Harrogate Fashion Week (HFW) organisers have announced the show will increase its duration to three days next season following a successful AW23 edition. Founders Wendy Adams and Sarah Moody said its latest event attracted over 35 per cent more buyers than last year with exhibitors reporting a “significant increase in sales.”
This season’s show was its biggest yet as it spilled into an additional third hall inside the Harrogate Convention Centre. “We expect this will be completely full of exhibitors for the summer edition,” says Adams. “There’s a real possibility we will go into a fourth hall.”
Retailers flocked to the spa town from around the UK and Ireland this week to see its line-up of womenswear, occasionwear, footwear and lingerie brands.
Key exhibitors included regulars Isabella, Orientique, Marble, Pomodoro, Veromia, Rino and Pelle, Dolcezza, Lily and Me, John Charles, Bariloche, Tilley and Grace, NYDJ and Kevan Jon.
Meanwhile, show newcomers Kate and Pippa, Amazing Woman, Brenda Zaro, Vilagallo, Flufie, Sabbot Headwear, Patricia Eve, Sahara, Red and Royal, Ochre Knitwear, Mjus Footwear and Nila Rubia also presented their collections.
“Buyers can do a complete buy at HFW with great daywear, eveningwear, shoes, and accessories all in an easy to navigate layout – there is no need to go anywhere else,” says Moody. “The growth of the show is the main reason for extending to three days, as buyers would find it too difficult to cover the show in two days. We have confirmed re-bookings of just over 85 per cent, and already received new enquiries from brands wanting to join us.”
Buyers attending this season’s show said its move to three days is positive for attendees. Pennita Wilshire, owner of Pennita in Helmsley, commented: “The extra day next season will make the buying experience more relaxed and enjoyable. It will allow me to spend a little more time with each brand and not feel rushed. I love the show.”
John McElhinney, owner of McElhinneys in Donegal, added: “We had a great show and love coming here. Lots of the brands we stock are exhibiting, and three days would be beneficial and help to spread out the buying.”
Following the show, Noreen Puri, co-founder of British womenswear brand Pomdoro, says she’s pleased with the event’s growth: “Harrogate Fashion Week once again delivered the feel-good factor to the industry this season. With an ever-increasing number of brands exhibiting and a three day show on the horizon, it is evolving into a much-needed national show.”
Lisa Speet from Carol C Collections is equally enthusiastic about the show’s future: “It’s always a pleasure to attend Harrogate Fashion Week. We ended having had a very successful show – even in these uncertain economic times. We felt there was a great positive buzz about the event and can’t wait to go back next time!”
Finally, Fee G agent Diane Sykes says: “Harrogate is such a fabulous destination for buyers, which makes it a really fun weekend – the show has a lovely vibe.” And Tanith Kelly from Kate and Pippa adds: “This was our first UK show and we have had a huge success. The collection has been so well received and we will definitely be coming back for next season.”