The a/w 15 edition of Moda Lingerie & Swimwear 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 between 15-17 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.
Long standing lingerie exhibitor Philippa Bradley Agencies were among the exhibitors which saw a positive up-turn in business. The agency’s co-director Lucy Osborne commented: “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.”
Elsewhere, the positive buzz was shared by brands across the show, with Caroline Van der Woude the UK and Ireland sales director of Triumph, which returned to the show after a five year break, stating: "It's been a true pleasure to be back at Moda and seeing all of our customers. The feedback on our unique stand and our beautiful a/w 15 collection has been wonderful."
Notably this season, was a welcome resurgence of Irish buyers, with brands across the sector noting the growing confidence in this geography. The Irish retailers too echoed this sentiment with Anne-marie Cortés, owner of Sheer Elegance saying: “The past year has been better than previous years, and people are starting to purchase with greater confidence. Nevertheless, it’s important that we diversify and move with customers’ needs, which is why we come to Moda. This season we have found a new nightwear brand, which is a bit different to anything we currently stock.”
Buyers and brands alike 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 specialist Orbitvu and EME Digital, e-commerce website company Visualsoft and stock management providers Top To Toe, to name but a few. 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, as well as a specialist lingerie and swimwear panel which welcomed founder of large bust size brand Tutti Rouge, Jessica Prebble; author of lingerie blog Two Cakes on a Plate, Mette Sophia Hänninen; founder of CoppaFeel! Kris Hallenga and editor of Underlines Magazine Pamela Scott to the main stage to discuss topics ranging from the 50 Shades of Grey effect to the place of the intimate apparel industry in health matters and the impact of e-commerce on the industry’s customer service advice offer.
With the topic of erotica at the forefront of visitor’s thoughts following the panel, newcomer from the show and erotic lingerie specialist New Temptations saw success at the show. The brand’s business development executive Faye Simcock said: “We decided to come as we wanted to reach a more mainstream market and it’s all been good. We’ve found that visitors have been quite accepting of more erotic ranges as many felt that they had been missing out on something and wanted to fill that gap.”
On the opportunities for brand exposure at the show, Simcock added: “We had five items in the catwalk show and people have come to see us as a direct result.”
Summarising the growing positivity within the show, Penny Robinson, event director for Moda Lingerie & Swimwear said: “The mood throughout the show was one of more decisive buying and it’s pleasing to see that the investments made by brands have been rewarded by the increasing improvements in the market starting to make a real impact on trade business.”
The next edition of Moda Lingerie & Swimwear will showcase s/s 16 collections and will take place at the NEC from 9 to 11 August 2015.