Top Drawer sets the tone for a busy shopping season ahead with strong AW18 edition

Top Drawer presented its ‘strongest edit to date’ last month, unveiling over 800 sought-after brands to some of the country’s best retailers. The three-day event took place at London Olympia, offering the newest names, latest products and trend insight across homeware, gifts, jewellery, textiles and accessories.

Established for over 30 years, the trade show continues to be the buying destination of choice for creative retailers searching for next season’s best sellers – especially in today’s challenging retail environment.

Organisers reported a high calibre of influential buyers while exhibitors took orders within 30 minutes of the opening day.

Among those attending included buyers from leading UK department stores Harrods, Selfridges, John Lewis, Fortnum and Mason, Marks and Spencer, Fenwick and Liberty – as well as leading independents, museum groups and retail powerhouses Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Scribbler, ASOS, Next, Paperchase and Oliver Bonas.

This season’s quality of buyers did not go unnoticed by Nicky Sloan, managing director of homewares distributor Cubic Products Ltd, who enthuses: “Top Drawer is the best trade show in the UK by a mile. All the relevant design-led retailers make this a must-attend show.”

Jessica Russel-Flint, meanwhile, who has exhibited her namesake lifestyle and fashion range at the show five times, adds: “The September edition was the best show yet for us; we met a huge amount of excellent new boutiques and stockists as well as consistent existing stockists who were able to view our new ranges. Each year we keep growing and a lot of this is credit to the Top Drawer showcases”.

This edition saw the return of established sectors: Home, Gift, Greetings and Stationery, Fashion, Craft, Food Emporium and Spotted, each of which boasted the finest edit of hand-picked design-led products. In addition, a brand new sector dedicated to all things kids made its debut. Play reflects the dynamism and growth of the children’s sector with a comprehensive edit of the best products for kids within fashion, interior accessories, toys and gifts.

A highlight of the show was Top Drawer’s Fashion floor, which made its debut in 2015. The section has become a must-visit for those seeking unique and commercial accessories and jewellery.  September’s edition presented the strongest edit to date, with 150 labels for visitors to peruse. Meanwhile, it also saw the successful addition of new area Capsule, offering a hand-picked selection of premium conceptual, trans-seasonal and design-led products.

Across the expert curation of fashion accessories, jewellery and textiles were brand new names as well as returning favourites with names including Bellroy, Alex Monroe, Azuni, Nadia Minkoff, Secrid, Nooki Design, Tatty Devine, Pernille Corydon, Tilly Rachel Jackson London, Katie Mullally, Ottoman Hands and Yawn.

Adding to the overall visitor experience, the first ever RetailFest also took place, presenting a comprehensive educational programme that featured inspiration and insight from leading names in lifestyle such as Sophie Conran, Holly Tucker, Annie Sloan and Tamara Ecclestone.

Conran also lent her flair and expertise alongside Heals’ Kris Manalo, Farrow and Ball’s Charlotte Cosby and Chalk and Moss’ Anna Walton, who all unveiled trends for the new season using exhibitor products in unique, original Window Displays.

Top Drawer will return to Olympia London from 13-15 January 2019. For more information please visit topdrawer.co.uk.  

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