Pure London returns for a show-stopping AW23
Pure London, the UK’s leading fashion buying show, ended this afternoon following three days of showcases from international fashion brands trend-led, inspiring, and educational content. As the industry leaders Pure London partners with Promostyl to ensure buyers and retailers have the opportunity to see the cutting edge of fashions trends, to inform their buying, and create ranges that fly off the rails. Retailers including Aloft, Anna Park, Anthropologie, ASOS, Avenue 85, Best Kept Secret, Bob & Ted, Chattertons, Cordelia James, El Corte Ingles, Elizabeth Rose, Evalucia, Farfetch, Gerrards, Harrods, Hoopers, Huttons, Iris, John Lewis, Liberty London, Morleys, Next, Oliver Bonas, Pamela Schiffer, Selfridges, The Snooty Fox, Urban Outfitters, White Feather and QVC attended Olympia London across the event creating a mood full of optimism and excitement for the season to come.
Kyron Howell and Calla-Rae Brennan-Marle from ASOS said, “It has been a great show, very relaxed. We especially loved the embellishments and all the pops of colour. It's been good to see some sustainability and we loved Jayley. We have seen lots of new brands and some newness for Occasion and Bridalwear. We visited Gen-Z and liked Kali Works and their tribal prints on fabrics. We watched a great Linked In business talk on how to grow your brand profile.”
Louise Haisman from Twenty Three Living said, “I loved the catwalk, it was spectacular and in a great position this season, central to the show. Pure London is key to establishing up and coming trends and I have seen some coming through the great edit of brands here today.”
Naresh She from Nesh She online commented, “The show is so colourful and easy to get around. The fashion show was amazing, I will use it as inspiration for my online brand.”
Karen Hockin from Liquorice said, “I come to Pure London to ensure I don’t miss out on any new brands. This season I have found a new Danish brand and picked up a new jewellery supplier which is amazing. The show feels incredible this season, it's tied together beautifully with all the different sections and very easy to walk around.”
Responding to the greatest challenges facing the fashion industry Event Director Gloria Sandrucci put the focus this season on sustainability. This thread ran through the show’s international collection of brands, with the new dedicated Purely sustainable destination proving popular with buyers, industry leading content programme and the launch of Pure’s Independent Retailers Sustainability Toolkit.
Gloria Sandrucci, Event Director of Pure London says, “The response and attendance at Pure London this season has been incredible and I’m thrilled to be closing the show on such a high! We have focused on one of the biggest challenges the fashion industry is facing, sustainability and the response from visitors, who have crowded the catwalk for the Sustainability Panel, discovered the brands in our new destination Purely Sustainable and taken advantage of the tailored and invaluable advice offered at the Sustainability Hub, has been amazing.”
This optimism was echoed by brands exhibiting at Pure. The legendary George Davies, who bought his new collection GWD to Pure London for the first time said, “Ladies fashion is not in my blood it is in my heart. Coming to Pure for the very first time in my life and meeting so many people I didn’t expect to meet, gave me so much delight. I think it is wonderful way of letting manufacturers and retailers meet and do business. It is international and it’s a show I would never miss having been here. We will be coming back next season.”
Sinead Braford from Jayley said, “We’ve had the best time at Pure London; it’s been our best show ever, our stand has been absolutely packed, and our colours and fabrics have been a very big hit on the catwalk. We’ve been thrilled with the new accounts that have been opened. People are recognising us a lot more now; the catwalk has made a huge difference in our brand awareness.”
Zoe Baldock from BL^NK said, “Our brand is 22 years old, and we’ve probably been exhibiting at Pure since it existed. The highlight of this show has been seeing our returning customers, we have a lot of customers that only come to see us at Pure London. We’ve also been quite lucky this year to see lots of new faces and opened new accounts. I think the fact that we’re near the catwalk has made the difference, we’re right next to the action, and the catwalk generates a lot of traffic, so when people are done, they disperse to the surrounding stands.”
Helen Barker from FIKA said, “This is our first time exhibiting and we’ve had a great variety of people come to see us. This has been a positive show, we’re based in Manchester, so we have a lot more business in the North but coming here, we’ve got new stockists in and around London and Brighton which is fantastic! I’ve found the talks really useful and also just meeting peers in the industry, we can relate, advise, and inspire each other.”
Amin Rahman from Collectif Clothing, “We exhibit every year, and love being here. The highlight for us has been all the new leads that we’ve collected. I’ve browsed around and saw some new stands, so we’ve been networking with those. We’ve made lots of orders from customers in the UK and Europe.”
Robert Manock from Manock Naturals, “The attendance has been impressive, and I like how international it’s been too, there are people from all over the world. I have caught some of the talks which have been really interesting and as a result, I’m going to visit the Sustainability Hub to discuss how we can market ourselves as a leather brand.”
On the Pure London stage, Olivia Pinnock, Pure London’s Sustainability Ambassador chaired a thought-provoking panel; ‘Heads Together: Succeeding In Sustainable Retail’. Joined by Simon Bell, COO & Co-Founder of Immaculate Vegan, Josefin Wanner, Fashion Designer Co-Founder of Tråd Collective and Kalkidan Legesse, CEO of OWNI and founder of Sancho’s in Exeter. The three independent retailers discussed the challenges and opportunities of running a values-driven business and the future of sustainable fashion in retail.
Olivia said, “As retailers we must appreciate that small businesses often don’t have the time and resources to invest in their sustainability initiatives, but at Pure London, we really believe that they have a role to play in creating a more sustainable fashion industry here in the UK.”
“The beauty of being a small independent is that you can really build a company around your value system, and you have the freedom to make choices that larger companies don’t have because they have complex organisational structures.” Says Kalkidan Legesse, “So much innovation in sustainability, even in design and creativity is coming from small organisations. The real opportunity for us is to try things that our larger peers would never dare to try to.”
Simon Bell adds; “Startups are unconstrained by legacy models, you can do what you like, you can be the vanguard of change. With smaller companies it’s often easier to get buy in, they’re often owner driven businesses so it’s very easy to portray your passion and bring it to the fore, and you have the ability to change the model and with that, the opportunity to potentially charge more for products that mean more. What we’re seeing at Immaculate Vegan is that increasingly consumers are open to have that discourse, buying less and buying more purposefully.”
Determined to use their global platform to inform on this critical topic Pure London launched The Independent Retailers Sustainability Toolkit from the Sustainability Hub on the event floor. With nearly 14,000 independent fashion retailers in the UK, the Toolkit has been created as an invaluable resource, providing a step-by-step guide with tangible and practical information on everything from reducing carbon footprint and energy consumption to sustainable packaging, to help them embrace sustainability in their business. Over the course of the 3 days over 250 retailers visited the Sustainability hub for 121 sustainability advice.
Olivia said, “We’ve had a good mix of buyers and exhibitors come to visit us. At an event like Pure is great to meet industry peers and get industry intelligence to see what their customers want, what buyers want, and what the most sustainable options are. We’ve created the tool kit for independent retailers to discover more and point them in the direction of sustainable brands. It’s providing people with useful information here on the stand, but also pointing people to other aspects of the show that they could find useful.”
Visitors to Pure London credited the catwalk show as a must see and the three a day shows were packed with buyers and retailers checking out the new trends for the season. Pure London trend partner, Promostyl illustrated how to buy into a trend, but also how to sell trends through immersive sales experiences. AW23 is made for reset and innovation; an evolution of a creative world without limits, four key trends were explored; Artisanal Survivalist, Elevated Tradition, Office Wear and Rhythm of the Night were highlighted to the packed audience.
The stage also welcomed British Vogue Jewellery Editor, Carol Woolton, who interviewed winner of BBC2 series All That Glitter’s, Piers Carpenter on his rise to becoming a household name. Piers remembers, “When I was at school, I did some work experience at a local jewellers. I hadn’t even acknowledged that could be a job or career before, but after seeing the makers on the bench upstairs I became fixated. It took me years, but eventually I did an informal apprenticeship, working on the bench 5 days a week.”
Piers continues, “Before the show I’d never really designed before and now I’ve just finished my first collection which is Snake themed. When I worked in the shop I saw lots of Victorian Snake Rings, and one in particular blew me away, it inspired me to make my first ever piece which I still wear today. I’ve used this as inspiration for my first collection, I wanted to keep it authentic to me.”
Priding itself on continual evolution and pushing boundaries to ensure the buying experience meets the needs of the ever-changing customer and audience, Pure London will return to Olympia on the 16th – 18th July 2023, serving up even more innovations; diverse, new, sustainable, and international brands; the latest trends and creative presentations; as well as the industry’s leaders and changemakers – delivering an exclusive showcase that cannot be found elsewhere.
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