Despite facing an uncertain future due to Bread & butter’s hardnosed comeback to Berlin in July 2009, Premium Exhibitions’ organizers, Anita and Norbert Tillmann, remain confident about their show’s future.

This season’s Premium, which took place Jan. 29 to 31 and was the show’s 13th edition, showcased up to 900 collections at the Postbahnhof at Gleissdreieck. The fair drew approximately 16,837 visiting trade professionals who viewed the f/w 2009-10 collections. Of these visitors, 54% came from German speaking countries, 21% from Italy and southern Europe, 10% from the United Kingdom, 6% from Scandinavia, 3% from Eastern Europe, 3% from Benelux and 3% from the USA, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa.

“In particular the quality of the buyers and the high visitor quota throughout were commended,” said the organizers. “Many new clients were welcomed and, in some cases, up to 40 new clients per brands were registered. The internationalism of the event was also enhanced.“

Several exhibitors, however, felt the show lacked traffic and energy and many booths were empty hours before the show officially closed. “The Premium Fair was pretty calm; there wasn’t enough of an international audience. Premium offers a well selected brand environment, but unfortunately the frequency is still missing,“ said Uwe Boser of Pepe Jeans. “Nevertheless, I am a big Berlin patriot. It is just the right city to be in – that’s nothing we have to argue about. Jam is more like a local order show, while the big info-trade shows happen here.“

As previously announced by the organizers, denim was a strong focus this time and powerful exhibitors strengthened Premium’s denim area. (However, with the return of Bread & butter in July, it remains to be seen if this strength can be maintained next season.) Many of the brands, such as GoldSign and Unconditional, made their first appearance at the fair after a short absence from trade shows. The onsite symposium “Überdenim“ featured professionals such as Thorsten Link of Diesel Deutschland, VF Jeanswear’s president Giorgio Presca, Oliver Saunders of April 77, Hans Weber of City Jeans and Elio Fiorucci.

In all, the show encompassed seven areas, including Green, Denim, Fire, Plus, Selections, Salon and Gästezimmer. In a section called “Seek” labels such as April 77, April 77 Records, Cheap Monday, Kostym, Cutler and Gross, Fred Perry Black Canvas, Fred Perry Laurel, Hope, Our Legacy, SNS, Uniforms for the Dedicated, Wasted German Youth and Won Hundred showed their collections in a special showroom designed by artist Paul Snowden.

For the eighth time, Premium presented the Young Designers Award to three newcomer design talents. This season, the winners were Frida Weyer for womenswear, Passarella Death Squad for menswear and Saskia Diez for accessories. Each will receive a free stand at the next Premium and editorial coverage in the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Magazine and on the Premium homepage.

Although the next edition of Premium is currently slated for July 17 to 19, those dates may change due to Bread & butter’s current plan to run July 1 to 3. The organizers of both shows, together with IMG, the producer of Mercedes Benz Fashionweek Berlin, have agreed to meet to try to iron out new dates. For now, though, 60% of the space at the July 2009 edition is already booked.

—Karin Leiberg