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Exclusive interview: Pure London lands in Dubai

By FashionUnited


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The UK’s leading trade fashion event Pure London announced today that it is teaming-up with French trade show Who’s Next and Premiere Classe to host a buying event in Dubai.  Middle East Fashion Days, the renowned International Parisian

fashion trade show, will take place from 19th – 21st October at the luxurious hotel resort, Madinat Jumeirah.
The exclusive event will showcase over 200 international brands over three days. In addition to this, there will be a host of regional designers, exhibitions and forums as well as three catwalk shows a day presenting the best in international designers, sponsored by Fashion TV and L’Oreal.

The third day will be a dedicated consumer day, allowing fashion devotees to shop among the most exclusive brands from retailers across Europe, Asia, the USA and the Middle East.

The arrival in Dubai marks a progressive step for the biannual event that customarily takes place at Olympia London. Pure London reported a record breaking 24% increase in visitor numbers just last week and its international visitor numbers were up by 27% with more buyers from Europe, Canada, USA, Japan, Lebanon and Russia. With growing international interest, all signs point to this new collaboration being a permanent date on the fashion calendar.

In an exclusive interview with Fashion United, Event Director, Samantha Bleasby discusses the new partnership in the light of the changing retail market.

This sounds like a brilliant offshoot of the London show. What were the factors for launching in Dubai?
We have been looking into the Middle East market for a while – Who’s Next launched last season so it made sense for two strong European brands to collaborate to make an even better event for this market.

After assessing the market’s needs and developing our teams in the Gulf region, Pure London, Who’s Next and Premiere Classe are ready to present a well-coordinated and inspiring meeting for leading fashion brands and designers to the Middle East market.

Is this event a long-term date in the diary?
At the moment the event will be held annually, each October, in Dubai

Are there any further expansion plans in the pipeline?
Pure Spirit is launching this February 2011 at Earls Court. This event is a dedicated buying event for the men’s and women’s young fashion industry.

[Pure Spirit will sit alongside and run simultaneously to Pure London attracting more buyers than ever before. Pure London is investing £1 million in creating a must-attend fashion event that will benefit Pure London’s current visitor base, whilst creating an even stronger identity with young fashion retailers.]

What’s your opinion on today's shifting retail market?
After an ultra-frantic period of consuming habit standardization with a unique type of retail, the main operators (brands, agents, retailers, malls, etc.) are now favouring a differentiation strategy while respecting each country’s cultural habits and the individual needs of each consumer.

In terms of products, this business differentiation means customers are on the lookout for creativity and quality. The market is desperate for novelty.

Malls such as the Dubai Mall and Mirdif City Center in Dubai, Yas Island and Central Market in Abu Dhabi, Kingdom Mall, Centria and Faycalia in Riyadh, Star Avenue and Red Sea Mall in Jeddah, Avenues in Kuwait, Villagio and The Pearl in Qatar, the Souks in Beirut or the Taj Mall in Jordan, are all looking for diversity and innovation to provide their customers with new products and concepts.

As for the region’s retailers and department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Galeries Lafayette in Dubai, House of Fraser is about to open in Abu Dhabi, Harvey Nichols in several capitals and in Kuwait in 2012, Saks, Salam Studio in Qatar, the Emirates and Oman, Aishti in Beirut, they all have to widen their offer, create new concepts and welcome new brands to answer the consumers’ constant need for creative and exclusive products.

Last but not least, multi-brand stores are at the very heart of this retail makeover and an alternative to the industry’s giants. Sauce, If, Tiger Lili (Dubai), J Boutique, Seventh Heaven, Mia Moda (Bahrain), Art of Kohl, DNA, Avanti (Riyadh), Al Ostoura, Al Othman, Diva, Virtue (Kuwait), Plum Sophie’s Choice, Rodeo Drive (Beirut), Zai (Qatar): as many boutiques mixing luxury and designer products. These concepts are increasing and offer important development prospects in the whole Middle Eastern region.

Picture: Whosnextindubai.com
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