The summer heatwave hit Denmark last week, when Copenhagen trade shows CIFF and Revolver kicked off in roasting temperatures alongside the city’s fashion week catwalks.
As Copenhagen’s stature as a fashion destination continues to grow, this season attracted the biggest international crowd yet to descend on the Danish capital.
While the spotlight was on the high-profile catwalk shows from local names such as womenswear label Ganni, and emerging designers Cecilie Bahnsen and Heliot Emil, the city’s buzzy trade shows, CIFF and Revolver, hosted equally successful spring 19 editions.
Brits were out in force, and teams from the likes of Net-a-Porter, Browns, Harvey Nichols, Asos, and independents such as End, Jules B and Tower London, were all spotted. International retailers had also made the trip, among them the US’s Bergdorf Goodman, Hong Kong’s Lane Crawford, Germany’s MyTheresa and France’s Galeries Lafayette.
CIFF and Revolver ran concurrently on 8-10 August, and got off to a bustling start on day one, when the stands were packed and aisles were buzzing – but slowed to an emptier third and final day.
CIFF, which fills the sprawling Bella Center halls just outside the city, continues to offer a smorgasbord of brands to cater for a host of different buyers across the spread of its diverse halls.
As always the Raven area curated a strong selection of international menswear brands, from Los Angeles’s Second Layer, Taiwan’s Necessity Sense, New York’s Willy Chavarria, and British designer and Drapers 30 Under 30 alumnus Daniel W Fletcher. Exhibitor numbers in this area appeared to have increased but, although exhibitors were happy and buyers positive, it remained relatively quiet.
CIFF’s Sleek and Style Setters areas were particularly busy, especially on day one, and remain a real destination for womenswear buyers looking for quality brands. They feature a good mix of contemporary names from new launches to bigger, established names from across Scandinavia.
Over at Revolver, which took place in the city centre, there was an equally buzzy atmosphere, particularly on the second day, when a hectic morning was followed by a lunchtime lull. Home to many of Scandinavia’s big names, including Wood Wood, Samsøe & Samsøe, Filippa K and Stina Goya, one British exhibitor declared that Revolver is one of the only shows where people still write orders.
The talk of the aisles was the trade show’s rejigged layout. Rather than a central avenue running through the centre of Revolver’s main hall, organisers created two new walkways down the far left and right sides of the space, each of which housed the show’s largest stands and biggest brands. While creating twice as much premium space for exhibitors at either end, the new layout left the central areas slightly maze-like. Some buyers said they were not as happy with the new layout, and found it more difficult to browse and find brands.
Sustainability was a key topic at both events. CIFF’s “Enlightenment” project explored the connection between creativity and sustainability, in support of the Little Sun Foundation, which creates solar-powered lights for communities across Africa with little or no access to electricity.
Co-curated for CIFF by London store Machine-A founder Stavros Karelis and curator Sami Janjer, the installations took over the entrance of the trade show and included contributions from Louis Vuitton artistic director Virgil Abloh, photographer Nick Knight, model Naomi Campbell (who also attended the trade show) and art director Peter Saville.
Overall, both buyers and exhibitors were pleased with the outcome of both trade shows. Some menswear representatives did comment that Copenhagen’s August dates are too late to still be writing orders, although womenswear buyers were in the main happy with the timings.