Mar 24, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
Feb 27, 2017
We spoken before on WGSN Insider about how the model for trade shows is changing and how different trade show set-ups are adapting to these changes. To this point, I wanted to mention my recent visit to Bubble London, a dedicated stop on the calendar of any serious kidswear editor. The trade show, which takes over the Business Design Centre in London in the early part of the year, is always a treat to visit for me. It continues to offer up those established award-winning kidswear brands like Rachel Riley, which are well into over a decade of trading, showcasing them right next to new brands from around the world.
For a trade show like this, you might think it would be difficult to keep reinventing itself and staying fresh but Bubble London has managed to keep the buzz around it, thanks to the fact that kidswear as a retail sector has never been so important.
So how did the trade show manage to grab our attention this season – and see an increase in buyers?
Well, a number of ways. First up was the new area for international design talent. “Bubble played host to the Peruvian Pavilion for the first time this season, which showcased South American artisan collections. The Group chose Bubble London as their only European platform for A/W 17 and we look to develop similar partnerships at future events,” said Lindsay Hoyes, Bubble’s event director.
It is this juxtaposition between the established and the new, the heritage brands and the rising stars, which keeps Bubble London so fresh. It’s also why the trade show saw a 9% increase in the number of buyers. There was also a 23% increase in independents and 48% increase in online retailers. Footfall was just as diverse with visitors coming from USA & Israel, Australia and India, as well as South Korea and across Europe.
In terms of the kidswear: The Great British Baby Company wowed me with the signature Classic Heritage British Look, offering up the finest British materials and craftsmanship to produce each piece. Each item uses premium cloth, sourced from mills across the British Isles often with more than two hundred years of history. Each is made from start to hand-finish in British workshops by skilled men and women. The hand feel of the outerwear pieces is exquisite.
In sharp contrast to the strong heritage message, was the kidswear presented by rising star award winners Anglo French brand Love & Honor. The brand showcased a tight capsule of uber-cool slogan sweats, tie-dye pants and chambray skirts, Inspired by the music and surf lifestyle of Hossgor in the south west France, where the brand is based.
Finally, New Swiss / Italian brand, Goganga, were also offering up some noteworthy designs. Runner-ups in the rising star category and already spotted by kidswear team at Pitti Bimbo in Jan, Goganga exhibited its new A/W17/18 collection.
A trend-led brand for kids aged 6-15 years. Mixing fabric, colour and texture to maximum effect is signature to their look. This brand is likely to play a big part in future kids editorials as the brand is packed with quirky silhouettes and details. So keep your eyes on this one.
And finally, with a nod to the ever-growing demand for eco-friendly kidswear, Bubble launched its first ‘Green Ambassador’ to highlight the eco and organic exhibitors in the show, as well as a curated Green installation area.
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