The 26th edition of Moda, which took place between 10 and 12 August, was host to a breakthrough in positivity among retailers and brands alike, many of whom celebrated their best season on record and welcomed the show’s new look and layout.
As well as being greeted by almost 1500 collections from across the accessories, footwear, lingerie and swimwear, men’s and womenswear sectors, visitors to the show were also welcomed to a newly redesigned, bright and airy show space, with stands, product zones, entrances and feature areas across the show receiving new design treatments which aimed to reflect retail environments.
The show’s new look was noted by buyers, with Gabrielle MacMahon, owner of Crème De La Crème of Special Occasions saying: “Everything is really clean and fresh and it’s great to see a show looking so good, it’s a really welcoming environment.”
Also enthusiastic about the collections on offer this season, she added: “There are quite a few new international brands, which is good as everyone’s looking for something that other people haven’t got. We’re impressed with what we’ve seen this season – there’s a lot of colour around, which we need. Brands have really started listening to what we want.”
Similarly, lingerie retailer, Belle Dickinson of Delectable Misses D’s who travelled from Auckney to be at the show said: “I love Moda, its serves all our of needs, we having been coming every season for the last three years and we always find something new. We don’t often get many reps coming to see us in store because of our location so it’s great for us to be able to come and feel very much part of the industry.”
Melissa Wheeler of Ambiance, Colchester and representative of the Fashion Association of Britain echoed these sentiments, saying: “It really feels like there are so many different dimensions to the show this season and even with the enhanced feature areas it seems to be easier than ever to navigate around. Anyone who does trade shows often will know how exhausting they can be so all the thought that has gone into the layout and creating spaces such as the press office and the café bars doesn’t go unnoticed by visitors and everyone I have been speaking to has been really positive about the event.”
The newly assembled Mini Moda area in Moda Footwear, which brought together the show’s largest collection of kid’s footwear specialists in one stand out area, was well received. David Attwood of Daisy Roots, the soft leather baby shoe specialists commented: “The show needed a children’s area, and we as brands are really happy about it. There’s a mood of confidence within the market place with the good weather we’ve had just recently moving lots of sandals and summer shoes so buyers seem ready to do business.”
Daisy Roots, joined a host of new brands to the show including Project Jelly, Move by Melton, Miss Sixty, Gioseppo and Noel France as well as industry heavyweights such as Ricosta, Richter, Pediped, Lelli Kelly, Primigi and Lelli Kelly to name but a few. Natalie Collier of Project Jelly said: “It’s been good for me to do the show. Besides selling and raising our brand profile, I’ve some interest from UAE distributors as well as having made some great contacts with lots of new UK independents. Being made in the UK is proving to be a very valuable USP for us and alongside our giving story and it is helping us break into international markets.”
Elsewhere, all sectors enjoyed positive feedback from retailers, with both new and long standing visitors to the show praising both the brands and this season’s seminar programme which was extended with the inclusion of the E-Zone Live. Maureen Halkett of women’s boutique Unique, in Lossiemouth, Scotland said: “Moda is always great food for thought, I’m on my way to try catch some seminars now. I’m really interested in the e-commerce programme this season as we are developing this area of the business and social media in particular is an area I have lots of questions about.”
Similarly, first time footwear visitors Doug and Linda Tait of Le Petite Boutique in Yorkshire commented: “As a growing new business the show has been a brilliant way for us to decide where we need and want to be in the market place. We will be launching a new online store room and are planning to head over the E-Zone Live later to see some of the seminars.”
The E-Zone Live welcomed speakers including blogging expert Jonny Ross, broadcaster and new media specialist Jon Tromans, online marketing guru Martin O’Toole of Fist of Fury and John Popham who specialises in social media engagement with local communities. Jonny Ross commented on the growing number of independent retailers looking to e-commerce and e-marketing, saying: “I had so many questions after the show, everything from getting started to deeper discussions about blog traffic and SEO, even compared to the February show the retailers seem to be really engaging with and embracing new media outlets.”
Also speaking and exhibiting in the area, Top to Toe, Esperus, 360 Resourcing, Retail Technology Ltd, ZipDelivery, Brightpearl and PfsWeb were among the companies demonstrating the latest in stock management, online recruitment and e-tail solutions in the new knowledge hub.
Among the exhibitors this season, the shown welcomed a host a fledgling labels and new faces to the line-up. Newcomers to Moda Accessories, NV Bags, enjoyed its debut edition, with Nicki Black, the brand’s managing director saying: “It’s been great, we have met both new and existing clients and have written good business with retailers from right across the UK. We have had a brilliant reception for both the Envy collection and our new Woodlands label.”
In Select, the edited area for men’s contemporary and urban clothing and footwear, new faces included Gloverall, David Watts, Justin Reece and Ridgemont. For David Watts, the retro clothing label which is fast becoming a favourite with celebrities, the show was similarly an opportunity to raise its profile. Carl Sharp from the brand, said: “We had a great time over the three days at the show. The way our range was received by everyone at the exhibition was excellent and really encouraging. The show has been a great and really direct way for us to meet new contacts. As a growing business we are still a very new name within the industry so this gave us the perfect opportunity to showcase the collection.”
As well as new faces, the show’s regular exhibitors also benefitted from the high standard and interest from retailers coming to show. In Lingerie & Swimwear, Amanda Joynt head of sales and marketing at Silhouette Lingerie also opened a host of new accounts. She commented: “We have been coming to the show since year dot and this season has definitely felt like something of a turning point. We have had so many good quality buyers to the stand that it is probably our most successful show to date.”
Michael Black, joint owner of Latte which exhibited in Moda White, the area for fashion forward and contemporary womenswear said: “We are delighted with the response we have had this season, I’d go as far as to say it’s been our best show ever. Things have really picked up for us this season and buyers are ready to do business and it makes us really excited for next season.”
Nick Cook, portfolio director at ITE Moda, summarised the season’s show, saying: “This summer’s show has been another crucial and positive step in the right direction for the industry. To hear so many exhibitors have had their best show in years is fantastic news. We are so pleased to see that the optimism of previous season is continuing and moreover that it is translating to good quality business being written at Moda.”
Speaking about the new stand build he said: “As an organiser you don’t always know whether a new layout and design will be noticed when people have so much business to do, but we have had such positive feedback from people at the show about the look that it really seems to have enhanced their experience of the show.”
Moda will return to the NEC for its autumn/winter edition from 15-17 February 2015.
For more information and images please contact Katherine James on +44 (0)1484 848328 or email [email protected]
Notes to editors
• Moda is the UK’s largest business to business fashion trade event, taking place at the NEC Birmingham twice a year.
• Find out more about the brands who exhibited at moda-uk.co.uk.
• Please credit images attached to Sarah Mason and Richard Simpson
• The autumn/winter edition of the show will take place between 15 – 17 February 2015