- Georgie Lillington |
Pure London opened its doors at Olympia on Sunday July 25, and was off to a good start with positivity for the upcoming Spring/Summer 18 season shining through. Over 700 brands, 60 percent international and the rest British, prepared their womenswear, menswear, footwear and accessories’ collections for the onslaught of buyers, press and visitors looking for next season’s best sellers. 326 new exhibitors, some exclusively showing at Pure, helped entice buyers from the likes of Harrods, Asos and Fenwick.
In case you missed Pure London Spring/Summer 18, FashionUnited have rounded up the highlights so that you can get a feel for what happens at the UK’s leading trade fair.
“Offer something new and unknown”
An inspiring mood was set by Dr Pam Hogg, fashion designer, DJ and artist who took to the stage for the first keynote of the fair. Her main piece of advice to buyers attending Pure; “if we keep offering the same thing that all your customers can buy, it becomes stagnant. Offer something new and unknown. If you buy safe that is all people will buy - add pieces to your shop utilising new designers and help new designers grow. Reserve a place in your store to champion new designers so things are kept exciting - think of it as brightening up your shop. Show you are adventurous!”
Meet the experts, new for SS18
Pure debuted their Meet the Experts area this season, inviting visitors to engage in a ‘unique opportunity to have a [free of charge], 20 minute one-to-one discussion with an expert from within the fashion industry’. Topics on offer included launching and building a brand, social media and general business advice from experts such as blogger Rowan Row, Dessy Tsolova from Utelier.com and lecturers from London College of Fashion, Nichole de Carle and Janet Wilson.
Echoing Hogg’s words was Sara Maggioni, Director of Retail and Buying at WGSN (global trend forecasters), when she spoke at the Exclusive Womenswear SS18 Buyers’ Briefing, a key event at the new meet the experts area. Telling visitors to Pure that “consumers will be buying less, but buying better”, Maggioni added that “versatility is key,” suggesting that investing in seasonless, dual-function items could offer better value for money and more cross merchandising opportunities for brands.
An Oriental Future of Individuality
Individuality was a key theme throughout the fair, presented by Pure from the onset with this season’s theme: Oriental Futures. Described as ‘oriental by nature and futuristic by approach’, the fair presented a ‘cultural collision of two worlds’ to audiences.
Accompanied by a oriental future inspired catwalk show, Pure showcased four brands; Slow Futures, Kinship, Psychotropical and Youth Tonic - billed to be the brands to watch next season, according to Maggioni and WGSN. Exclusively shown at Pure ahead of London Fashion Week, the designs featured strong minimalistic silhouettes, romantic bohemian styles with a raw edge, lush botanical themes and gender fluid styling.
“Find your authentic tone of voice and stick to it”
Individuality continued to shine into Henry Holland’s Keynote talk on Monday. During an interview with Laura Weir, Editor of ES Magazine, Holland highlighted the importance of making your brand unique. Talking about his own brand, House of Holland, he told audiences that “I have been lucky in the development of the brand DNA, it’s playful sense of humour can be translated across different price points and product categories so find your authentic tone of voice, your point of view, and stick to it.”
New Footwear destination
Other key highlights at Pure London included the unveiling of the new footwear destination, putting a spotlight on shoe brands such as Birkenstock who had a 430 square foot stand at the fair, along with Nero Giardini, Alpe, Anuschka, Saz, Unisa and Yull London showcasing their designs.
Pure London Display Awards took place on Sunday, where the ‘Best in Show’ award was presented to King Louie brand for the third year in a row. Rose Everduin, Sales Manager at Best in Show winners King Louie said; “We’re so happy, not only has the show been really busy with new, existing and international customers, as a special surprise we won Best in Show for the third time.”
As Pure comes to an end on the afternoon of Tuesday 25, Julie Driscoll, Portfolio Director at Pure London says: “Fashion is about innovation, creativity and individuality and there are plenty of opportunities to do business despite the seismic shift caused by Brexit. Retailers are excited by the chance to discover new UK and international brands and know they need to offer consumers not just value for money but something versatile and individual. We have seen this across the entire show this season and brands are delivering.”
Photos courtesy of Pure London