The sounds of Oasis and The White Stripes set the tone as brands and buyers descended on London’s Business Design Centre in Islington for the autumn 18 edition of alternative fashion trade show London Edge, which took place on 11-12 February.
London Edge ran at the same time as much larger fashion and accessories trade show Pure London this season, but most brands Drapers spoke to said this had little or no impact.
Overall, brands were pleased with the turnout at London Edge, particularly from international buyers, who mostly came from France, Germany and Scandinavia, but included some from the US. Footfall varied from stand to stand and some exhibitors said it fell away on the quieter second day, but broadly the mood was upbeat and business was being done.
“I’ve been coming to London Edge on and off for 15 years and it is one of the few order-writing shows left,” said Steve Edwards, sales and brand manager at footwear brands Drooth and Hey Dude Shoes. “Buyers are here to work, not just network.
“For me, this show is about doing business with European buyers – the UK guys we tend to see anyway. It is a good show.”
James Wright, retail director and buyer for Cornish independent Watershed, which was showing its own brand, agreed: “The show has been really busy and we’ve had a great reaction to the brand. There have been independents from Germany and France, and people are definitely writing orders. We were also at [menswear show Jacket Required] and found that it was much more about networking.”
New for the autumn season was a Makers & Designers section, which focused on fledging fashion, jewellery and homeware brands
“This show has always been about supporting small businesses and driving them forward,” explained exhibition organiser Carole Hunter. “We’re giving them an affordable first step into the wholesale market and it also brings something fresh to our buyers, who are always looking for something new.”
Views from the show
Amy McDonald, accessories buyer and designer, Collectif
“We were busy across both days straight away and it has been pretty much non-stop. There have been a lot of buyers from Europe and a trickle from the US. We’re also showing at Pure and we do more business here than we do there. There’s a great atmosphere here. Being on at the same time as Pure makes it more difficult for us logistically as a brand, but we have some buyers who will come and see us at both. We tend to write more short orders here for spring 18, rather than autumn 18.”
Leslie Wandell, director of sales, Ellie Shoes
“The first day was really busy for us and today has been steady, so we’re pleased. Buyers come here to buy, there’s no question. We come every season because we get the best buyers here – we see people from the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.”
Zoe Vine, designer, Zoe Vine
“Yesterday was OK and today has been quiet. The show has been fine, but I wouldn’t say it has been great. It is more affordable to exhibit here than it is at a show like Pure London you also see more targeted buyers than you do there, which suits me. I think if we were at a broader womenswear show than we might get lost in the crows as buyers aren’t looking specifically for our kind of look. We’ve seen European buyers, but actually I’d like to see more buyers from the UK here.”