Grey sky and drizzle has become a familiar backdrop this summer. And while the UK enjoyed the hottest June on record, we also experienced one of the wettest Julys. According to Springboard data, the rain dampened high street footfall, with shopper numbers dropping by 1.7 per cent compared to the month before.
Despite the rain, it’s been great to see the trade show circuit returning to near-post-covid normality over the past few weeks. We visited four inspiring shows in London last month all taking place at the same time. Just Around the Corner moved to Wapping’s Tobacco Dock, offering 90 brands inside a lovely historical building with several halls, high ceilings and lots of natural light.
Pure London, only 40 minutes away on the underground at Olympia, also offered some particularly insightful seminars and inspiring catwalk shows. Meanwhile, at Olympia West, Scoop visitors were transported to a “Moroccan paradise” with live music, boho-themed decorations and 250 premium labels.
Finally, we also visited The Fashion Huddle in Hammersmith on the same day. Just a short walk away from Olympia, it’s a collaboration between 11 leading fashion agents that have joined forces to present 70 womenswear and footwear brands under one roof (and if you haven’t yet visited, it’s running until 18 August).
We were also really impressed with Harrogate Fashion Week this season, which took place in the spa town just a couple of weeks later. The show increased both in size and duration, giving buyers more time to make considered selections.
Trade shows have undeniably evolved over the past few years, particularly following the pandemic. But it’s clear that they’re still a crucial part of buying season. And of course, it isn’t over yet: next month we’ll also be heading to Top Drawer and Moda at Autumn Fair to find the latest fashion and accessories launches. Turn to pages 32-33 for our must-see exhibitors.
Now, here’s hoping for some late August sunshine…
Gemma Ward, Editor