Let’s talk business. Bread & Butter is still the worldwide leading trade show for contemporary fashion. People who want to communicate, want to see brands, retailers and are looking for trends, people who want to do business at an international level still feel at home at the trade show at Tempelhof Airport. No need to talk about large or low attendance nor crowded hallways or quiet Thursday. General consensus was: Good quality of visitors, conversations on a high level and people who are really interested. Dietmar Axt, CEO of Mustang Jeans: ”Everything’s really fine here. We met all our clients, found new ones. And that’s what has to be done at a trade show.” Volker Weschenfelder of Camel Active agreed.” Good atmosphere, full house, I am very satisfied with these days.” And Richard Walshe from Fred Perry underlined the conclusion of most of the participating brands: “The trade show was good. What more can you want?”

Of course: The better the compilation of brands in the different halls, the better the degree of satisfaction. Tristan Bolwin from Cinque Uomo: ”The brands here at the Urban Superior area are a perfect surrounding for us and a competent overview for the retailers. All of them were here.” Sven Haltermann from Itzehoe retail company Behrens & Haltermann points this out too: “I want to see a good compilation of brands on an area as small as possible.” Retailers are looking as much as possible for timesaving things. That puts a focus on the compilation of the halls, and it leads back to the well-known discussion about missing brands, especially in the Denim Base area. Axel Schukies from (missing) G-Star: ”The market has changed and so have we. We have to face the challenges of Social Media and viral marketing. Our decision not to be part of BBB is not a decision against BBB, it’s a reaction on the market development. We have to do new things now.”

Let’s speak about the future. The hottest topic at every day on every hallway: Karl-Heinz Müller’s new plans for the upcoming 31st trade show. Extending the show with two more days, opened to consumers (see separate report on sportswearnet.com). “The traditional trade show concept doesn’t work anymore in future,” said BBB-chief Müller. The connecting of brands, retailers and media on a local area in trade show halls, that’s still the base of business but it can’t be the only concept in the future anymore. “We have to include Social Media, Online and the interested consumer. And we have to think about integrating lifestyle brands besides the well known clothing sector.“

Mavi's denim kitchen
Mavi's denim kitchen
Before and after the short presentation on Monday afternoon, this new concept was the hot stuff of discussion. Most brands are still cautious with the first reaction. The bottom line opinion: We understand the concept, the market has changed rapidly, but we have to see what this new concept means to us in detail. Some brands think they should look for an alternative, such as conventional trade show concepts in Berlin, some are thinking about investing their money in other kinds of marketing activities and – last but not least – some brands have admitted to joining the new concept with consumer days. Alexander Gedat from Marc O’Polo: ”First of all, we are interested to meet our clients in the right surroundings. If this precondition is not in danger, we will be looking forward to meeting the new challenge of consumer days. This might be a pretty good chance for our retail people to meet theirs clients.” Dietmar Axt of Mustang:” I trust in Karl-Heinz Müller. I don’t know yet in detail how it will work with these two days. But we will be part of it.” Retailers are slightly more reserved. Sven Haltermann, Behrens & Haltermann: “I consider it nothing. I want to work with my brands, not more, but not less.” Stefan Crämer, Crämer & Co., Nürnberg: ”Spontaneously I don’t have any judgment. There is surely a good concept behind it. We all know that we have to develop more in the lifestyle direction.“ The discussion has started now.

Let’s speak about fashion: It was not surprising that most of the F/W 14/15 collection showed pieces like down jackets and vests, as well as warm bomber and college jackets and a lot of knitwear. Camouflage still seems to be a strong topic for next winter in the men’s segment, whether it is on jackets, shirts or pants. For the women’s segment the biker chic and rock topic stays in the focus with pieces like leather jackets, leather pants or denims with leather applications. Also a very sports driven look with sweatpants, shirts and hoodies was strongly represented at the Bread & Butter.

All in all there were less prints and patterns to see, but much more monochrome looks in typical winter colours like blue, green, brown, black and grey. Some colour highlights came in yellow and red. Even though monochromatic was state of the art, there were some brands that showed eccentric and imaginative patterns like realistic knitted prints on shirts and sweaters.

When it comes to denim, slim silhouettes are dominating for men and women. It seemed that extremely washed out and acid effects have declined. Most of the denim brands like K.O.I, Mustang, Freeman T. Porter, Fornarina and Dr Denim showed clean and simple denim washings without a lot of experiments with prints or patterns. One could see destroyed optics and patches, but much less than in summer. Indigo blue was THE denim colour. Other colour highlights were green and berry red denims. A key piece for the next season is denim sweatpants.