This is an emerging designer’s survival guide for Pure London tradeshow – one of the most popular fashion industry tradeshows in the United Kingdom for >premium fashion brands. To make it clear, Fashion Bloc is not associated with Pure or any other tradeshows and this is an impartial review. To make it even clearer, we are not going to answer a question ‘should you go there to exhibit?’, and you will hopefully find an answer for yourself, after reading this short guide.
Facts for Pure London tradeshow
- Dates: Last date 11-13 February 2018, next date 22-24 July 2018
- Location & Venue: Olympia London. Olympia London is a South London exhibition venue in Hammersmith.
- Brands: Recent tradeshow hosted 700+ apparel (both men’s and women’s), accessories, lingerie & swimwear, footwear and even some beauty brands.
- Categories: Premium, Spirit (fast fashion), Aspire, Allure, Athleisure, Origin (manufacturers), Retail Solutions.
- Booth Price: £2000 – £20,000 approx. – the booth/stand price will depend on the size of the booth and will normally be at least 5 sq/m for an apparel brand. Please note, the price might be (unofficially) negotiable for first-timers and emerging brands.
Dos and Don’ts for the emerging designers interested in Pure London tradeshow
Do go and visit. Please do go and visit before you even apply. You can request a short meeting with a representative if you have any specific or technical questions. But most importantly – see it for yourself, speak with the participants, compare your brand positioning to the exhibiting brands. It’s a massive tradeshow for a specific clientele at a very specific product price point.
Define your target clients. Are you a luxury womenswear brand selling RTW dresses for £1500? This London tradeshow is not for you. If you’re looking to nail Harrod’s womenswear buyer’s business card, don’t have your hopes high. If you position your brand with John Lewis, Fenwick’s customers – you might meet one of those.
Make a list of potential buyers (we’re talking distributors, not your direct clients) and contact them one-by-one asking if they would normally go to Pure and if they’re planning to go next season. You know the formula: email – follow up – call the office. Obviously, invite them (and remind them closer to the date).
Don’t get your hopes high. If it’s your first time at the tradeshow in London or at the tradeshow as such, don’t get your hopes high. There’s a rule of thumb of three seasons at least. Meaning, the first season THEY will see you, the second season THEY will observe you, the third season THEY might do a trial order.
Be prepared. Regardless if it’s your first or fifth season, always come prepared. Have your technical information ready (the tech pack including a linesheet and a lookbook), know your numbers that would justify your wholesale and recommended retail price, know your stockists, know your producers. Have your production sorted beforehand ‘just in case’.
Go and learn something. If you decide to participate, make the most of your visit. Make contacts with other cool brands, go and visit the Origin section for new supplier contacts and definitely make a use of numerous seminars, talks and panels – I think they are the best part of Pure. Note, you can do all of this without having a stand.
Most of this advise is pretty general, applicable to any tradeshow (you are welcome). However, Pure is definitely not for everyone. Fun fact: the most crowded stands at the time of my visit with buyers going wild on orders were bijouterie sellers.