- Jackie Mallon |
The three-day childrenswear trade show welcomed designers from the U.S., Spain, Italy, the U.K. among other countries, to present their new apparel, shoes and accessories collections. According to data provided by euromonitor.com, childrenswear accounts for 12 percent of the apparel market but, in the last five years, its growth has outpaced both men’s and womenswear. In 2016 it grew by 6 percent to be worth 31.6 million dollars compared to 4 percent in 2014, and this pattern is predicted to steadily continue until 2020. This can be attributed to a number of factors: rising birth rates, parents in developing markets having more disposable income than ever before, parents choosing to have children later in life, the rise in popularity of junior influencers like Prince George and Blue Ivy, and Instagram sensations such as four-year-old Farouk James.
So the 200 brands exhibiting at Playtime have reason to be optimistic. The athleisure trend in adult apparel wasn’t in great evidence at the fair, despite the qualities of comfort and practicality being prerequisites of kids’ clothing. There was however a noticeable prioritizing of well-crafted timeless basics (like variants of Prince George’s famous navy v-neck sweater) and an almost universal appreciation of organic, fair trade fabrics and practices.
Nami, who now lives in Belgrade, Serbia, and Miriam who lives in Melbourne, Australia, met over twenty years ago while studying at Rhode Island School of Design and, after an international career working in womenswear, launched their childrenswear line, Kin––“There are a lot of Skype sessions!” They make all their pieces in India and are happy to explain why: “Our fabrics are all sustainable wool and cotton; we use block printing which is a craft there that’s unfortunately dying out but which creates no waste, unlike screen printing. The printer carves the wooden block and then uses it as a stamp; perfectly efficient. Our dyes are non-toxic so none of them will end up coloring the rivers which is what happens with the traditional harsh chemical dyeing processes. The Indian factories can do embellishment like no other. Those skills are just undeniable to their culture so there’s a harmony to that.”
“We also work with a Bolivian woman who hand-knits our alpaca pieces as part of a cooperative,” says Miriam. “It’s good to know that women, many of them mothers, can work from home and be independent.” Kin make styles for both mother and child, but the designers don’t identify with the “mini me” idea of dressing one’s children in fussy adult styles. “We are selective. Our shapes are geometric and we avoid standardization of pattern making,” says Nami. “But at the end of the day, we design for people, and some of them just happen to be small.” Meanwhile Miriam proudly lifts the hem of a dress to display the care label printed with the words Be kind to your kin.
Kindness in kidswear seems to be the overriding trend. New label Viverano, showing at Playtime for the first time, partners with CHETNA, an organization which establishes infrastructure and ensures ethical standards in some of India’s most impoverished areas where a mere decade ago families had been left starving and the environment decimated after aggressive GMO cotton farming killed the soil and contaminated the water. Now the organization has created a robust community of smallholder organic cotton farmers. Fledgeling knitwear label Mouse In The House has similar motivations and describe their wares as “ethical heirlooms,” boasting “All sales are reinvested in makers’ communities.”
This promise of essential at-oneness with the various levels of the manufacturing chain seems to have organically led to a large-scale rejection of extraneous detailing: the clichéd frills, sparkly embellishments and tutu shapes for girls seem to be on the wane in favor of a cleaner aesthetic exemplified by Amsterdam-based Gray Label, which sells itself as “Organic apparel for the little minimalist.” A rustic homespun feeling pervaded many collections and dominant color palettes were earthy and vegetable-hued, with classic notes of navy and bottle green.
The back-to-basics approach even extended to children’s toys, specifically the range of paper dolls by NYC-based company Of Unusual Kind, whose Austrian founder Anja Kroencke draws each doll by hand and sells them with a selection of outfits and accessories. They provide what she calls, “a beautiful handcrafted respite from technology.”
Now that’s what I call Playtime.
By contributing guest editor Jackie Mallon, who is on the teaching faculty of several NYC fashion programmes and is the author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry.
Title image from MITH.com; Farouk James from his Facebook; all other photographs by Jackie Mallon for FashionUnited
- Sara Ehlers |
WWDMAGIC just announced that it will be adding two new areas for its show floor. The event, which takes place February 21-23 in Las Vegas, will be expanding its show with Accessories the Show as well as the WWD Content Studio.
Accessories the Show will focus on all accessories under one roof for buyers. The show will span over 50,000 square feet and will include a variety of brands. The brands will derive from classic, venerable and on-trend designers to give attendees a range in their showcase. “The fashion industry has been longing for a more unified accessories community,” said Shawn Hazan, Director of Planning & Development at UBM Fashion Group, parent company of WWDMAGIC. “Bringing Accessories the Show to WWDMAGIC is in response to that feedback from both sides of the aisle,” said Hazan. Bringing this show will allow a more efficient way for buyers to browse through the sourcing event.
WWDMAGIC will also debut WWD Content Studio for the first time to offer live content created from the show floor. The event will also include panels covering content creation as well as industry topics. The event will be in partnership with WWD Studios, which produces content in fashion, beauty, and retail. Discussions at the event will be led by Marcy Medina, West Coast Bureau Chief at WWD and Alex Badia, Style Director of WWD.“We decided to bring [the content studio] to the Las Vegas showcase to expand opportunities for our brands,” said Kelly Helfman, Show Director for WWDMAGIC, PROJECT Women’s and FAME. “Not only does it offer our brands a memorable experience; it’s an unprecedented opportunity for exposure worldwide.”
Located at the Las Vegas Convention Center, WWDMAGIC will bring together various women’s apparel and accessories in the fashion industry. The show ranges from emerging trends in fashion including independent and established designers. The portfolio of brands participating in the WWD Content Studio include Andy + Evan, B.B. Dakota, Bora Designs, State Bags and many more. The show will take place later on this month starting February 21 and spanning three days.
- Sara Ehlers |
This year, sourcing event Kingpins has announced it’s going to get involved with the political stance of fashion. Going to Washington D.C. for a live-stream event, the trade show is planning to discuss the intermix of politics and fashion and how it can affect businesses.
Known for its trade events in Amsterdam and New York, Kingpins focuses on denim and textiles in the fashion industry. In a recent announcement from the trade event, Kingspin has decided to host a live panel from Washington, D.C. discussing how NAFTA, TPP, and a Trump presidency may affect the global textile industry. The live-stream will be on February 9 at 10AM including a short panel. The panel will consist of president of the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA); Augustine Tantillo, president and chief executive of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO); and Robert Antoshak, managing director of Olah Inc.
The sourcing events allows others to attend the live show through a link. This is the first episode of Kingspins exploring the relationship between government policies and the textile/fashion industries. Currently, Kingpins has not announced when its next episode will be specifically. However, this currently show will delve mostly into President Donald Trump’s politicies and trade deals that affect the fashion climate.
- Vivian Hendriksz |
London - L.A Fashion Market is set to welcome a new trade show this season, namely Source British. Set to run from March 13 to 14, at the California Market Centre (CMC), the event will see Source British become the first trade show exclusively dedicated to British brands to take place alongside of L.A Fashion Market, together with other trade shows such as Capsule, Curve, Transit and Coeur.
“We are very excited to be bringing the U.S. our great brands from Great Britain,” said Olivett Asare, founder of Source British. “Registered attendees of the Source British event will have access to exclusive British brands and an authentic British experience.”
The new trade show is set to be divided into focused areas to offer visitors a “quintessential British experience”, and include a home, gift and craft area and a fashion, footwear and accessories area. Key fashion brands exhibiting include the Leather Satchel Company, Hedon and Roy Lowe & Sons.
“The CMC is excited to host Source British, and honored to present the industry with the U.S.'s first trade show dedicated to British brands. Source British will join our established shows helping to further position the CMC as a prominent destination for premier fashion and lifestyle brands in Los Angeles,” said Joanne Lee, Senior Vice President of Tradeshows & Marketing at the CMC.
“British design and craftsmanship have long been revered by US buyers. With Source British in Los Angeles, West Coast buyers are being offered the extraordinary opportunity to explore Britain's top brands in one convenient LA Market trip."
In addition, there will also be the Trend Council Pavilion, which will present curated designers such as Orla Kiely, Something Wicked and Sherene Melinda as well as trend forecasting sessions for buyers and exhibitors alike. “America has always had a love affair with British fashion,” commented Mitchell Kass, Creative Director and owner of Trend Council.
“The UK continues to be a source of exceptionally creative design talent and our “Trend Council Presents” Pavilion at the upcoming Source British show in Los Angeles will showcase established brands as well as emerging designers.”
Photos: Courtesy of Source British
- Simone Preuss |
After a successful debut of Bread & Butter by Zalando last September, the German online retail giant has announced first details about its second 'trend show,' which will take place from 1st to 3rd September 2017 at Arena Berlin. The motto this year is 'BOLD'.
After taking over the bankrupt fair last year, Zalando had quickly announced plans of a complete revamp and converting the event from a trade show to a trend show. True to its word, the e-tailer turned the former exclusive trade fair into a public fashion festival with live music, workshops and digital innovations. This concept will continue in 2017 and include insights into recent trends in fashion, music and lifestyle. First confirmed brand partners are Adidas, Alpha Industries, Converse, Lee, Reebok and Vans.
“Last year we successfully started a whole new chapter in the history of Zalando and Bread & Butter. We connected more than 20,000 people at the event with the fashion and music they love and amplified the content through digital channels beyond Berlin into 15 countries,“ remembers Carsten Hendrich, Zalando's VP brand marketing, about last year's start.
“With our new motto BOLD, we want to take [Bread & Butter] to the next level: Our aim is to celebrate the various facets that the fashion world has to offer and use technology and live communication channels to establish this platform across all fashionistas in Europe,” adds Hendrich.
According to Zalando, the new Bread & Butter motto for 2017 – ‘BOLD’ – is a celebration of courage, character and individuality. Thus, the concept rejects the idea of fashion telling people what to wear or how to wear it. “It is about giving people the strength to go their own way, do their own thing and be who they want to be,” stated Zalando in its latest press release.
- Vivian Hendriksz |
Amsterdam - Modefabriek, the largest fashion trade fair in the Netherlands, enjoyed one of its busiest and most positive events to date this week. Running from January 22 to 23 at the convention centre Rai in Amsterdam, Modefabriek 42nd edition welcomed over 600 exhibitors from across the globe to present their Fall/Winter 2017-2018 collections. “This Modefabriek is more than just fashion - it is about inspiration, creativity, business and pleasure. It all comes together here. I think it’s a beautiful edition,” said Joke van der Wijngaart, Chief Operational Officer of Modefabriek to FashionUnited NL. “The atmosphere is good and there is a positive vibe all around.”
The optimistic atmosphere felt at the event was contagious, as was the feeling of newness exhumed by the collections shown, which enhanced by the event’s new layout and decorative stands which aimed to offer visitors a full rounded experience. Fashion shows, stores, restaurants and a relaxation area offered visitors the chance to relaxed while seeing the latest trends in action and the new learning programme, which featured MF talks from the likes of trend forecaster David Shah, in-depth Master classes for upcoming professionals and expert one on one sessions offered, visitors valuable insights into the fashion industry.
Where you unable to attend ModeFabriek, or interested in learning more about the trade fair? FashionUnited attended Modefabriek and offers you an exclusive virtual look into the event through a 360 degree video and photos. Scroll down to see our 360 degree video of the MF fashion show.
FashionUnited also made 360 degree photos of Modefabriek different Districts, to showcase the trade fair’s new layout and offerings. The 360 degree photos include interactive ‘tags’ in the form of a circle, click on the tags with your mouse to learn more about Modefabriek’s new sections and offerings. Don’t forget to make sure your sound in on! A view from District A - D
Carnaval of all in District A
Interest in beauty is on the rise, as Modefabriek also tapped into the growing beauty and wellness segment this edition just like trade fairs Premium in Berlin and Pitti Uomo in Florence. Visitors at Modefabriek were able to drop by the ‘Carnaval of all’ at District A and enjoy a courtesy massage, have a mini-make over, or get their nails done for a bargain price. Visitors were also able to make a fun purchase, or two, at Tos Gallery, the two month old label launched by the former designer from Ilja Visser, which features hand painted silk scarves.
Wild West at District B
The food corner in District B certainly stood out from the crowd as it was decorated in honour of the Wild West, including cacti, a tipi, horse and a saloon for parched travellers. In the tipi, visitors were able to enjoy the designs from the men behind the Amsterdam-based label Atelierreserve.
Men’s wear celebrates Sunday Best in District C
Men’s wear was the central focus in District C. Sunday Best was put together by Spike Spijker and is the follow up to the Dutch exposition from last summer, which looked back at key moments in fashion history. This time Spijker focused on the emergence of dandyisme for the display, and surrounding the mannequins were several men’s wear exhibitors.
Fashion show Happy Valley in the connecting hallway
Visitors were treated to a complementary trend-led fashion show, inspired by equine sports every hour in the connecting hallway between District A and C. Split into four central themes: Aristo-Stripes, Candy Jockeys, Show Ponies and Gamblers, models took to the ‘races’ to strut their stuff to the tune of Mister Ed, from the hit tv show (1958–1966) featuring the beloved talking horse. Designs from the likes of Marina van Dieren, Zyana Keizer, Lisa Konno and Bonne Suits were shown amongst others.
Shop and Eat in District D
Visitors were treated to more shopping opportunities than ever before at this edition of Modefabriek. In District D, the More Department Store was bigger than ever before, as it took over the space left by the former sustainable MINT section, which was integrated into the rest of the trade fair this season. Shop-in-shops from the likes of Mayke and Coming Soon were found surrounding the CJ platform and Hussein Suleiman from Daily Paper also decorated a store featuring products from Amsterdam ‘urban’ labels.
Curated Store by HTNK
Upcoming brands such as Newd Studios, Blouson Noir, AnoukxVera, Aesthetic Stories, Majem, Wildthings, DOYOU Studio, The Dutch Hatter and Afra Amba were featured in the curated store by HTNK in District B.
Blurred Lines in District C
Grietje Schepers (concept & design) and Floor Knaapen (curator) developed a curated collection of limited edition items which were available for sale via tablets once more. During Modefabriek 41st edition the duo went for nude-coloured items, but season saw the designers select items in wit, steel, silver or marble.
Modefabriek predicts its welcomed over 19.000 visitors on average this season. The next edition of Modefabriek is set to take place on July 9 to 10, 2017.
360 degree photos and videos: Inge Beekmans for FashionUnited
Photos en videos: FashionUnited
- Vivian Hendriksz |
London - CHIC Shanghai, China’s largest international and national fashion trade fair, is set to kick off it next edition in March without the presence of Pure Shanghai.
Running from March 15 to 17 at the convention centre the NECC in Shanghai, CHIC will not be hosting the Asian branch of the British fashion trade show Pure London for the first time in two years, as the trade fair organisers behind Pure have ended their partnership with CHIC. The announcement comes less than 6 months after the previous CHIC edition in October, 2016, which saw Pure Shanghai sell out of exhibitor space.
Pure Shanghai ends partnership with CHIC
A spokesperson for CHIC confirms Pure Shanghai departure from the Chinese trade fair, stating Pure organisers aim to focus on the event “core business and therefore decided to give up their activities at CHIC.” FashionUnited has contacted Pure London for additional commentary concerning the end of the partnership with CHIC.
However, a number of UK brands will still be exhibiting at CHIC individually next season, thanks to support from the UKTI. British brands attending CHIC include Vendula London, Sweedom, Cabin Zero, Smart and Joy, as well as accessories brands Jianhui London and Melissa McArthur. Another area absent this season is the Dutch pavilion, due to a lack of local government support for fashion brands. However, a handful of Dutch brands are set to exhibit on their own at CHIC.
In addition, a total of 18 countries are set to return to CHIC this season. Returning international pavilions include Italy, with the pavilion La Moda Italian, France with Paris Forever, Gemrany with Made in Germany, and Turkey with Heritage. Other countries including Peru, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea are to set return to CHIC once more with their own pavilions. In addition to the number of international pavilions, individual exhibitors are set to come in from Spain, the UK, Switzerland, Canada and Thailand.
CHIC will also unveil a new area this season dedicated to Chinese footwear and handbag brands following an increase in demand for these product categories known as Shanghai bag Expo. “Aggressive store expansions will be replaced by store productivity. The focus will be set on more competence and individuality in the styles,” commented Chen Dapeng, Head of CHIC and Vice President of China National Garment Association in a statement. “The retail trade is looking for more stimuli and new directions in style setting.”
Over 100,000 trade visitors from across China and overseas are expected to attend CHIC this season, as the trade fair acts as a bridge for international brands into the Chinese consumer market. Covering more than 100,000 square meters, CHIC also acts as an information platform for brands and retailers alike concerning the latest retail developments in the Chinese market.
Photos: Courtesy of CHIC
- FashionUnited |
Fetish meets fashion. The Schwarzer Reiter label, which originates from the luxury fetish segment, amalgamates these two worlds and now presents its first B2B fashion collection for men and women, BLCKLBL, at PREMIUM Berlin.
The Berlin brand has stepped up to give the fetish lifestyle a new, streetworthy look. Moreover, with the appointment of Edin Desosa as Head Designer, the label has brought in someone from the fashion industry who, with his team, can skilfully translate this lifestyle and inject a trendy, unique, professional look into the collections. In our interview he reveals what we can expect from Schwarzer Reiter’s BLCKLBL.
Why is Schwarzer Reiter a good choice for fashion retailers?
We control the entire supply chain, from designing and developing the look through to production and sales. Quality is the most important criterion for all our textiles. All the goods stocked in our wholesale business for resellers are characterised by perfect pattern construction, a high degree of comfort and contemporary style. The collection from Schwarzer Reiter is extremely sellable and perfectly suited to complementing the other product ranges within stylish boutiques, shop-in-shop solutions, fetish shops and lifestyle boutiques.
How did you come to know Sabine Schwarz, the founder of Schwarzer Reiter?
I studied Fashion Design and, in my final collection, worked with a large number of patent leather and transparent fabrics, without really thinking too deeply about the theme of ‘fetish’. It was my understanding of aesthetics. At the time of completing my final presentation I was, of course, unaware that this would unconsciously have a logical continuation later on. My collections have always been somewhat darker and more provocative than others, which brought them to Frau Schwarz’s attention. She perceived my collections to be a form of interpretation of a feeling.
What is it that makes clothes part of fetish fashion?
In my collections it is not a matter of showing a lot of skin or emphasising specific places on the body explicitly. It is about focusing on the beauty of the body, which is brought to life through an item of clothing. It is in the mind of the beholder, who is drawn into his or her own fantasy world and thereby endows the item of clothing with his or her own version of the story.
What type of woman wears your clothing?
In principle there is no specific type of woman who wears my designs because, at the end of the day, there is no woman in the world who does not want to be desired. Every woman wants to feel beautiful and desirable; hence all women who demand exclusive, beautiful designs are my customers.
What differentiates Schwarzer Reiter from other labels in this area?
The difference between Schwarzer Reiter and other labels in this area is that we fuse fashion and fetish in a very particular way and give our products the necessary respect and touch of luxury without resorting to clichés.
How would you describe the collection being exhibited at PREMIUM?
BLCKLBL is provocative yet also stylish, trendy and ultra fashionable in design. These are looks for fashionistas, trendsetters and all those who like a profligate lifestyle. BLCKLBL is made from high-quality faux leather, transparent materials and glamorous, sequinned fabrics. From development to manufacture, from the first design to the choice of materials we proceed with the utmost care and attention, in order to create a modern, strong-selling end product that fits like a dream. In order to ensure this high standard of quality at all stages of production, Schwarzer Reiter works with partners with whom it has years of experience doing business. Our products are created and designed in Berlin and manufactured in Italy. We take the slogan ‘Devoted to Style’ very seriously.
You can find Schwarzer Reiter at PREMIUM Berlin in Hall 1.
Images: Schwarzer Reiter Wholesale
- FashionUnited |
The British luxury accessories brand Lulu Guinness was established in 1989 by the then 29 year old Lulu Guinness. It all began with a cleverly conceived, trend-setting briefcase for women; today, the label operates stores in Taiwan, Thailand and China in addition to its shops in the United Kingdom.
In typical Lulu Guinness fashion the collection for S/S17, available from February, has a romantic flavour. The designer turns her rose-tinted glasses towards accessories as the ‘heart of expression’. Emojis in particular served as the inspiration for the brand’s Spring/Summer collection, the special highlight of which is the ‘Lulumoji’ app that accompanies it, which fans of the label can download for free.
The brand counts celebrities such as Kate Moss, Eva Herzigová, Olivia Palermo, Arizona Muse, Emma Watson, Poppy Delevingne, Paloma Faith and Dita von Teese among its fans, to name but a few. What’s more, it is not just designer Lulu Guinness who was honoured for her services to British fashion by being awarded the OBE in 2006; some of her designs have also, as it were, been elevated to the rank of fashion nobility. The ‘Florist Basket’ bag is part of the permanent fashion collection held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and has also been on display at the famous Sotheby’s auction house both in London and New York.
You can find Lulu Guinness at PREMIUM Berlin in Hall 5.
Photos: Lulu Guinness
- FashionUnited |
Koral cites integrity as its core strength and the sporty elements of the label have, indeed, been rigorously thought through. Designer Ilana Kugel, who grew up in Brazil, and the industry expert Peter Koral combine Brazilian sexiness with a Californian obsession with sport. The resultant hybrid strikes a perfect happy medium. The brand unites sophisticated design with a high level of performance in a playful, fun-loving way.
’New Wave’ is the title of the collection that will set the tone in summer 2017. The Koral summer collection is geared towards the rigid lines and colours of the city. The prevailing colours here are therefore white, bisque (an off-white, biscuit-coloured hue) and claret shades that give the wine tones within the colour a light, chocolate frosting this season. Anyone feeling peckish at this point can indulge their appetite – provided they don’t lose a sense of balance in sport. The collection boasts sophisticated details and highly functional pieces that ensure you will look as good in the gym as you do when out and about. Cleverly integrated mesh inserts, elastic straps and camouflage prints give the collection a certain edge.
Kitted out with the Eternal, Evanesce and Koral Infinity tech, the label’s athleisure pieces feature all the refinements imaginable when it comes to performance wear. Quick-drying, anti-pilling, UV protection, odour control, compression and fast moisture wicking properties are just some of the benefits from the L.A.-based brand.
You can find Koral at PREMIUM Berlin in Hall 2.
Photos: Koral Summer 2017