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Fristads' catwalk hits Workwear & Corporate Clothing Show
Apr '09
The Workwear and Corporate Clothing Show, which took place earlier this month (1 – 2 April) at Birmingham's NEC, wasn't just an exhibition!

OK, it WAS an exhibition, and a very good looking one with some fantastic stands (pics available), but the event also had its own, vibrant fashion show, a superb conference on Sustainability AND a glittering award ceremony, hosted by fashion and corporatewear design icon, Jeff Banks, and which recognised and rewarded the achievement of a cross-section of buyers and suppliers in the industry.

The exhibition
So to take each element in turn, the show itself opened its doors on 1 & 2 April to allow the 70+ exhibitors to showcase their products and services to 1,700 visitors (equal to last year's attendance, which in the current climate is a great achievement) from the very specialised workwear and corporate clothing sector. The exhibitors spanned the vast array of companies that supply this important industry, from major contractors like incorporate wear, (servicing major names such as Barclays Bank, Stagecoach, Superdrug and Bentley Motors), to specialist fabric suppliers Invista and Lauffenmuhle, to smaller, specialist companies, such as Sharron Lee supplying headwear, PLUS a vast array of companies providing protective workwear, stylish corporate collections, accessories (gloves, footwear, etc) and the related services.

The fashion show – the centerpiece of the event
So, to the fashion show, which took place three times each day and was the centerpiece of the exhibition. Sponsored by Russell Europe, the vibrant music and professionally choreographed extravaganza showcased collections from Fristards & Co., Pret Aparel Ltd., Arco, 3M, incorporate wear and Bond Safety.

The catwalk show proved a great success for the exhibitors. Laura McIlwrath, Marketing Executive of Fristads & Co, said, “Our catwalk scene proved a major hit with show visitors as it generated much interest, becoming a big talking point of the show.”

Visitors also approved. Gordon Glenister, Director-General, British Promotional Merchandise Association said, “The fashion show is great and really demonstrates garments in use, which you really cannot do on the stand.”

The glittering Business Manager Awards gala dinner
For many the glitter award ceremony, hosted by Jeff Banks and sponsored by Invista's Cordura brand, was one of the highlights of the event. Held for the first time this year, and attended by 200 guests, the Business Manager Awards were designed to reward and celebrate the hardwork and dedication that goes into creating the spectrum of working clothing from the specialist clothing for individual needs to the wardrobes created for wearers across the globe in a range of work circumstances.

Before the main awards were made, two very special awards were presented:
director-e Lifetime Achievement Award
Campbell Bland – UK Market Manager from Lenzing Fibers

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