Top view of the Seek area
Top view of the Seek area

27 Jan. 2012


While megabrands such as Hilfiger Denim and Wrangler showed in massive booths at Bread & Butter in Berlin last week, small up-and-coming or cutting-edge international labels were the sole focus at two other trade shows in the German capital, the independent show Capsule Berlin and Seek, a small show-within-a-show offshoot of the Premium fair.

Capsule, the independent, international trade show produced by New York-based sales and PR agency BPMW, held its second Berlin edition January 19 and 20 at the Alte Münze space in Berlin Mitte. Featuring approximately 65 brands, the show had a large entrance area devoted to Berlin’s Collect Showroom, which showed 14 contemporary brands, including A.D. Deertz and Prose. Also on hand from Europe were favorites such as Won Hundred (Denmark), Oliver Spencer (UK) and Wood Wood (Denmark), among others.

Impression from Capsule
Impression from Capsule

“Berlin is an important location for the brand,” said Vivienne Appelius, sales assistant at Wood Wood. “Besides the Capsule fair we are represented with our showroom and fashion show.”
Given Capsule’s American roots, it was not surprising that several North American brands also showed, including Assembly New York, which showed dark and drapey men’s and women’s pieces, and LA-based Beautiful Fül, which offered a leather moto jacket, a blue quilted cotton mechanic’s jacket and overall, a collection based on an auto mechanic who goes on the road.
Also on hand from the States was Riveria Club, whose California-inspired collection is based on being able to go from the ski slopes to the beach in the same day in SoCal. It also debuted its new collaborative capsule collection with Lucky Brand, which will be in select Lucky Brand stores and other key retailers.
Across the aisle, Canadian denim brand Naked & Famous showed unique items such as Scratch-n-Sniff jeans, a dyed pair that will fade to a red instead of white and glow-in-the-dark denim. Another amusing novelty item came from the UK’s Backhand brand whose “Dusseldorf” model pinstripe dip-dyed button-up woven shirt looks as if it has been inked stained. To drive the point home, it will come with three edding 55 fineline magic markers.
Scratch-n-Sniff Denim by Naked & Famous
Scratch-n-Sniff Denim by Naked & Famous
Although Capsule was never jam-packed, exhibitors and the show’s producer seemed pleased with its traffic. Deirdre Maloney, a principal at BPMW, said there was a crowd of people the opening morning but admitted that the show could still stand to grow since it was only in its second season and some still do not know about it. Ronny Haberland, buyer and owner of the store The Spot in Dresden, was satisfied with the show, however: “Next to the very big and main fairs, Capsule rather touches your heart by showcasing interesting and niche finds. We get to talk to new and upcoming labels and enjoy the personal contact with the brands’ makers. Capsule and Seek are our favorites, as both platforms seem to follow a similar style.”

Located in a two-floor old brick-walled industrial building a few doors down from the main Premium exhibition, Seek this season had just under 60 brands, which ranged from somewhat well-known ones such as Fred Perry Laurel Wreath and Surface to Air to newer, more obscure ones such as Peter Non shoes from Italy and Under, a new line of men’s underwear and loungewear from the UK that includes heather gray styles with blue oxford cloth trim. Silvia Lo Giudice, a sales rep for Peter Non, reported that Seek had been a success for her brand, which offered colorful styles produced with a famous Italian woven textile company among its assortment.

Sandqvist booth @ Seek
Sandqvist booth @ Seek
Several brands from Sweden were represented at Seek and made strong impressions. Sandqvist, an 8-year-old line of bags and accessories from Stockholm, offered a terrific on-trend colorblocked canvas knapsack in its collection of clean styles. Stutterheim, also Stockholm-based, showed a small collection of handcrafted raincoats with labels that bear the signature of the seamstress who individually sews them. This brand’s amusing tagline is “Swedish Melancholy at Its Driest.” Also on hand was the Swedish underwear brand The White Briefs, which offers streamlined, über-clean basic styles in solid shades of white, black or navy.
The overall vibe of Seek was relaxed and welcoming, especially since a café took up the middle of the show floor on the ground floor of the building.

Christopher Blomquist and Karin Leiberg

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