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Dutch denim fair Kingpins finds its footing in its new home SugarCity

By Caitlyn Terra

Oct 20, 2022

Fairs

One of the halls of denim fair Kingpins at event venue SugarCity. Image by FashionUnited/Caitlyn

A large crowd had already gathered in front of SugarCity in the Netherland’s Halfweg, before Kingpins had opened its doors. The group was characterised by a considerable amount of denim garments, making the material the unofficial dress code for the Dutch denim fair. It is the second time that the event has taken place in the SugarCity event location and it seemed to have rediscovered the atmosphere of its previous home Westergasterrein, where it used to take place.

In the buzz in front of the entrance one could overhear almost every language other than Dutch. A large proportion of Italian, several times Turkish, of course English and a mixture of many other languages. It is clear that the international visitors were back in full force for this edition, which ran from 19 to 20 October. When the fair opened at 10 o'clock on Wednesday morning, the trading floor was immediately busy. Stands filled up instantly and here and there, trades were already underway.

During the day it remained busy and various exhibitors indicated that it once again felt like it did “before the pandemic”. It was busy, but also fun, FashionUnited heard at YKK’s stand. At iconic denim mill Cone Denim, the stand was also busy, but the team was happy to make time to chat. “We already have 12 appointments for the fair, which is much more than normal,” said design director Pierette Scavuzzo. “In April, we were especially happy to see each other all over again. Now it is really back to business as usual.” Scavuzzo indicated that the companies that already have agreements in place with Cone Denim also have a very clear idea of ​​what they may want to purchase.

One of the more creative stands, that of B210 by Calik Denim - a new biodegradable fabric. Image by FashionUnited/Caitlyn Terra

Crowds at Kingpins Amsterdam back to pre-pandemic level

Not only was the fair busier compared to April, there were also more participants. Last April there were 80 exhibitors, now the number has risen to almost 100. To accommodate this, Kingpins took up some extra space in the industrial building, while also taking the flow of the exhibition floor into account. The observant visitor would notice that there was more room for inspiration on the floor, and that more seating had been installed. This extra room gave the fair a more spacious feeling, which also worked well for the crowds. The lighting also seemed to have been improved, with more light points so that the feeling of its Westergasterrein past was more apparent.

That's not the only thing that changed. Kingpins seemed to have further optimised the concept in SugarCity. Anyone who had visited the fair at the Westergasterrein would likely remember how easy the fair was to navigate. Most brands were in the rounded main hall of the former gasworks building, allowing for all the exhibitors to quickly be seen. In SugarCity this proved more difficult because of the various levels of the building and the numerous shortcuts. While the April edition only had signs with the names of the exhibitors, this edition also included numbers and a colour code, making it easier to navigate to the company with which an appointment was made.

A small improvement had also been made to the talks programme. Last April, the talks could only be followed through headphones that were placed on chairs in the room. Due to the lower visitor numbers, this was not a big problem, however if a visitor joined a talk too late, the headphones were often already gone. For this edition, the event chose to work with a normal sound system, which was eagerly used by many interested parties coming for the biannual trend talk of Denim Dudes. Due to the limited seating, people stood or even sat on the floor, filling up the entire room, and with each new slide countless phones went up to take a picture of the information.

Special denim items could also be found at various stands. Image by FashionUnited/Caitlyn Terra
One of the looks offered by Kingpins for inspiration for various garment finishes. Image by FashionUnited/Caitlyn Terra

Kingpins Amsterdam comes into its own in SugarCity this edition

The hustle and bustle on the show floor almost made you forget that the fashion and denim industries are both currently also dealing with inflation and high prices. This is in addition to supply chain problems that many had already become aware of during the pandemic. While these were issues that everyone present at the fair knew about, the topic was rarely discussed. Perhaps a good sign, because people still wanted to do business.

In addition, Kingpins is, of course, a place to showcase what's new in a company's portfolio. For example, YKK showed a detachable knot and rivet, of which there were various forms – a button that is screwed on and a button of mono material that can be removed from the pants by means of a handy tool. The detachable buttons and rivets make it possible to recycle trousers more easily. This means that instead of having to cut off the top of a pair of trousers, the entire garment can be recycled once the buttons and rivets are removed. The demand for these kinds of design details has already come from the market and now that this demand is increasing, YKK is ready to supply these products, as suggested at its booth.

At Kilim Denim, the denim company also wanted to show what it was capable of. Mostly known for the various washes it does, the company can also supply denim jacquard fabrics, for example, as it showed at the stand. Kilim Denim therefore already had various appointments in the books with potential customers who were visiting.

For the avid Kingpins visitor, this edition seemed as if the fair had found its own place within the imposing location of SugarCity. Where the location slightly overshadowed the event in April, Kingpins is now firmly in control again.

One of the looks offered by Kingpins for inspiration for various garment finishes. Image by FashionUnited/Caitlyn Terra

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.NL. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.

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