Berlin: increase in attendance but buyers somewhat disoriented

What’s to become of Berlin without Bread & Butter? That was the question most often asked in the aisles of the Berlin trade shows that took place from January 19-21. "This is our first time at Premium. To tell you the truth, we didn’t have big expectations because the question was: what’s after Bread?" said Mattias Edenholm from the brand Elvine.

At Panorama, Marc Cain's stand certainly wasn't empty

The biggest difficulty for Bread & Butter’s regulars was finding their brands split between various shows—for example, Le Temps des Cerises at Show & Order, Mustang at Panorama, Elvine at Premium, Aigle at Premium and Seek and Armor Lux at Seek. 

At Bright, exhibitors who were interviewed remarked that retailers accustomed to Bread & Butter needed time to become familiar with the skate event and were sometimes even a bit lost. "Bread & Butter was the behemoth that made it possible for Bright to welcome South Koreans, who came here after Bread. But frankly, we’ve done well," said Romain Cholleton from Wrung Division. 

Overall, the atmosphere in Berlin was good. According to exhibitors and organizers, the appearance of lower attendance was due to better organization, such as the common ticket for Bright, Seek, Premium and Show & Order, also offering access to a fast lane at Panorama. 

In terms of numbers, however, only Panorama’s organizers published their results. They announced 50,000 professional visitors, up 20% as compared to the previous year. Panorama in particular has become more internationalized. 

Premium also points out that only 32% of its visitors were German. Buyers from southern Europe, France/Benelux and America accounted for 20%, 18% and 12%. Those from Scandinavia, Austria/Switzerland and the United Kingdom made up 7%, 4% and 5%.

At Seek, exhibitors felt that the show shouldn’t sacrifice quality for growth | Photo: Photo: Renato Silva

For Verena Malta, founder of Show&Order, attendance and internationalization of its show prove that Berlin, as a city for fashion trade shows, has not lost its luster... in other words, after what happened to Bread & Butter. 

As regards to the subject, some are still waiting to see what happens this summer with the announced return of Bread&Butter from July 2-4 (Thursday to Saturday). "We’re exhibiting here (at Bread & Butter Back to the Street) and we’ve opened a pop-up showroom that’s not too far away. For the future of these events, let us surprise ourselves," said Thorsten Widarzik, CEO of Campus, a bit philosophically.

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