Moda in upbeat mood despite fears of continued trading slump

    Mainstream fashion exhibition Moda UK swung open its doors yesterday with a well-edited and commercial vision of boutique-targeted menswear, womenswear, footwear and lingerie.
    A younger, more preppy-inspired aesthetic in the menswear hall was mirrored over in the womenswear section by a large cross section of brands who had refreshed their design vision in a bid to engage both younger buyers and retailers targeting young-at-heart shoppers.
    On the opening day, exhibitors were largely in upbeat mood despite acknowledging that spring 11 is set to be one of the toughest seasons to date. Many agreed that in the current climate most of their working days are now spent chasing late payments rather than drumming up new business. One menswear agent said: “Now we have to offer 120 day payment terms. Three seasons ago, that was sixty. And of course, now all the buyers know we offer it, they all want it. And yet we still end up chasing them.”
    Despite the gloomy trading conditions Moda UK underlined brands’ commitment to excite and engage buyers with a more interesting product offer than has been historically seen at the Birmingham NEC show.
    While last week’s trends at Pure were dominated by the re-emergence of trousers and shorts, the womenswear section at Moda remained loyal to the dress. Brightly patterned maxi dresses and subtly embellished mini-dresses ruled the roost with casualwear committed to a yachting personality exemplified by brands including Joules and Gardeur.
    Over on menswear, Fashion Buyer was impressed, not only by the volume of exhibitors now populating the show, but also by the diversity of the offer. The type of bland tailoring once associated with the mainstream menswear market was this season replaced by a carousel of detail rich fashion tailoring, preppy inspired casualwear and flamboyant accessories.
    This improved fashion content was less visible in the footwear area, which, with the exception of brands like El Natura Lista, Aigle, Levi’s Footwear and a smattering of Northampton based classic menswear brands, remained rooted to a core of comfort led players.
    And, while the lingerie section has bolted a significant new section onto Moda’s offering in the last two seasons, buyers in that section nonetheless bemoaned that its unfavourable comparison to the now defunct Harrogate show. Samantha Godfrey of Ruby Says Lingerie in Wakefield said: “It’s a reflection on the state of the sector. So many companies have gone under that this show is only a third of the size that Harrogate was and still pretty much everyone in the market is exhibiting here.”
    Keep checking back in with Fashion Buyer as we bring a rundown of men's and women's key looks from the show.Source URL:
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