7 August 2016
Moda has opened its doors amidst a positive and buoyant atmosphere as the trade welcomes in the launch of the s/s 17 season. Buyers arrived early at the show – which opened at Birmingham’s NEC this morning – with plans to invigorate their in-store offer with a range of inspiring new ideas for the spring season.
“Moda is my main buying show and this season I am here in several capacities,” says Gillian Senior-Macdonald, owner of the Hat Box in Oxford. “I am buying for my own store - which I have owned for 11 years - stocking my pop-up Christmas shop which will launch in the centre of Oxford this year and also meeting a friend with regards to our new venture; a new store which will branch out from hats and accessories into womenswear.”
For the brands themselves, the calibre of buyers in attendance at the show exceeded expectations.
“This is our key order writing show and we've had a busy first day,” says Nick Williams at womenswear label Marble. “We introduced a new concept of colour phase deliveries several seasons ago and people have really come on board with that. The best thing about Moda is that we are located in a prominent position and our brands from all over the country know where to find us.”
The sentiments were echoed across all five sectors, as the first day confirmed Moda’s position as the trade’s key order writing event across the entire spectrum of the trade. Having exhibited in the past with its wider portfolio of menswear labels, BMB reported a positive reaction to its new addition Ben Sherman, which made its debut at the show this time around.
“The first day has been fantastic,” says Andrew Thomson, head of wholesale at BMB. “Ben Sherman is an iconic label with a wide appeal, and we knew that Moda Gent was the right platform from which to engage a wide range of customers. We've been busy all day to the extent that we didn't take a breather until mid-afternoon, and have consistently had three or four customers ordering on the stand at any one time. The only thing we have been lacking is a spare set of samples because the brand was in so much demand.”
Over in Moda Footwear, new arrival Nicola Sexton reported a similar experience from the moment the doors opened until close of play.
“We've had a phenomenal response to the collection,” says the founder of eponymous label Nicola Sexton, who is also a retailer herself in Bury St. Edmunds. “It surpassed my expectations because we are new to the wholesale side of things, but customers loved the collection and bought into it. We have been delighted with our experience and will definitely be back next season.”
For exhibitors within Accessories, Moda’s position as a cross-sector event once again proved beneficial to brands targeting several demographics.
“This is our main order-writing show and, although I have been exhibiting for many years, this season has really surpassed my expectations,” admits Stuart Robinson, director at Accessories by Park Lane. “We have launched a new collection here at Moda Accessories and the reaction has been overwhelming; the stand has been mobbed all day and this is only day one. It's fantastic to be able to meet so many different types of buyers from boutiques to gift stores, all of which are business-focused and serious about buying into the collection.”
Over in Moda Lingerie & Swimwear meanwhile, the launch of new area Active proved to be a success. Presenting a range of activewear and sports styles, Active played host to a range of dedicated collections from brands including Acai Activewear and Björn Borg, as well as sports diffusion lines such as Freya Active and Anita Active.
“Active is such a relevant new launch,” says Neil Smith, UK country manager for Bjorn Borg. “The orders we took within the first hour alone surpassed anything I could ever have expected, and the response from buyers in the womenswear sector has just been overwhelming. This sort of stylish performance wear is exactly what they want in store right now, Bjorn Borg is completely filling the niche in the market and the Active platform has been the perfect place within which too meet quality and relevant buyers; I fully expect that this area of the show will double in size by next season.”
Moda will re-open at 9.30am tomorrow and Tuesday.