23.08.18

After the trade shows article – thoughts and so…

After the trade shows article - thoughts and so...

On my private Instagram I did a poll yesterday. Asking if my readers would generally like to see more personal posts here (with 98% who clicked on YES I think that is a clear message!), I then asked what kind of personal posts we are talking about. (you can still join if you like and leave your reply there)

And one answer was ‘your thoughts and ideas’. That is a wide stretch of a topic but it reminded me that I wanted to write an article to summarise the trade show season. Talk a bit about the things I have heard, discussed and of course witnessed. There is no deny that things are changing fast these days….

And give you my two cents as well.
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I love visiting the shows. Catching up with everyone, discovering new collections and brands and making out the trends. Listen to designers, shop owners and their needs. But lets just have a look:

Designers agree that the pattern of consumption has changed. A lot! The market is moving fast and people expect a complete new and fresh collection for every season.
And that is exhausting. Especially on the long(er) run. And this fatigue I could feel. A lot! Brands that showed their new S/S collections for 2019 will go home after the shows and immediately tackle the A/W for 2019/20. Especially people that are in the business for a little while are tired. And tired means that it is difficult to be inspired, to move forward and to follow the quick rhythm. Skipping a season is a dangerous project that you may survive but very well may not.

You probably wonder what about the basics?! Yes, people do need basics but the reality is: They buy them from the high street!

And to be even more honest. Not only that. We talk a lot about production and organic and the new group of parents (so called millennial’s) are very keen to know how things are made and so on. But not everyone is and the high street has really caught up when it comes to modern designs. You literally do not need to pay 50bucks for a cool t shirt. Quality and everything not included of course, but if it is just about the cool factor you can find your stuff in the big international shops. And here again, these brands are able to drop collection after collection throughout the whole year. You can visit some stores every two weeks and find something new.

Another big thing is the uncertainty of how things will change further. Shops are closing, cash flow is limited and there are only a very few brands that can survive for a short while with open bills and less retailers.

I mentioned the whole online shop business in my earlier post. Shops are closing! This may help to regulate the whole market a little but overall everyone really wants more help to put sales seasons in place. Or the whole Asian buyer scene that still shops huge amounts under the radar and who are the only reason some shops still exist. Rules and laws are needed!

Another sensitive point is the whole ‘no budget’ story. Nobody has a marketing or PR budget anymore. Instagram makes a lot of brands believe that they can do it themselves and this might even work for the moment. But I truly wonder where this will go in the long run. I am not in the adult fashion business (at all) but I do notice that the top brands never stopped having their ads in the well known print magazines for example. Well selected and I guess the sales of print ads has changed there too, but they do advertise. Why? To make sure that their brand is seen and that it stays ‘alive’. Keeping the image of your brand in the mind of people. Like I said, for now some may do ok, but Instagram will not be there forever and is actually already changing (heard those complaints too!). And since nothing is for free, no marketing budget might very well mean that your name is not known by potential clients.

What else?

Playtime Paris needs to find a solution for their summer shows. The heat was unbearable and when literally everyone you talk too is about to have a melt down because of the heat: Something is wrong. We heard about the eco building and the ‘no aircon possible’ thing but really – do something. Nobody can expect that you stay focused and spend your budget in a building with 40C. Impossible! Ideas? Fans?! Give each boot a big fan, as a starter. Put some in the press room too.

Another thing I will never understand. You go with your brand to a trade show which means that you did spend a good amount of money (and time) to get there. Why don’t you get the most out of it? I am always going to the shows when the doors are opening so that it is not too busy. There was one particular show where people would sit on their chairs and literally do nothing when people would walk by. Nothing! No smile, no hello, no standing up and asking if you are interested to know more. Even when you approached to touch a garment or see a detail. Nothing! Aehm!? I do not get it… and I do believe that you just never know who you might meet. (especially since you decided to go and show your brand, S H O W it!)

And I envy all you brave people out there in this business. It is not easy, it is hard work and it does ask a whole lot of dedication. I always love to see when brands connect with each other. Because you can gain so much from exchanging and knowing that you are not alone with your ups and downs. I would love to see this happening more and try my best here and there to connect people. They very often thank me for that afterwards.

To finish off: Expect optimistic collections for next summer. Sporty influences, primary colours and happy as well as motivating prints and messages!

Thank you for listening and I am very happy to hear your thoughts as well. Comment below or drop me a line. I am looking forward to it! xxx

 
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