Q&A with Karen Radley, the founder of Scoop

It's a new year, which means the start of a new fashion calendar. Scoop, premium and contemporary womenswear and accessories tradeshow, is preparing to host its upcoming AW18 edition this weekend. Set to take place from January 28 to 30 at the Saatchi Gallery in London, the contemporary trade fair aims to offer a diverse mix of British and international fashion designers. Presenting more than 250 exhibitors, Scoop is always open to a wide range of designers, ranging from established luxury labels to emerging talents and new brands.

Founded by Karen Radley in February 2011, Scoop has grown over the years to offer a diverse mix of ready-to-wear collection, accessories, footwear, jewelry, homeware as well as a host of lifestyle products, fusing fashion with art. An industry veteran, Radley uses her extensive background in manufacturing and design to select the best brands to show at Scoop. This season is set to see a whole raft of up-and-coming designers make their Scoop debut, including Celeste Mogador, Atoir, Lucilla, Blugirl Folies and Loreak as well as independent skincare brand Malin + Goetz, who are set to present a new fragrance at Scoop. Ahead of Scoop's AW 18 edition, FashionUnited took a moment to speak with Radley to learn more about the history of Scoop and her plans for the future.

Q&A with Karen Radley, the founder of Scoop

FashionUnited: What first inspired you to launch Scoop in 2011?

Karen Radley: “I was previously an agent for a premium contemporary clothing brand and couldn’t find a suitable trade show in the UK to exhibit with, I was looking for something exciting in a venue that wasn’t a boring exhibition centre…realising there was nothing in the marketplace I thought why not set up my own show, I had the contacts and the drive to create something great.”

How has Scoop grown since then?

“We exhibit in the beautiful and listed Saatchi Gallery, so the surroundings can sometimes be restricting in what can do in terms of installations. But in terms of content, we constantly evolve and are introducing new and emerging brands, always inviting new buyers we make sure there is something fresh each time for everyone that attends.”

Q&A with Karen Radley, the founder of Scoop

In your opinion, what makes Scoop unique compared to other fashion trade shows in the UK?

“I think my relationships with the brands and buyers is quite unusual, as these types of events are usually run by bigger corporations, so there is an independent and personal feel to the show. I spend a lot of time coming up with ideas for new initiatives and partnerships that can add value and creativity to the show so it doesn’t feel like a typical trade event. I’m also constantly searching for new contemporary brands that will suit the mix.”

What is new at Scoop this season?

“I am very excited about our collaboration with Villoid, Alexa Chung’s online curated retail platform. They will be bringing 4 emerging designers to the show to exhibit their collections. In addition, I am thrilled to have new brands on board including wonderful clothing from Blugirl Folies and Lucille, accessories from Celeste Mogador and Harc Paris, jewellery from Vaubel New York and Lalique, homeware from Moismont, millinery from Petusa and perfume and beauty products from incredible New York brand Malin and Goetz, who will be presenting a fragrance at the show that we use throughout the venue in the bathrooms and public spaces as well as on their stand.”

Q&A with Karen Radley, the founder of Scoop

What do you hope to achieve with Scoop's partnership with Trouva and Villoid this season?

“With Villoid we have the same ethos in wanting to support emerging, young designers and recognising how important this is to help the industry grow in an exciting way, we are giving 4 of the designers from their online platform space at the show to hopefully meet new and existing retailers and to network within the industry.”

“Trouva is a slightly different proposition as they are a platform for independent bricks and mortar retailers and will be bringing their portfolio of buyers to the show and hosting a champagne networking breakfast. Hopefully bringing these two worlds together will create some commercial relationships that are beneficial all round.”

What things do you look for when searching for new designers or brands to show at Scoop?

“I base it purely on design, quality and innovation and not on pricing. Also, the mix has to be right for Scoop, you can’t have too many similar brands exhibiting as it becomes monotonous for buyers and they won’t return. Scoop is a platform to bring established and emerging designers and UK and international buyers under one roof within a beautiful location. We are very lucky to have the stunning Saatchi Gallery as our venue for Scoop and this also helps to attract the right audience.”

Q&A with Karen Radley, the founder of Scoop

Why is Scoop focusing more on homeware and perfumery this season? Are there other areas Scoop aims to grow in?

“I feel this is such a lovely area to develop and have a real weakness for anything to do with the home and perfumery. I would like to continue developing the perfume and fragrance side of the business and I think concept stores and lifestyle retailers like to see them all under one roof.”

What are your plans for the future of Scoop?

“To keep it as the perfect trade show and always evolving. Scoop always looks at trends and being at the forefront so I’ll strive to continue this and continue to introduce new emerging labels that create a point of difference.

Where do you see Scoop in the next 5 years?

“Growing organically with me still as the driving creative force.”

Read more: Preview: The leading UK Fashion trade shows

Photos: Courtesy of Karen Radley and Scoop


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