Opening day of Pure London, the UK’s leading fashion buying show, welcomed a host of buyers from across the UK including John Lewis, Gerrards, ASOS, White Feather, Evalucia, Chattertons, Iris, EQ Woman, Pamela Schiffer, The Snooty Fox, Parici, Susi C, Chi Edinburgh and Sister. Buyers commented on the electrified atmosphere and international brands showcasing and exhibitors were upbeat about the high calibre of visitors.
Gillian & Gerry Nortcutt from Gillie G’s, Petersfield commented, “It feels very exciting and welcoming here today. Trade shows are incredibly important for us, and it is good to come and see the great variety of new brands showcasing at Pure London – we have found Natural World today – they just caught our eye.”
Sarah Marsh & Fiona Martin from Best Kept Secret, Harrogate commented, “The show is really impressive and very slick. It’s a lovely space, the atmosphere is buzzing and a wonderful environment for a buyer. Jayley has been our highlight, the stand is incredible.”
Crowds gathered at the Pure London catwalk which buzzed with excitement as visitors eagerly anticipated the first preview of AW23/4 trends. The show presented four directional trend stories Arty Campus, Sounds of Fire, Artisanal Survivalist and Nostalgia plus an edit of key looks from brands showcasing at Pure.
Amardip Khosa-Stark, Founder of Dipii Stark said, “This is our first time exhibiting at Pure London, and we are thrilled we made the decision to showcase our Sleepwear on the runway! It has definitely drawn people to our stand, we’ve had a lot of enquiries so far and it’s only day one. There’s a lot of brands here under one roof but joining the Catwalk has brought us immediately to the forefront, we’ve already had a lot of queries and people interested in our brand’s story. I’m very impressed, the show is beautiful, there are some amazing brands, and the music is really good. I feel like the runway makes all the difference and we’re lucky enough to be right next to it.”
Vali Cioban, Designer from Chic commented, “This is our first time at Pure London, it’s very exciting and we have already received a lot of orders. We are showcasing our pieces on the runway, and because our clothing can be worn in different ways, people are intrigued and coming to our stand for demonstrations. We’ve had a whole crowd around us after the catwalk and we dressed up one of our assistants to showcase the range of looks that can be made from one piece!”
Opening the content programme Sebastien Renault and Malaika Ewande, both Artistic Directors from Pure London trend partner, Promostyl presented the AW23/4 trend ‘Nobleness; Elevated Tradition’. New wardrobe codes and the representation of power in dressing is more present than ever. As we move into a new era of power being redefined, Nobleness fuses established classics with a new casual elegance, mixing traditional English heritage, luxury craftsmanship, equestrian and street art.
Drawing on three key trend concepts ‘Arty Campus’, ‘Updated Noble’s’, and ‘Soft Power Dressing’, Sebastien and Malaika took visitors though the subtlety’s of this trend. Sebastien explained, “When we’re talking about power in a fashion context, we also have to look at power in general; the very concept of power has changed giving way for this trend to blossom, there is not just one cultural notion of power and luxury, there are many. Nobleness reflects a more modern, more honest luxury market.”
Arty Campus observes a causal wardrobe that blends the aesthetic of varsity and preppy codes with slogans and graphics. Updated Nobles references ‘old money’. We find elements of English heritage in the aesthetic, but it’s bold and playful – those who wear this trend are anything but traditional. Soft Power Dressing brings a softer, more casual edge, pieces are more careful with sportswear and streetwear becoming staples. Women want to be comfortable, stylish, and elegant.
Offering retailers a unique opportunity to uncover the colours and styles for customers, visitors can also visit the Promostyl stand throughout the show for trend advice and trend forecasting and enter to win free digital training by a Promostyl Trend Forecaster worth over 3000 Euros.
Later on the Pure London stage, retail industry legend formerly of Liberty London, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman & Henri Bendel and celebrated author Ed Burstell joined Olivia Pinnock, Pure London Sustainability Ambassador and journalist for an in depth discussion on Ed’s illustrious career and his perception of the retail industry today.
Ed described the role he held at Liberty London as, ‘The Dream job!’ and fondly looks back to when he joined the company explaining, “’When I got to Liberty, I thought I knew everything, what to carry, how to merchandise, what to spend my marketing budget on, but I made mistakes. My biggest take away would be to listen to your team and don’t think you know everything!”
“I loved my time at Liberty but knew it was time to leave when I woke up one day and didn’t have ideas on how to take the business further. There is an expiration date on creativity. You have a certain period of time when ideas are fresh and then it is time to take on a new challenge.”
Addressing sustainability Ed explained, “The pandemic has meant that every age group has adopted Gen Z values which has really pushed the conversation on sustainability. If you, as a retailer, are not aware of sustainability and ethical retail, as the next wave of shoppers come up, you’re going to be lost. If you don’t have a genuine story and can demonstrate credibility in your sustainability messaging, you are going to be called out on it.”
The intimate session with Sara Simmonds, Chief Mentor at The Conscious Innovator outlined her innovative roadmap to the audience, exploring how to connect with customers in the changing era of conscious consumerism, and how to make your mission of selling more, and wasting less a reality now.
Sara advises, “It’s a new era. It’s the era of conscious consumerism. But what does that actually mean? It starts with the leaders of our industry. Fashion designers, wholesalers, creators of brands are leading the change. I believe in the power of what we consume, it has an amazing opportunity to do great things. Making products, selling products, engaging with products can change people’s lives, but customers want to know deeper; they want to know your unique mission, your unique dream. The biggest thing that’s stopping sellers from reaching their customers is lack of clarity, consumers get overwhelmed. Have a clear focus, find your unique value and power proposition and it’ll help you cut waste; time, energy, money and products that no one wants.”
Gloria Sandrucci, Event Director at Pure London says, “Day one has been overwhelmingly positive. Since the doors opened this morning, the aisles have been buzzing with buyers. Exhibitors are reporting brisk trade and have been positive about the season ahead. The catwalk show is creating a fantastic atmosphere, with crowds of visitors gathering for every show. The mood is buoyant, and I am looking forward to the next two days.”
The opening day of Pure London also marked the launch of The Independent Fashion Retailer Sustainability Toolkit. Celebrating the launch of this invaluable resource the #PureLondonLoves competition runs throughout the show and gives retailers the chance to win a free consultancy session with Sustainability Ambassador Olivia Pinnock. There is still time to enter with three days of competition and three winners.
Visitors joining Pure over the next two days can look forward to beautiful catwalks and trend presentations and seminars from inspirational speakers, tackling the biggest challenges facing the fashion industry. Highlights include much-loved winner of the BBC2 series All That Glitters, Piers Carpenter on his journey to becoming a jewellery star and Pure London Sustainability Ambassador, Olivia Pinnock joined by Simon Bell, Co-Founder of Immaculate Vegan, Josefin Wanner, Fashion Design and Co-Founder of Tråd Collective, and Kalkidan Legesse, CEO of OWNI for the Heads Together panel discussion: Succeeding In Sustainable Retail.
As the UK’s leading trade fashion buying event, representing womenswear, footwear, accessories, jewellery and young fashion, Pure London brings together the brightest minds and creatives in the industry to showcase the best of the season’s collections, discover the latest trends, exclusive business insight, and all-important international connections. It runs until Tuesday 14th February 2023 at Olympia London, for further information please visit www.purelondon.com.
Photos by Paul Winstone & Monika Schaible © Fabuk Magazine