Selvedge Run – Berlin’s Heritage Trade Show

The Spring/Summer 2016 trade show season in Berlin sees the introduction of the new heritage and workwear brand fair, Selvedge Run. The past two seasons in Berlin have seen a shake-up of the trade show landscape with the abolition of Bread & Butter in its usual format causing uncertainty and confusion in the city. Autumn/Winter 15 saw many of the denim and workwear labels usually located in Bread & Butters L.O.C.K. / Fire Department area relocate to nearby SEEK and Premium or otherwise not at all. With so much confusion and an obvious gap in the market for likeminded heritage brands it was only natural that a new trade show has emerged to fulfil this void. While Clutch Collection popped up over in Japan to cater for the Asian market, Berlin-based denim store Burg & Schild and Andreas Becker, co-owner of the Circus GbR took matters into their own hands and launched Selvedge Run, a small concept trade show catering to authentic, heritage-conscious men’s clothing, denim goods, boots and accessories. The debut will run parallel to the other Berlin fashion trade shows from July 8 – 10, 2015 and sees the return of many of the brands that were absent last season as well as a host of new names that will entice buyers and denim heads to the show. The organizers have secured an industrial-style location in the south-east area of Berlin, which shall house 30-40 brands that include the likes of 3Sixteen, Japan Blue, Momotaro, Edwin and Iron heart as well as newcomers like Knickerbocker MFG Co., Studio D’Artisan, Red Cloud and Dawson Denim. We spoke to one of the founders Andreas Becker to find out more behind the show and what attendees should expect from the debut:

Can you tell us about the people who are behind Selvedge Run and how you came together to create the show?

The idea to the show came from the team behind “Burg und Schild”, Maria Klaehn and Shane Brandenburg, and was in large parts a reaction to the declared move of the BBB to Barcelona in 2014, which in the end never happened. Maria and Shane approached me to help with financing, logistics and organization, and I have introduced them as well to Unit Berlin, a design agency that has collaborated with my own company, the Circus Group in designing and developing our hotels in the past. Daniel Werner, a well known buyer in the menswear industry and Matt wilson from Denimhunters.com joined the team through personal contacts. It was obvious from the beginning that we shared the idea of a quality oriented menswear trade show as a part of the Berlin Fashion Week.

Obviously the trade show landscape in Berlin is changing right now. As a new business entering the market, how do you feel about this and how will Selvedge run impact/contribute to the scene?

Very good question, and, as usual, the future is difficult to predict. The trade show that in the last years attracted the highest number of visitors had just been taken over by one of Europe’s biggest Online Retailers, Retailers, Zalando, and we assume that the new owner will turn the show from 2016 on into a Business to Consumer event. Of course this will have an impact on the number of buyers and media in town, but we do believe that the future of Berlin as a platform does not depend on the BBB any longer as much as it surely did a few years ago. The stability and growth of other shows (Premium, Seek, Bright, Show and Order, Panorama..), the growing importance of the German-speaking market, the established connections to Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, the comparably low costs and the importance of Berlin as a European capital of youth culture will guarantee an extremely attractive alternative to Paris and/or Florence. Selvedge Run hopes to be the first point of call in the future for men’s wear brands with a high quality approach, a long history or sustainability in their DNA.

How does Selvedge Run compare/differ from other trade-shows in the city like Seek, BBB and Premium?

First of all, we are young, new and a bit smaller of course, at least for now. We do believe that Selvedge Run with its clear emphasis on clothing brands that live the anti-thesis of the throw away and mass production culture of the last decades promises a sharp and identifiable identity. Brands showing will find themselves among enthusiasts, passionate producers, detail oriented experts and quality wise the leaders of their field. Products to be proud of, simply. Buyers visiting will find a curated selection of brands that deliver what an increasingly conscious and critical consumer in the next decades wants: a “good” story, satisfying answers to the questions how, where, why and for how long these products were made. Selvedge Run aims to showcase brands that make a difference in the brand portfolio of any retailer, and satisfy the consumer through longevity, quality and background. This approach, we believe, is unique to Selvedge Run.

What should denim heads/buyers attending the show be excited about?

As mentioned before, we strongly believe that on Selvedge Run every buyer will not have to get through a plethora of brands that are impossible to differentiate and concentrate on marketing more than on the inherent qualities of a product. Visitors will not waste their time, and they’ll meet quality leaders and the cream of the crop. Also, we believe, they’ll meet a bunch of pretty nice people, have some excellent food, get a top notch Espresso and meet more producers and owners of unique brands then on most other shows.

You have a very niche selection of denim brands on offer. How did you go about selecting these exhibitors?

Since this is our first show the selection of brands reflects our own preferences and backgrounds. Shane, Matt and Daniel have worked in the field for years, have established connections and approached their friends, partners and favorites. Besides this we have set a list of criteria (see our website), that a brand showing on Selvedge Run has to be able to relate to, and any brand should fulfill at least one or two of those, so that helped us in the process. Also, the space we decided for for the first show just allows us to show around 50 brands, so there were some limits. For the next show in January we are moving to Kulturbrauerei in central Berlin, more space, better structures, easier access and it’s important for us to widen the horizon covering all aspects of Menswear, with denim being an important, but just one segment of the market.

What specialist brands do you have that should excite buyers to attend the show?

I am extremely happy about the portfolio of brands, and it would be unfair to pick just one or two. You´ll find the complete collections of some of the best Japanese denim brands around, which rarely show in Europe, such as Iron Heart or Japan Blue. You’ll find a dozen artisans, craftmen, small producers that are highly specialized enthusiasts such as Soxisix or Emma Opitz and that look really good on the shelves of any retailer. We have local heroes such as Zeha and BMW Motorrad as high quality denim producers from countries like China and Germany, where they revitalize a partly gone tradition. So, this is the first edition, we are small, but everyone visiting will get a pretty good which approach we want to throw some light on.

Are there any denim parties/events that people should know about in and around the city during the shows? 

Jesus, hundreds. People leaving the city on Friday or Saturday usually have some serious rings under their eyes and a massive sleep deficit. Berlin’s nightlife is pretty unique, we think, and one of the reasons for the fact that buyers and media like to come here. Dozens of brands organize get-togethers and parties, the best bars and clubs in town are full with Fashion week visitors and buyers. A good meeting point and information hub is usually the SoHo House in Mitte, and the shows themselves throw parties that will supply you with everything you need. The Selvedge Run party by invitation will happen on the 8th, and we’re really looking forward to that!

Best denim store to visit in Berlin? 

We’re biased here, so we’d have to mention “Burg und Schild”, plus the 14 oz, and the denim backyard in Münzstrasse should do the job.

For more information on the show head over to the website to find out more and register for accreditation. The show will take place:
Wednesday, July 8th  2015 from 10am to 7pm
Thursday, July 9th, 2015 from 10am to 7pm
Friday, July 10th, 2015 from 10am to 2pm
LOCATION: Selvedge Run Trade Show Reinbeckhallen, Reinbeckstr. 9, 12549 Berlin

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