This month at London’s Olympia, Pulse welcomed a discerning audience of enthusiastic visitors seeking the latest design trends and cutting-edge products. Pulse 2018 offered an unrivalled edit of product from new emerging designer-makers and new launches from well-loved brands, and the buyers were not left disappointed.
Retailers were presented with the next must haves and the freshest-new design talent. Big named buyers out in force included Arcadia, Aria, ASOS, Bentalls, British Museum, Debenhams, Fenwick, Harrods, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Liberty, Heal’s, National Trust, Notonthehighstreet.com, Oliver Bonas, Scribbler, Selfridges, The Conran Shop, The White Company, The V&A plus many more.
Expectations were exceeded for our exhibitors who met some amazing buyers and gained more orders than expected. “Literally, within the first ten minutes of the show opening, I’d taken an order and the order was twice the size of what I had anticipated to get, so that was really amazing as it put me on track for my target straight away.” – Kate Stewart, Designer, Factory Floor Jewels. “It’s my first trade show; I’ve found 20 new retailers, which has exceeded my expectations. It’s been a fun and rewarding experience. I would definitely show at Pulse again.” – Adrian Allen, OFFDN
At the heart of Pulse is Makers , a unique area dedicated to emerging creative talent, which was well received by big retail names. 100s of designer-makers exhibited including Animaro, Keeler and Sidaway, Eleni Malami and Meylor Goods, to name just a few.
A popular new addition to Pulse 2018 was Makers Live , a showcase of live demonstrations and interactive workshops from designer-makers. It proved a great way for visitors to understand the creative process behind the products from Catherine Lewis Designs, Rosa Pietsch, A-Laise, Glorious Mud Ceramics and Scribble and Daub. The Brands section brought together an edited selection of favourite global brands in one easy to shop location. Featuring heavyweights like ALSO HOME, Bronte by Moon, Cubic, Eva Solo, Iris Hantverk, Madam Stoltz, Sagaform, Thornback & Peel and Yod & Co. All showcased new launches and the next season’s best sellers.
A highlight at the end of the first day’s trading is the announcement of the annual Pulse Awards , which celebrates the very best in innovation and design. Judged by leading retail experts including Sarah Sevier , Head of Retail at the V&A, Kris Manalo , Senior Buyer at Heal’s, Katie Law , Deputy Literary Editor of The Evening Standard, Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire , Mini Moderns and Barbara Chandler of the Evening Standard. These awards were given to exhibitors with outstanding products and exceptional stand design. The winners were Best Newcomer Lucy Tiffney and OFFDN , Best Brand Presentation Yod & Co and One We Made Earlier , Best New Product (Brands) XD Design , PR Home , (Living) Gedigo OY Ab and Ark Colour Design . Best new product (Fashion) ROKA and Jessica Wilde Design .
The daily ShopTalk conference at Pulse 2018 was presented by 5X15 – curators of inspirational talks and workshops. Shoptalk provided visiting retailers with invaluable business advice and support from a line-up of high-profile speakers. Keynote speakers included Kris Manalo from Heal’s discussing the story of how new products are made, celebrity designer Sophie Conran in conversation with journalist Katie Law. Also topping the bill were Sarah Servier Head of Retail at the V&A sharing her top tips for merchandising and Alex Schlagman from SaveTheHighStreet.org who shared his insight into successful modern retailing. All sessions were really well attended and received and the audience were treated to some really useful business advice.
The biggest buzz around Pulse 2018 were two special areas which offered visitors a chance to meet future design stars. UAL showcased the next generation of creative talent in partnership with the University of the Arts London, highlights were colourful homewares brand OFFDN, Mean Mail stationery, textile design brand LAR Studio and slip cast ceramics from JPD Ceramics. The Jewellery Emporium brought together an exciting selection of unseen jewellery designers. Featured in the Jewellery Emporium were Tribe + Glory, Wild Fawn Jewellery, Regia London and Stockholm Rose Designs.
Working with world-class trend agency Unique Style Platform , Pulse offered up exclusive and expert trend predictions for the seasons ahead. Each trend was presented at the show on special stylised plinths. Future retail trends launched were the sickly sweet Candied, luxurious Library, homespun Crafted and spiritual Inner Balance. There was also two hot of the press Christmas trends announced called True Love and Carnival.
Pulse returns next year from 12th to 14th May 2019 at Olympia London, keep up to date with all Pulse news at www.pulse-london.com.