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Bread & Butter continues in spite of difficulties

By Vivian Hendriksz

Dec 3, 2014

Fairs

Rumours that Bread & Butter would fall through have been circulating for the past few weeks. But at last the trade fair's organisation has come forward and stated that the show will go on, albeit in a slightly different format than before.

The event itself has vastly shrunken, with the next fair only taking up one hall. However the location remains the same, the Tempelhof in Berlin. Lately there has been a lot of concern within the industry surrounding the upcoming edition of Bread & Butter, according to German magazine Shuhkurier. Insiders were specualating that the event in January would not go through due to lack of support. However the fashion trade fair's founder, Karl-Henz Müller has broken his silence to clarify these rumours and adament the event will go on.

Bread & Butter shrinks down to one hall

However, there are a number of big changes taking place at the next Bread & Butter, such as the fair's downsize to one hall. Bread & Butter's previous edition spanned five halls, so categories and brands will have to be reshuffled within the new space limitaitons. This means that the Urban Base, the former largest hall of the fair, will be the only one left, with other areas such as Urban Superior, Urban Fashion Fashion, Lunapark and L.O.C.L being cut out.

The trade fair's organisation have already signed contracts for 200 brands to exhibit their collections, including Nudie Jeans, Nobis and Crocs Footwear. These brands have been relocated to the Urban Base, as the other halls have been left out. Müller previously stated that 250 brands had signed to attend Bread & Butter, whilst other reliable sources claimed that only 50 brand exhibitors had registered for the event running from January 19 to 21, 2015.

Müller previously thought about moving the trade fair's location to another venue. However in the end he saw it was better to stay put. “The situation is extremely difficult, it will cost us more than it will yield us,” said Müller. “We fought to organise the exhibition as well as we possibly could.” Earlier this year there were also specualtions concerning a possible collaboration with trade fair Premium, but a collaboration between the two is not on the cards at the moment. “There are currently no discussions,” added Müller.

Bread & Butter ongoing struggles

Things have been unsteady at the German trade fair for the past few months. Bread & Butter cancelled its winter event in Barcelona this August, after industry members and retailers alike shared their skepticism on the move. “In numerous talks with the decision makers of our industry it became clear that in the current market situation, they rather prefer to stick to the established format, despite the appeal and possibilities of the new” said Müller in a statement earlier this year.

In addition, several traditional participating brands have withdrawn from the upcoming January edition in Berlin because chose to attend and exhibit at alternative trade fairs occuring in the city. For example,Carhatt will be attending Bright next January, Ben Sherman has left Bread & Butter for Seek and Floris van Bommel has chosen for Premium.

Finanical issues have also plagued Bread & Butter's plan to launch in Seoul next September. “For that you need to have millions in funding, which I do not have at this moment,” explained Müller. Therefore, in spite of the organisation's best efforts, the future of Bread & Butter remains hazy and uncertain.