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Dusseldorf Fashion Days: A TribaSpace Review
giovedì, nov 25, 2010, 13:38 / Germany
This year Dusseldorf is shifting the way agencies and brands showcase their products. Diversity of locations, events and supporting initiatives attracts more international and local visitors promising exciting new contacts for everyone while maintaining traditionally commercial focus of the trade fair.
CPD, one of the most important women’s wear trade shows in the world – accounted for the stands of 950 participating brands with three large halls. Unique to the trade show are sections for Maternity Wear (the largest in Europe by number of participating brands) and “Big is Beautiful,” which offers plus-size clothing.
Philip Kronen, CEO of Igedo Company, the trade show’s organizer, is optimistic: “We have managed to keep the high level of 2010 and will continue this way. Dusseldorf is the fashion center where trends are set and collections are sold to the buyers“.
17,000 professional visitors from over 42 countries (Italy, France and Germany the 3 most prominent) seem to share Kronen’s opinion, as Ivan Grundahl from Denmark confirms: “We very much appreciate the services Igedo Company is offering. Sunday 25th of July was a very successful day for us with many new contacts. We booked many orders on Monday too.”
Business at CPD is a serious investing matter, not only for the labels but also for around 600 distribution agencies representing high-end labels. Many of them host showrooms in the city all year long, but have shown they don’t underestimate the importance of a trade show as a place to spot trends, meet potential customers and talk to the press. There’s no doubt that the combination of a trade show stand and a permanent showroom where meetings can be held at the buyers’ convenience is the key to success.
Essential distribution agencies like ACO Modeagentur (Germany/Austria) with Love Moschino, Just Cavalli, and Day Birger et Mikkelsen in their portfolio, and CP Fashion representing 1921 Jeans, Custo Barcelona and Robin’s Jean hope to attract export buyers and to strengthen their position on the German market.
Custo Barcelona has had a defilè too, after Berlin proved mainly a PR exercise and Dusseldorf took over to do business. Mr. Oberstein, CEO of CP Fashion, the distribution agency in charge, says: “We have had a very positive resonance after the show and many appointments confirmed to view the collection just after models left the catwalk”.
However there are some critical voices too, especially of those concentrating on a German market. Dirk Heiermann (Anna Scott, located in Concept Gallery 11) points out: “Although we have written orders and have welcomed new customers, we are afraid Dusseldorf is competing with other trade shows and is somehow losing its uniqueness“.
The “competition” is just around the corner — Supreme, a trade show organized by munichfashion company. Its premiere in Dusseldorf is a story of success – over 100 high-quality brands (Kostas Murkudis for FlipFlop , Alfie Bobò, and Wrangler Blue Bell to name a few) attracted more then 5,000 professional visitors. The Supreme concept is expanding and many industry insiders expect steady growth for both participants and buyers next season.
And of course there are razzle-dazzle events accompanying the business side of fashion. German gossip and celebrity magazine Bunte hosted the New Faces Award last Monday. The winners were German Aq1 designer Christina Arend (category: The Best Fashion Label), whose talents we already flipped over, and Maastricht-based Akke Visschers’s label Akkesoir (category: Best Accessories). The award is considered not only acknowledgment but also a great commercial opportunity for young designers to promote their work. Philipp Plein was winner of the award in 2008.
Young designers seem to have a better chance now at receiving the exposure it takes to move ideas into business. Design am Rhein, another initiative supporting newcomers, thoughtfully gives all five winners an opportunity to show their collections on the catwalk and finances the exhibition stand. Krizia Robustella from Barcelona was on this year, and is now very optimistic about her business perspectives in Germany.
In addition, NRW Forum, Dusseldorf’ exhibition platform for contemporary art, design, photography and media is giving home to the fashion-themed exhibition “Menschen des 21. Jahrhunderts” by the blogger Gunnar Haemmerle (Styleclicker). When opening his event last Sunday, Swedish-German Gunnar pointedly stated, “I consider myself being not a fashion blogger but rather a style blogger”. Maybe “style” is a word for the new shifted business reality in the old world of fashion.
Natasha Binar | TribaSpace
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