S/S17 edition of Bubble London closes on positive note
Posted by: CWB 12 July 2016
The S/S17 edition of Bubble London closed on a positive note. The show’s closing day saw visitor numbers rise by 6% year-on-year, as buyers joined over 250 kid’s fashion, footwear, accessory, homewear, nursery and maternity brands at the Business Design Centre, Islington.
Reaffirming its status as a truly international event, the fair also experienced an increase in East Asian visitors. China’s JD Worldwide and Netease Kaola were among some of the powerful buying groups in attendance this season.
New product area ‘Bubble Bump’ enjoyed a successful launch, showcasing some of the industry’s standout maternity and nursery labels. Edited by Maternity Buyer’s Liz Pilgrim, its debut line-up featured newcomers Lara & Ollie, Mothers Love Fashion and La La Beads, and established best-sellers aden + anais, Frugi, Snoozebaby and BenBat.
Visitors hailed the area as a unique platform for mother and baby collections, with Laura Slater, director of Eat Sleep Love, commenting: “It was really useful to see lots of maternity and new baby-focused brands in one place. It ensured my time at the show was used efficiently. Seeing more homeware and nursery brands really excited me, particularly those I wasn’t familiar with. There was plenty to go away and think about.”
Bump’s brands were similarly positive, welcoming the chance to reach and engage with new retailers. Nibbling Teething Jewellery’s founder, Emily Sunderland, added: “We’ve picked up some more stockists, and had some great feedback. Our dummy clips have proved particularly popular, and we’ve seen buyers from Germany and Saudi Arabia.”
Elsewhere, POP returned for a second season, following its successful launch in January 2016. Featuring pop-up stands at a lower price point at the entrance of the show, the area serves as a springboard for new designers and smaller brands.
Siobhan Joseph, founder of POP brand KIDD-IN London, said: “The show has been a successful marketing exercise for us, and we’ve had some great exposure. We’ve been covered by WGSN, which is something that never would have happened without Bubble. It’s great for new brands, and just puts you at a different level.”
Cementing Bubble’s reputation as a platform for fresh design-talent, Julie McClaren of The Olive Tree, Wirral, added: “We came to Bubble as we wanted to find new suppliers - and we have taken on three new labels. We’re looking to move in a different direction, and it’s been good to come and think about refreshing our offer. Customers want to see something different, and expect us to find it.”
Bubble S/S17 also played host to a raft of industry favourites – including Angulus, Guess Kids, Camper, Toms, Jessie & James, Kissy Kissy, Hatley and The Bonnie Mob.
Footwear brand Lelli Kelly chose to launch its first girlswear collection at the show, with licensee Sharon Beardsworth commenting: “We’re very pleased with the way the line has been received. We’ve seen some major customers, and have had lots of interest to follow up on. All our expectations have been met.
“We’ve also had a good show with Emile et Rose, and have taken on four or five new customers. We’ve seen new people who have opened new accounts, and placed both forward and immediate orders.”
Brands - big and small - showcased their collections against a backdrop of special features and new initiatives.
The show’s free Look Who’s Talking seminar programme brought visitors trend updates, business advice, and panel discussions with industry experts – including Nine in the Mirror’s Adriana Chryssicopoulos, The London Dad’s Greg Stanton, and Bubble designer Rachel Riley.
Elsewhere, the new ‘We’ve Got Chemistry’ area showcased some of the industry’s most exciting brand collaborations – while, in the My Baba hub, Leonora Bamford and her team ran activities and competitions for children.
Reflecting on this season’s action-packed edition, Bubble’s event director, Lindsay Hoyes, said: “The traditional trade show format is changing as rapidly as the retail landscape that it relies upon, and we are working hard at Bubble London to ensure that the show is as relevant to exhibitors and retailers now as it was when the show launched in 2008.”
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The A/W17 edition of Bubble London takes place on 29 & 30 January 2017, at the Business Design Centre, Islington. Visit http://www.bubblelondon.com for more details.
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