The summer edition of Copenhagen Fashion Week ended on Sunday, August 9 after its four-day run. All in all, five fairs including CIFF, Gallery, CPH Vision, Terminal 2, Unfair and over 40 shows transformed Denmark’s capital of Copenhagen into a major fashion center.

Once again Copenhagen attracted tens of thousands of international trade visitors, although a fall in visitors and exhibitors numbers was recorded at each event. CIFF had 24,371 visitors, or 14.5% fewer attendees than last August’s edition, while Gallery had 10,809 visitors during the four fair days, representing a 4% decline relative to August 2008.

The mood was optimistic nonetheless. Several of the 908 exhibitors at CIFF reported a positive experience. “We have seen new customers every day, and a lot of interest has been shown by foreign buyers from, for example, Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden,” said Henriette Sonne from Mio my Mio, which has been at CIFF for several seasons. “Our expectations for the fair have definitely been fulfilled.”

The mood was also upbeat at Gallery, where predominantly Danish brands presented their spring/summer 2010 collections alongside several international brands, including Germany’s Hugo Boss Orange, Finland’s Ivana Helsinki and Sweden’s Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair.

The line-up held its own, with a variety of northern labels including Acne, Tiger of Sweden, Rützou, By Malene Birger, Wood Wood, Stine Goya, Mads Norgaard, Whyred, Wonhundred and Designers Remix. “90% of the brands are Scandinavian. Slowly we are changing and increasing with more international design brands such as Dior, Vivienne Westwood and Coming Soon by Yohji Yamamoto,” Gallery CEO Christian Gregersen said.

Outside the forum, the gallery tent hosted several fashion shows, including the opening fashion show for Copenhagen Fashion Week by Stockholm-based brand minimarket, Fin, Ivana Helsinki and Karen by Simonsen (launching her first collection after departing from her former label munthe plus simonsen last year). Carin Wester also presented her first show outside of Sweden, offering loose yet dressy outfits with striking batik prints that worked. At the same time, several designers presented their collections offsite. Stine Goya showed at a swimming pool, Henrik Vibskov at a parksite, and Wood Wood on the street next to its flagship store.

This season CPH Vision and Terminal 2, presented under the umbrella of Copenhagen Fashion Fairs with the aim of introducing more activities to Copenhagen Fashion Week, drew 3% fewer visitors than its last edition. In total, 20,619 industry professionals visited the two showcases. “The decline in visitor numbers did not take us by surprise as we are very much aware of the difficult times currently facing many companies," said Jan Busch Carlsen, Founder of Copenhagen Fashion Fairs. "It has been a time of bankruptcy, especially in the fashion and textile industries, and fashion retail is of course being cautious. We experienced that the purchasing period became concentrated into fewer days and that activity was at its most intense on Thursday and Friday. There were fewer representatives from each shop, but the qualitative buyers where definitely present and, as was the case in previous years, orders were signed, new contacts made and the overall feedback from exhibitors was that the fair provided excellent business and great new networking opportunities. This just goes to show that there is no actual correlation between visitor numbers and what can be achieved at the fair," he added.

Accordingly, it was also the first time CPH Vision was held outside the fairgrounds at Børsen, the old stock exchange building in Copenhagen. The new outdoor area for Terminal 2, meanwhile, was launched along with the newly remodeled facilities, with upgraded shuttle services operating between the two fairs.

The next CIFF and Gallery shows will be held on Feb. 11-14, 2010.

—Melanie Gropler and Karin Leiberg