18-20 February 2018, NEC Birmingham

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Serious buyers boost industry morale at Moda

21-Feb-2017

Moda has closed its doors after a strong three days of trading and a firm buyer commitment to writing orders for the new season. The show held its own in the face of economic uncertainty to deliver a business-orientated trade event that heralded the start of a buoyant a/w17 season to come.

In particular, the new arrivals at the show inspired buyers to commit to orders, and confirmed Moda's position as an essential event for discovering new product.

“It's been a great first show for us,” says Paul Bonnet, key account manager for debuting Moda Gent exhibitor Original Penguin. “We've got a new team behind the brand so we came here to present that to menswear buyers, and we have met the right sort of retailers during our time here. It's been the perfect start to the next phase of our development.”

It was a sentiment echoed across the sectors as labels from all over Europe used the show as a platform from which to demonstrate new and repositioned product. Dutch handbag label Bulaggi was a new addition to the line-up at Moda Accessories, and saw the event as the ideal opportunity to launch its new era of design.

"Bulaggi is back under its original ownership in Holland," and Moda Accessories is our chance to introduced the the brand back into the UK market," says UK agent Paul Yates. "Buyers have noticed the improvements and quality in design as soon as they approach the label and - as a lot of our stockists are footwear stores or womenswear boutiques, we are benefiting from having the full cross-section of buyers here at Moda."

Fellow debutante Cuffscollars was impressed by the quality of buyers in attendance at this season's show.

“It's our first time here, but we have been overwhelmed by how knowledgeable buyers are,” says Musa Nazir, consultant for the brand. “We came to present and explain the quality behind our label, but we have found that buyers instantly recognise our stitches per inch, and the added value of the Cuffscollars concept. They've asked all the right questions, and have confirmed that they are serious retailers with a firm intention to place orders.”

Retailers across the board responded to Moda's new collections with the confidence to commit to something new, despite wider economic uncertainty across the industry.

“I've got one of the longest-established stores in Ireland and yet I've come to Moda and bought into new collections rather than just catching up with my existing suppliers,” says Declan McChesney, owner of Cahill Brothers in Newry, Northern Ireland. “I bought into Holster's first-ever autumn offer, and was also pleased to see Nero Giardini here for the first time.”

Independent department store owner Steve Cochrane also made a trip to Moda to specifically branch out into new product, as well as taking the opportunity to see his regular labels. “Luggage was at the top of our list today,” says the owner of Psyche in Middlesbrough. “We've placed some orders with the labels we were hoping to see, and have seen a lot of inspiring product during our time here.”

For exhibitors as well, the show proved to be a central hub for the entire spectrum of the apparel trade. “We've got a fantastic team of agents covering the country, but we come to Moda to meet the buyers who would never otherwise be on our radar,” says Kamla Patel, sales manager at menswear label Gabicci. “Interestingly this show, we have seen a few womenswear buyers who are looking to take on some menswear, so we've made some really interesting new connections.”

Womenswear brands were equally enthusiastic about the calibre of buyers in attendance at this edition of Moda.

“This season has seen us streamline our look and introduce some more contemporary pieces into the collection, and the reaction from buyers has been fantastic,” says Martina Davis, marketing manager at Emreco. “We've had a fantastic few days and have opened lots of new accounts, so we're happy with the performance of our new autumn range.”

Over in the lingerie and swimwear hall, exhibitors were similarly buoyant across the full spectrum of intimate apparel from shapewear to boudoir lingerie. “We've come to Moda with a varied portfolio of labels, each of which has found its niche,” says David Finlayson, UK agent for Perfect Smoothy, Maison Close, Bluebella and Inamorata. “The reaction to the decadent labels that buyers are already familiar with – Bluebella and Maison Close – has been fantastic, while we have seen a healthy level of interest in our newly launched on-trend shapewear label Perfect Smoothy, and our new addition of Inamorata.”

Moda will return to the NEC on the 6-8 August 2017.

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