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Copenhagen Fashion Week: A TribaSpace Review
Thursday, Nov 25, 2010, 2:23 PM / Denmark
Copenhagen Fashion Week ran from 11 to 14 of August, and was considered to be a success this season, with rising number of visitors to the main trade shows, including streetwear trade fair CIFF, contemporary CPH Vision and trends-setting Gallery. The numbers indicate what the experts predicted a long time ago – Scandinavians are strong in business.
With the joined forces getting stronger, for the first time, Copenhagen Fashion Council has officially united Dansk Mode & Textil, Fashion Week and the trade fairs under one umbrella organisation, coordinating the branding and targeting international press and buyers. Reaching that sort of agreement doesn’t seem to be an easy route for the parties involved, yet the cooperation proved a success for the entire Danish and, consequently, Scandinavian industry. Kasper Eis from Dansk Mode & Textil remains optimistic, “We do believe that Copenhagen has taken a huge step forward in the global ranking amongst the leading fashion cities. We’re still not up there with London, Milan, Paris and New York, but we’ve received international recognition this time – international buyers and press agree that Copenhagen Fashion Week is an important destination on the global fashion map.”
The numbers are impressive too: CIFF recorded a 7% rise in attendance compared to last year’s event, with 24,653 visitors. The show said 7,101 buyers were from outside of Denmark – mostly from Germany and the UK.
Gallery saw a record number of visitors, with 11,400 people attending the show – a 4.6% increase, despite the show being shortened to three days compared to last year’s four, and showed a record of 260 brands, including designers and brands such as Tiger of Sweden, American Retro, Max Factor New Talent Award Winner Wackerhaus, Liam Gallagher’s new label Pretty Green, Hussein Chalayan’s second Puma collection and Germany’s Strenesse Blue. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere is one of the reasons for many to present the collections “in the right light” – a view held by Inès Mesin, international sales director of Strenesse. “Gallery is the place to meet our customers again [and] present our collection differently.”
CPH Vision and Terminal 2, another venue and trade show showcasing contemporary and streetwear collections, have also attracted many more visitors, with 12,317 individuals attending.
Over 50 fashion shows (a number never before reached in Copenhagen) – By Malene Birger, Bruuns Bazaar, Bllack Noir, Minimarket, Vilsbøl de Arce, Ivan Grundahl and, of course, the local matadors Henrik Vibskov and Stine Goya belonging to the programme – contributed to the city’s reputation of being the fashion capital of Scandinavia.
Copenhagen Fashion Week was not only highly regarded by the professionals and experts. The general public has been thoughtfully integrated into celebrating fashion: The World’s Greatest Catwalk, hosted by Helena Christensen, transferred the entire inner city of Copenhagen into the largest trend-spotting catwalk ever attended, with known Scandinavian brands presenting their latest fall pieces to thousands of fashion lovers and onlookers.
The global economic crisis of recent years has hit the textile industry hard, with trade shows looking into saving costs while concentrating on their core business and offering “the right environment” for the business, instead of covering everything and going global.
The return of the Bread & Butter show to Berlin last summer indicated a serious competitor just around the corner from Copenhagen and mobilised local companies and buyers. Copenhagen Fashion Week clearly shifted the focus onto gaining more international markets while strengthening its home advantages. “Scandinavia is the core of Gallery and 80% of the buyers are from there,” confirms Christian Gregersen of Gallery. However, in future seasons, Gallery will focus on the rest of Europe, as the number of international visitors this time grew by 50%.”
Taavi Kuisma of Nordic Denim House, Helsinki-based distributor for Japanese denim labels such as Japan Blue and Momotaro Jeans, shares his personal impressions in his blog: “It’s always inspiring to have a conversation with like-minded people who truly appreciate high-quality garments… We are happy with the results and eagerly look forward to the next season!”
And the next season should see this summer’s success continuing, thanks to the hardworking Danish attitude. “We’re not planning to break any world records this time around,” says Eis. “But we will focus solely on creating the best possible experience for international buyers and press, by inviting all the right exhibitors and making sure fashion shows are in place.” Copenhagen is back on our agenda in February – at the latest.
Natasha Binar | TribaSpace
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