Bubble London S/S16 welcomes influx of high-quality buyers
Posted by: Bubble London 16 July 2015
Bubble London S/S16 opened its doors to scores of high-quality buyers on Sunday 12 July, with the number of department stores and overseas retailers in attendance increasing significantly.
The renowned children’s trade show experienced a 6% year-on-year rise in overseas visitors, while the percentage of department store buyers attending rose from 3.5% to 5%.
A host of key stores – including Selfridges, London, John Lewis, Harrods, Fenwick, Kids Cavern of Liverpool, Childrensalon of Kent, and online retailer Alex and Alexa – visited the Business Design Centre, Islington, to peruse the S/S16 collections on offer.
Mona Alani, founder of British girlswear brand Lola Myer, said: ‘The show was fantastic, and we saw some really key buyers – including top department stores and a good American retailer. We’re very happy to have had the opportunity to be in front of these kinds of buyers.’
Following Bubble’s efforts to increase its overseas visitorship, many brands also received attention from international retailers.
European stores in attendance included Bystroom of Denmark and Stockholm’s Floralin & Junior.
The show also established itself as a key destination for Asian and Far and Middle Eastern buyers, with South Korea’s Sentokids, Hong Kong’s Pompom Little Couture, Indian store Gron Stockholm, Pink or Blue of Jeddah, and Pitter Patter and Db Babies Trading of Dubai all attending.
They were joined by international buying groups – including Dubai’s Chalhoub Group and Boyner Group of Istanbul. Wielding huge buying power, these consortia can only be seen at trade shows.
Andie Wyatt, founder of Rising Star finalist Horses of the Wild, explained: ‘Bubble London was a great way to launch our label, and retailers from Singapore, China, India, Germany and Italy visited the stand.
The support from the show was just what we needed for our first season, and it had the perfect mix of buyers, press and bloggers.’
This optimism was echoed by visiting buyers, who placed strong orders, took on new brands and strengthened their offers at the show.
Wing Yin Man, founder of online store Bubble Chops, said: ‘I went to Bubble London to browse the S/S16 collections. Buying is about more than just targets for me; I have to really like the brand personally to buy into it.
I absolutely loved new brand Omibia, especially as I’m looking for handmade and organic. I stock a little footwear, including The Little Shoemaker who was exhibiting at the show, so I browsed that, too.”
Top online retailer Alex and Alexa was also impressed with the show’s S/S16 line-up. Senior online editor Carly Temple commented: ‘This season, Bubble was as bustling as ever. There were lots of adorable prints at Kissy Kissy and we particularly loved the London-inspired pieces. The painterly prints at Fun & Fun really stood out, and the rainwear at Hatley was as cute as usual.’
In addition to the influx of overseas buyers, the show also experienced a dramatic, 11.1% increase in visitors from the North and Midlands – an indication of growing optimism in these areas.
Michelle Barnes, who owns Little Poppets of Silkstone, South Yorkshire, said: ‘This season, we placed orders with some of our existing suppliers, and also took on several new brands.
We came to Bubble for the first time in February, and it’s something that I will do every season going forward. Everything is there for you to see, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to have a look at other brands and think about stocking something new.”
Another indicator of optimism was the success that Bubble’s numerous launch brands enjoyed at the event, with the Rising Star competition serving as a platform for its brightest new talent.
Rising Star runner-up Dotty Dungarees made a particularly successful debut at the show, unveiling its first range of adjustable, unisex dungarees.
The label’s co-founder, Alice Rothschild, said: ‘Our first show went really well. We had some great interest, and a lot of it turned into orders on the day. In particular, we took a lot of orders on Sunday.”
Little Lulu’s scooped the first prize, wowing judges with its handcrafted children’s footwear.
The brand’s founder, Catriona Alfaham, explained: ‘It’s amazing; there’s the actual, tangible prize of a free stand at next season’s show, and the recognition and prestige as well. Winning the award has sent people our way at the show, and it’s amazing to hear industry experts say you’re doing something right.’
Bubble London’s event director, Lindsay Hoyes, added: ‘Many British brands are looking increasingly for growth outside of their domestic market and Bubble London is the only UK childrenswear trade show that can really attract the international buyers who were very much in evidence this season. The show also attracts a fantastic range of international collections, so if brands and retailers are serious about their development and ongoing success, Bubble London is the must-see show of the season.’
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The autumn/winter 16 edition of Bubble London will take place on Sunday 31 January and Monday 1 February, 2016. Please visit Bubblelondon.com for further details.
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