Despite the hustle and bustle of the trade show, we managed to meet with CIFF CEO Kristian W. Andersen for a short talk and got an insight into what he thinks about the current development of trade shows and what's new at CIFF.
Would you say that trade shows have a difficult standing nowadays?
Yes, I compare it with movies. Nobody stopped watching movies, people just do it another way. It’s the same with fashion. People still want to buy fashion; they just do it more and more online. So if you want to do your homework correctly as a retailer you have to curate even better, chose carefully and offer something special–that is what we are trying to do with CIFF. We really want to come up with new, fresh ideas and we still think that people want to experience fashion in a physical space. I would lie if I say that we are not living in difficult times. Just have a look at Europe or the whole Brexit situation. But we want to do as good as we can, that is our general attitude.
What are you doing exactly to fulfill that demand?
We are constantly searching for new young talents, we are travelling around the world, looking and meeting up with brands and emerging designers. They see us much more as partners not as organizers. You need a personal connection to the brands. Especially young brands are not impressed by a certain person anymore that also speaks to a whole new generation of buyers. We can learn a lot from these young people and that helps us to get closer to new demands of customers and visitors.
Do you have any new projects in the pipeline?
Yes, we do! Our biggest project will be CIFF Sporting. We are planning a total new area at the fair. CIFF Sporting addresses sports brands as well as equipment. It is supposed to combine fashion and performancewear. We are also planning to build a basketball court as a permanent installation at the trade show area. This project will be curated by Neville Wakefield. CIFF Sporting will also take place during the normal trade show times. We are planning a soft opening for next summer 2020.