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Copenhagen: Trade fairs with stable figures

Feb 11, 2011


Following a difficult period resulting from the global economic and financial crisis, the Copenhagen fashion exhibitions have once again consolidated themselves. During the past week an essentially stable situation revealed itself,

if not a slight tendency towards growth in comparison to summer 2010. The exhibitors were able to celebrate in general due to the increased number of foreign trade visitors. It was on these guests that the organisers focused their primary efforts, in order to further enhance the international significance of the Copenhagen Fashion Week.

The CIFF and its children’s fashion offshoot CIFF Kids recorded 26,484 guests over four exhibition days (3rd to the 6th February), and thereby a little less than in February 2010 when 27,650 visitors attended the Bella Center. However, in comparison to last summer (24,653 visitors), the traditional fair - which took place for the 36th time this year – was able to increase figures by 7 percent. The exhibitors placed particular value on the increase in the number of trade visitors travelling to the fair from outside Scandinavia, with this figure rising by 5 percent in comparison to the last winter event, despite the slight decline in the overall attendance. They noted a particular increase in the number of buyers coming from Italy.

The Gallery exhibition, which is specialised towards design-orientated brands, witnessed a similar trend. In the forum, visitor figures (11,538 visitors) over the three trade fair days (3rd to the 5th February) fell short of those in the previous February (12,364) although they did exceed the numbers recorded in August 2010 (11,399) by 1.2 percent. With regards to the exhibitors (308 brands) and the overall exhibition area (4,650 square metres) the trade fair attained new records. Newcomers to the exhibition site included the top Danish label Bruuns Bazar and international heavyweights such as Closed and Guess.

According to details released by the exhibitors, the number of domestic visitors remained consistent with those of last summer although they were able to welcome an increased number of international guests. “For the first time we had buyers from every continent” revealed trade fair boss Christian Gregersen. He was particularly delighted with the good atmosphere: “I have never spoken with so many happy exhibitors”. The buyers who placed orders included renowned retailers such as Liberty, Brown Thomas, ASOS, Selfridges, Franck et Fils, L'Eclaireur, Harrods and Barney's.

Alongside the trade fair, the Gallery organisers also arranged numerous catwalk shows from renowned Danish labels once again. In all, 10 fashion shows took place in the rooms of the Royal Danish Academy of Music and the programme included complex choreographed presentations from Stine Goya and Barbara ì Gongini in the large concert hall, which counted amongst the highpoints of the Fashion Week.

The organisers of the CPH Vision and Terminal-2 trade fairs were also satisfied. CPH Vision with its strongly Scandinavian portfolio of exhibitors – 60 percent of the 221 brands on show originated from northern Europe – was able to welcome 12,385 trade visitors to the historic Øksnehallen. This equated to a slight decline in comparison to the previous February (12,404) although the trade fair did open for three days instead of four (3rd to the 5th February).

In contrast, the denim and street wear exhibition Terminal-2 reported an increase in visitors even despite the reduction in fair days. 13,752 visitors attended the exhibition - an increase of 5.5 percent on the previous year (12,966) – in order to view the new collections of 247 brands. According to the organisers the strongest days were Thursday and Friday. Alongside buyers from Scandinavia, encouraging attendance was reported from Germany, Italy, the Benelux states and Great Britain.

Despite the overall solid figures, the future of the trade fairs continues to be under discussion in Copenhagen. However, agreement does exist on the fact that the closer cooperation of all participants – which was agreed upon last year – has had a positive effect on the entire location already. This collaboration should now be further developed. Copenhagen should continue to profit from this in the future: “The best recipe for success is the synergy between the trade fairs and the Fashion Week” was the conclusion of Iben Albinus Sabroe, Chief Editor of the Fashion Week magazine Dansk Daily.

From our correspondent