We’ve just returned from the UK’s leading fashion manufacturing event, Fashion SVP, held at London Olympia. Another long day but eminently worthwhile as we talked to up and coming fashion brands, suppliers and industry insiders. Here are a few highlights:
- The big word on everyone’s lips was ‘sustainability’. From the conversations we had, talks we attended, and exhibitors we met, almost everyone had sustainability and transparency at the forefront.
- The issue pointed out to us, however, was that the small, young brands don’t have the resources that H&M have to check their supply chains.
- Another key problem facing the sustainability trend is whether consumers are willing to pay the higher prices involved? As an insider told us, the answer is probably ‘no’ especially at the lower end of the market where consumers are increasingly stretched financially.
- That said, there were plenty of manufacturers at the show making a strong case of promoting their ethical stance.
- We visited TheIndustry.fashion, the online fashion trade title that is giving Drapers a run for its money, and then some. The title has had a new lease of life, redesigned its website and beefed up its team to ten. Highly recommended.
- A visit to another show partner, Fashion Angel, allowed us to renew acquaintances with Alison Lewy MBE who runs one of the UK’s most established brand mentoring companies. When we asked her what trends she was seeing, Alison was quick to point out that young fashion brands with a strong market niche and a clearly identifiable market were in a far stronger position than generic brands.
- Alison’s remarks were echoed in a talk given by Catherine Erdly and Elizabeth Stiles about the ‘5 things successful fashion brands are doing to succeed’. Chief among them? Know your customer well, not in terms of words, but in a clear visual representation. And create a product that excels. In other words carve a strong niche and deliver outstanding clothes to that audience.
- There was a strong showing of Chinese manufacturers, a slight departure from previous years when it was near-shore suppliers that were prominent.
All told, Fashion SVP was a strong show for brands looking for offshore suppliers either in Europe, Far East or other regions. On that score, it was certainly worth a visit.
As for us at i.LEVEL, we will continue to take the learnings and trends we see at events like Fashion SVP and utilise them for i.LEVEL. As the UK’s leading supplier of fashion software (stock control, wholesale, concessions, scanning, EPOS etc), keeping ahead of trends is important to us so that we continue to develop state-of-the-art software. If you’re interested to know more about i.LEVEL, please contact us here.