Interactive Moda proves success for A/W 2015
The A/W 2015 edition of Moda saw buyers from across Britain and beyond meet with a diverse mix of mainstream fashion brands and essential business advice, as the show returned to the NEC from 15 to 17 February.
The show continued trends witnessed in previous seasons with growing positivity from both buyers and brands. Year on year the number of visitors registered as buyers increased by 5%, with more than 97% of those having purchasing responsibility, which translated throughout the show with strong business written onsite.
Sarah Jane, brand manager for womenswear brand Decollage which exhibited in the growing women’s contemporary fashion area, Moda White, said: “We’ve been chock-a-block with business from start to finish and have opened lots of new accounts. We come to Moda each season because our customers do, it’s the perfect market for us.”
Long standing lingerie exhibitor Philippa Bradley Agencies also saw a positive up-turn in business with the agency’s co-director Lucy Osborne commenting: “In terms of written orders, we have had our most successful Moda to date. Spending was less cautious this season and retailers were a lot more willing to make an up-front commitment.”
Notably this season, was a welcome resurgence of Irish buyers, with all sectors noting the growing confidence from this geography. Stephen O’Gorman, buyer at Patrick Bourke Menswear was cautiously optimistic, saying: “There is a little bit of confidence coming back in Ireland now. Last autumn was better than the previous one, but a lot will depend on how this spring turns out.”
He added: “We come to Moda as it’s the only place that we can see all our shoe brands together. We are growing the footwear side of our business, and becoming more established as a footwear destination. Being able to see all the brands in one place means that we don’t repeat styles, which can happen when you go from showroom to showroom. Buying at Moda is better for us.”
Elsewhere, buyers praised the show for the variety of product on offer with the launch of fast-fashion area, The Loft in Moda Gent receiving particularly positive feedback. Björn Borg were among the strong contingent of brand’s showcasing collections in the area encountering particular success. Neil Smith, UK Sales director at Björn Borg said: “The recent a/w15 Moda show was our best yet, we felt that the younger spirt of The Loft area suited our brand well and was ultimately good value for money.”
As well as the host of brands and collections on offer, visitors also benefitted from the show’s new initiative the BE2B Hub which provided a stand-out space for business seminars and retail service providers. Among the providers were online marketplace Downyourhighstreet.com, photographic specialists Orbitvu and EME Digital, e-commerce website company Visualsoft and stock management providers Top To Toe, to name but a few. The area builds on the growing demand from visitors for e-commerce and in-store information in one easy-to-access space within the show.
Start-up retailer Lynne Powley said: “I’m looking to open my own store and the panels and seminars have given me some great information. It’s a difficult market and the BE2B Hub really helps someone like me enter into everything with my eyes open and armed with some really practical advice.”
The introduction of expert panels to the seminar programme this season welcomed daily discussions around marketing and PR as well as e-commerce. Nicola Seller, owner of women’s footwear and accessories store Shoobyloo, Brighouse said: “We are a small family business so finance and resources for e-commerce can sometimes be difficult, so the seminars are invaluable. Moda is perfect for us, as having all the brands we stock in one place and this level of business advice saves us so much time, which is always at a premium for retailers like us.”
Summarising the growing positivity within the show, Nick Cook, ITE Moda’s portfolio director said: “There was a definite sense this season that retailers are feeling better about their prospects for 2015, and although they’re still cautious they are now buying into new brands and new product. Retailers are also keener than ever to look into new ways of improving their businesses outside of the stock they buy, so new additions to Moda such as the BE2B Hub are now enjoying greater prominence on our visitors’ agenda.”
The next edition of Moda will showcase s/s 16 collections and will take place at the NEC from 9 to 11 August 2015.