After days of continuous rain, Premium, the international fashion trade show, started summerly hot and the overall mood was quite positive and enthusiastic on both sides, be it exhibitiors or visitors. With cabs blocking the streets and visitors queuing up in front of the post office station at Gleisdreieck, Premium successfully kicked off its meanwhile 18th tradeshow edition which took place July 6-8, presenting 800 brands and more than 1,000 collections. According to organizers, 60,000 visits were counted with 39% visitors coming from Germany, Austria and Switzerland and 28% coming from Southern Europe.

“It is my first time at Premium and in Berlin, which is very inspiring for me,” New York- based designer Cecilia de Bucourt says. Represented within the European market and at Premium fair for many seasons by Flip Agency, the designer herself made her way to meet her clients onsite during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. “I am rather used to the American shows, basically set up in uninspiring squares where it’s sometimes hard to find any new fresh brands. Designerwise, I see lots of newness at Premium and I feel well-positioned here with my collection“.

As within previous editions, Premium Men again opened one day ahead of the official fair, on June 5, presenting a well-selected mix of classic and progressive men’s collections. Still, the actual Premium Fashion Week kick off already happened in the morning the same day, by hosting its Young Designers Award (YDA) at the F95 store (see our reportage). The ceremony, hosted by Anita and Norbert Tillmann, honored Swiss designer Marco Steiner and his menswear label Marc Stone, for presenting an avant-garde, distinctive collection in the category ‘Best Menswear’. Minimalistic pieces and well- done material mixes were shown by Karlotta Wilde, who won the ‘Best Womenswear’ Award. Former Wunderkind designers, Eleonore von Schwanenflügel and Stephanie Pupke, from their newly launched label VonSchwanenflügelPupke, won the award in the category ‘Best Accessories’ - convincing the jury with colorful, printed scarves.

It was the last YDA taking place at F95, as the store is looking forward to move out its Friedrichshain location by end of August, right into the Station at Gleisdreieck.

Despite the heat, the booths continuously appeared pretty busy on all three days, with people discussing the latest trends and newest collections and concepts. Even though having expanded space at hall 7 plus having the outside space - the fair seemed to burst at the seams.

“The traffic again, was very good, especially the second day as we’ve had quite a few very good contacts and talks with buyers such as P&C,” said Andrea Cannelloni, Vice President & General Manager Napapjiri. “Germany is a very strong market with good sales – I’d say after this season even better than our current main market Italy. We are happy with our booth at Premium as it fits the brand very well and it’s nice to emphasize the strong heritage of the brand and the collection theme by elements around“. Massimo Ferrucci, General Manager Emea of 7 for all Mankind, stated: “Premium is the only fair 7 for all mankind attends in Europe. As the brand is well known here and Germany is one of our strongest market, we try to push the retail further by having about three new store openings for example in Stuttgart and Cologne coming up in September/October this year. The fair also helps to contact new clients and scout opportunities. It may not be super-packed but we got high- quality customers and have seen all the major clients so far“.

Brands reported a quite impressive line-up of important international and national retailers. Also Bettina Strate, head of Stilfläche store from Starnberg, attends Premium every season: “Premium was very well organized. The fair’s strength is to offer a great mix of big brands and individual niche labels - that’s what makes it exciting for us. Still, I think they need to focus more on high-end brands again as the assortment seemed to turn a bit too sportive and vertical this time.“

The Armani Jeans showroom in the ‘Atelier’ marked one of the new highlights at the fair so did the ‘Tokyo Gakudan’ initiative. Premium as a main sponsor has provided more than 30 Japanese designers with an entire floor to present their collections. Within the Seek area, progressive brands and brands with references to music, art and culture, exhibited in the former ticket hall of the post office station. “Bread & Butter and Premium may be a bit too commercial for us. At Seek, we feel well- positioned within the portfolio. It is a nice concept next to other shows we attend such as Gallery in Copenhagen and tradeshows in Paris and New York. It is important for us to show up in Germany as it is an ambitious market for us,” Dennis Persson, Sales Manager of Swedish brand Hope, says.

After this summer edition of Premium, the tour will go on: Premium Order Düsseldorf will take place July 23-26 at Alte Papierfabrik, and Premium Order Munich will run August 13-16, at Zenith Halle & Kesselhaus.