14 Feb 2018

Drapers: A bustling atmosphere makes for a positive Pure London

Winter sunshine shone down on Kensington’s vast London Olympia exhibition centre as the Drapers team braved icy temperatures to join the throngs of buyers heading to the autumn 18 edition of trade show Pure London, which ran on 11-13 February.

Sunday brought a buzzing start, particularly in the main womenswear area, where a strong mix of premium, mainstream and contemporary womenswear labels offered colourful, texture-rich and print-heavy collections for the new season.

This season there was a greater focus on ethical brands among Pure’s 700-strong exhibitor line-up, alongside new sourcing section Pure Origin, which aims to bring international manufacturers and textile producers together under one roof.

Julie Driscoll, managing director at Pure London, said: “This edition has been really positive. The sun’s out, and it feels energetic.With Pure Origin, wanted bring the whole supply chain together. [US trade show] Magic does it in Las Vegas, and Ispo in Munich does it for sportswear, so it’s a proven concept that’s missing in the UK.”

Driscoll hoped that Pure Origin, which is likely to be expanded further in future editions, will help draw in new retailers that do not usually attend the show. Denim, shirting and athleisure manufacturers were all present, and Drapers spotted producers from around the world among the 60-plus exhibitors, including the Textile Forum, India’s Handloom Export Promotion Council members and Era Denim from Turkey (see views from the show).

Like the Pure Man and Athleisure sections of the show, Pure Origin took a while to warm up. They were all generally slower than the busy main womenswear hall and adjoining young fashion-focused Spirit section. Drapers struggled to get on some stands, including Rino & Pelle and Emin & Paul London, which were crowded throughout Sunday.

Buyers were also poised to do business. Orders were written on stands across the womenswear and Spirit sections, as buyers sought to bolster their brand mix with new and exciting product. While footfall in some areas was slower, the liveliness of the main space meant feedback was positive, with brands and visitors alike satisfied with the show.

Mood of the show

Pablo Conde, export manager, Spanish womenswear brand Alba Conde.

Pure is always a really good show for us, because we see a real mix of international customers. We also go to trade shows in Paris, Madrid and Moscow, but when we do those shows we tend to only see customers from the domestic market. Here at Pure, we see British buyers, we see Irish buyers and we see some from across Europe. And London is London – it always great to come here. We had a really busy first day, it has been really good.

Kane Michael Luke, country director UK and Ireland, Tiger of Sweden.

We’re showing at Pure London for the first time and we’re happy with our decision to be in the menswear section. The show got off to a good start, and we’ve had some good appointments and meetings. It is mostly indies here, which is exactly what we’re looking for. I was expecting the menswear section to be a little bigger – it still feels like the womenswear section in general is a lot better. The show has a huge variety of brands with some interesting names from all over the world.

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