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Moda enjoys positive result despite difficult environment

Aug '09
Buyers and exhibitors were in an optimistic mood at the spring edition of Moda, which took place at the NEC in Birmingham on 9 – 11 August. The show recorded a record number of first-day visitors for a spring edition and, over the three days of the show, attendance was up by two per cent on the same time last year.

“Retailers are a lot more positive this season. They are doing better than expected, and they are ready to buy again into the ranges” said Michael Black, agent for Libra. “We wrote some good orders, especially from new customers which was great. It was good to be back.”

Buyers from department stores including Harrods, Fenwicks, Allders, Arnotts and Debenhams were in attendance as well as independents including Psyche in Middlesbrough and Alizari in Chester, plus online retailers ASOS and Children's Salon.

The mood of optimism continued at Moda Menswear, which had its strongest August show so far with 25 per cent more brands taking part than in August 2008. “I hadn't visited Moda Menswear before and I was very impressed with the diversity of the brands on offer,” said Steve Cochrane from Psyche. “We don't usually buy at shows but we wrote orders with new and existing suppliers and had the time to talk to existing suppliers about new ideas for the store.”

Robert Burgess, agent for Claudio Campione said, “We enjoyed a very successful return to Moda Menswear, picking up a number of new accounts and re-establishing contacts with several others.” But he added that buyers were being more cautious. “In difficult trading conditions on the high street, buyers are playing it safe. However they have been impressed by the quality and price of the collection and even more impressed with the colour and vibrancy of the spring Range.”

Moda Footwear also featured an influx of new brands including first-time footwear exhibitors Fly London, Feud, Firetrap and Strutt Couture. “Moda Footwear is a growing show which is encouraging more premium-placed brands,” commented Strutt co-founder and designer Ian O'Connor. “Our first time at the show has been very successful. Even though there's a recession, the quality of buyers have been very good and they have been willing to write orders. We are happy with the business we've received at the show.”

Exhibitors overall were encouraged by the high-quality buyers and strong attendance at Moda, which introduced a new womenswear platform and Moda Beach area this season. “We're really happy, especially with the quality of buyers we've seen throughout the three days at Moda Beach. The open plan design and stand-build works so well and, considering this has been a first, we've been doing good business.” commented Jacquie Copley, managing director of Aguaclara Agencies.

The August edition also featured a new swimwear catwalk show as well as its regular menswear and womenswear catwalk show and a seminar programme giving retailers and brands expert advice onhow to trade successfully through the current downturn.

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