Despite tough market denim is religion at Bread & ButterWednesday, 11 July 2012
Preppy styles, the ever popular coloured jeans and fashion with photographic prints featuring nature images à la Dries van Noten show up repeatedly in the stands of Berlin fashion trade fairs Bread & Butter and Premium. At Bread & Butter, visitors who can't enjoy the sunshine outside on the former take-off and landing strips of the the Berlin Tempelhof airport, can lay on the grassy knoll at Tommy Hilfiger. Tom Tailor gives a polo demonstration at a polo ranch - the family behind the brand is a huge fan of the sport - and for those who want to get creative the Turkish brand Mavi offers the possibility to make your own tie-dye T-shirt.
New this season at the fair - in which almost seven hundred brands are participating - is the Denim Tempel, which features a Denim Religion Show of which director Karl-Heinz Müller is particularly proud. Over twenty labels, including Denham, 7 For All Mankind, Closed and K.O.I., are there to show their latest collections.
Despite all the attention on jeans as a religion and Müller's belief in a denim renaissance, Japanese label Edwin concedes that these are difficult times for the jeans market. Particularly because of trends like chino's and trousers in every colour of the rainbow, but on the other hand people will always continue to buy jeans. "Things will turn around again," says Boiselle, marketing manager for Europe. "And anyway, this is a good time to be innovative." Edwin, which has thousands of points of sale throughout Europe and one single brand store in London, is particularly strong in the Asian market. The brand, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last year, is looking to build its presence with more brand stores. "That's why we've first decided to expand the collection with sweaters, T-shirts and jackets. A store that only sells jeans just isn't as interesting to look at for a consumer."
Although both Boiselle and Kai Meeuwsse, Benenlux agent for the LA denim label Bleulab, find the fairs quieter than in previous seasons, Peter Heysteeg of Dutch brand Ready to Fish says that he has been quite busy at his stand at Premium. And although the trade fair is plagued by constant power outages, no one seems to notice. "We've had a stand at Premium for years, almost always in the same location and we're very happy. Everyone knows where to find us," he says. Even though the top German retailers only come by for a chat and do their seasonal buying at Paris trade fair Tranoï.
From our correspondent in Berlin