UK buyers were pleased with the revamped autumn 19 edition of menswear-focused trade show Jacket Required on 23-24 January.
Returning to east London’s Old Truman Brewery venue, the first day got off to a positive start, while the second was a little quieter.
There was a generally upbeat if slightly subdued mood throughout the event, and while the bustle and buzz of the show is lessening each season, the show was a success thanks to a mix of independents and bigger retailers in attendance.
This season’s rejigged layout was the main topic of conversation. Brands were arranged across two main rooms set over two floors, and the venue’s smaller, interconnecting rooms, which once housed a range of brands, were now used as walkways.
This did give the impression that the show had shrunk quite considerably. However, the first-floor hall had been reworked into three aisles, rather than two, so several exhibitors had been moved into that space.
This created a feeling that the large and spacious first floor hall was much fuller, when previously it felt a little too spacious and empty, particularly when footfall lulled. Attendees agreed that the new layout helped to create the feeling of a more intimate and busier atmosphere in the main room.
Exhibitors also expressed the opinion that the new layout was better at concentrating buyers into certain areas and driving footfall through the space, rather than buyers being thinly spread across various halls, as in previous editions.
Although there was a range of new and interesting exhibitors show, the brand list had thinned and a variety of bigger, more established labels had chosen not to show this season.
In terms of trends, sports and streetwear inflected styles remained prominent, alongside a return to a functional heritage and utility look.
A number of collaborations were launched at the event, including Nigel Cabourn’s autumn 19 collection with skate brand Element, while sustainability and sustainable credentials continued to be a growing focus.
Mood of the show
I’ve seen lots of existing customers, such as Asos, USC and Scotts. There’s definitely been fewer independents this season, and they haven’t been amazing for sales. Every year the show gets quieter and there are fewer big brands names – Fila, K-Swiss and Herschel all used to show here. It’s becoming less relevant for some brands and instead people are going to Paris, Berlin and Pitti Uomo. Jacket Required is where we see our existing customers.
Naser Matloubi Founder, Arcminute
The new layout works. Before it has been quite sprawling but now it’s easier to get about – buyers won’t miss any brands when they walk around. It’s been all UK customers this year, including Urban Outfitters, and it was particularly busy on the first day. We see a lot of people before the show, so we come just to top up our sales.
Robin Woodhouse Agent at Woodhouse Agency, representing Dickies
As a new agency with new brands, orders haven’t stopped for us over the two days. Customers have ordered from international markets including Paris and New York. We’ve seen the full selection of retailers – indies and department stores – and the right quality of people have been at the show. This is a good show, and the organisers really seem to want to work with the brands to make sure the show keeps getting better.
Adam Leebetter Founder, Alamode Consultancies, representing Supremacy, North Sails and CREO Studios
Jacket Required is less about taking orders and more about showcasing the new styles. It’s a good opportunity to catch all the buyers at the same time in the same place. We mainly see existing buyers here, but have signed a couple of new accounts in the south of England and Ireland. The first day of the show was the busiest, but some new buyers have come on day two and, while it’s quieter, it has still been a successful day. It’s busier here than it would be on the last day of some other UK trade shows.
Adam Shaw Sales account manager, GLD Group: Superga
This is the first time that G-Star has been part of Jacket Required and it’s great because it’s a more intimate environment [compared with other international shows] and you get purist buyers here looking for specialist products like our sustainable range. We’ve spoken to a lot of independents, as well as some of our key department store partners. The new layout works because it’s all about intimacy and there are still enough good brands here.
Jonathan Chamberlain Senior wholesale manager UK and Ireland, G-Star Raw
There was a constant steady flow of customers on the first day, and the new format has kept people moving through. We have a good spot and are finding that people just want to put down orders. There are a few European customers, but most are from the UK.
Jason McKey Head of menswear, Love Brands, representing Guess and Suit
This is the brand’s first time at Jacket Required. For autumn 19, we decided showing at UK shows – here, INDX and Moda – was much more cost effective than going to all the European shows. We will not be showing at Micam this season.
We’re focused on the UK and independent market, and we will see all our customers here – the first day was all UK independent stores.
The buyers here are more serious. They’re not just browsing, and we expect to write orders on the stand.
Kevin Dent Sales, London Brogues
Jacket Required is a better show for us [than continental European shows]. We’re really happy with our location and it’s always an easy show to do. On the first day buyers were lacking, though. It’s been mostly UK customers but that works for us as we are growing our apparel offering.
Hannah Nicolson UK sales account manager, Hunter