the same time as the fairs. In the same week, the sustainable fashion fair Beyond Fashion Berlin made its debut.
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Pure and Scoop, London
While other cities experienced some declines in attendance and participation, Hyve Group fairs Pure and Scoop reported positive figures on their return to the UK capital. Over 250 brands exhibited at each show, spanning womenswear, menswear, footwear and accessories. While Pure had a dedicated space for manufacturers, Scoop opted to also show lifestyle collections during its event.
Notably, the group never discloses exact numbers of attendance, however at Scoop, which took place the last three days of January, reported “its highest ever number of buyers” for an AW show. Pure also saw positive numbers, with its organiser Gloria Sandrucci noting that international buyers had been among those returning. In total, there were attendees from over 22 countries, Sandrucci told FashionUnited.
Read more from Pure and Scoop:
At Modefabriek, 450 brands presented themselves in a colourful and lovingly curated ambience. With this number, the Amsterdam fashion fair is still below the pre-pandemic level. Around 100 newcomer labels used the event mainly to present or reposition themselves in the Dutch and Belgian markets. The fair did not disclose the numbers of visitors, but some brands noticed an increase compared to the previous edition. Like Pitti and Premium, however, Modefabriek is not a traditional ordering fair, so for most exhibiting brands it was still a matter of waiting to see whether the good mood would also be reflected in showroom orders.
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Who’s Next, Paris
In Paris, many brands drew a positive balance from the fairs, which continued to consolidate. The fashion fair Who's Next and the Salon International de la Lingerie were held simultaneously under the organiser WSN. More than 1,250 exhibitors showed at Who's Next and Bijorhca. In the packed halls, established brands from the mainstream did good business and wrote orders, while smaller labels had a somewhat harder time. The green fashion fair Neonyt was only represented with a stand at Who's Next, but from September onwards it should really get going.
According to its own information, Who's Next again reached the pre-corona level in terms of numbers of exhibitors and visitors. In total, the organiser WSN counted around 40,000 visitors at the Who's Next, Bijorhca, Salon International de la Lingerie and Interfilière Paris fairs, of which around 40 percent came from outside France. With these figures, it should be noted that more fairs are organised in Paris by WSN than before. Each entry counts and not the individual guests.
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Düsseldorf Fashion Days, Düsseldorf
At the Düsseldorf Fashion Days, the fashion industry leant into ordering. There was a good turnout at the Supreme fashion fair, and Hall 29 was also busy. More international visitors were spotted. At the Fashn Rooms and the green fashion fair Neonyt, which was held in Düsseldorf for the first time, a total of 400 brands exhibited. There is no record of visitor numbers, and the frequency varied greatly depending on the showroom and time of day.
CIFF and Revolver, Copenhagen
The Danish fashion fair CIFF took over the smaller Revolver in January. While the merger was a hot topic in the exhibition halls, the winter edition of the two fairs seemed rather quiet. For the first time, beauty brands also showed at CIFF.
A total of more than 800 brands exhibited at CIFF and Revolver, and more than 200 brands were represented in the showrooms. The two fairs attracted some 13,000 visitors, Ciff announced by email. This meant that the two fairs combined were back to pre-pandemic levels in terms of brands. "We are still a little behind in terms of visitors, but we are catching up quickly," Ciff announced for both events.
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Just Around the Corner, London and Manchester
Just Around the Corner (JATC) is still a fairly fresh trade show on the scene, meaning that each edition there are usually a number of adaptations and changes in order to continue catering to attendee and exhibitor feedback. In London, for example, the event took over a larger space at its usual Truman Brewery base, while in Manchester, the show relocated to the city’s Central Convention Centre, allowing it to double stand sizes.
The Manchester location still remained significantly smaller than its southern counterpart, offering up 80 brands at the venue, while in London there were 140 exhibiting, tripling previous years. This was also reflected in the attendee numbers. While Manchester figures were not released, however, the atmosphere was relatively quiet over both days, London welcomed 1,200 buyers, breaking previous records set by the event. JATC still emphasised that its main focus was on creating a relaxed order-writing atmosphere for its guests.
Read more from Pure and Scoop:
Unless otherwise stated, the figures on visitors refer to "unique visitors". This article was written with the help of Nora Veerman, Jule Scott, Ole Spötter, Julia Garel, Rachel Douglass and Caitlyn Terra.