ITE Moda acquired 100% of the Jacket Required event from founders Mark Batista and Craig Ford in July. Retaining their old roles, Batista and Ford will continue to steer the growth and development of Jacket Required in future seasons, overseeing the show’s hand-picked line-up of contemporary menswear, footwear and accessories collections. Here, Ford talks about the fair's concept.

Jacket Required has a local feel and this is part of its strength. How can its identity be retained even as it expands?

The show is growing organically, and every season we have had more credible brands approaching us than we have spaces to offer them. So for each new season, we just expand with the number of brands that we couldn't fit into the previous show. We don’t out to increase the exhibitor line-up with a certain amount of brands every time, and then go looking for new exhibitors to fill the spaces. Many brands are waiting to get into the next show already, and we only bring in those that we consider suitable.

What is the Jacket Required brand criteria?
I don't think it can be easily summed up, but myself,  my fellow organiser Mark Batista and our event manager Alice Elliott each have our own idea of what fits and what doesn't. We sometimes see things from a different perspective, but then we’ll argue a case for or against brands from our own personal viewpoint.
We like to show a diverse range of brands from all categories and different areas of the market, not just pushing one look.

The trade show landscape is a bit shaky at the moment. Why do you think it is faltering, and what is the way forward?
The biggest problem is when things get boring, and visitors lose the desire to visit the shows since they’re not moving on.  The solution is to constantly bring in new brands and to show their collections in a pleasant environment. Other important factors are decent facilities from catering to toilets. If all these aspects are in place, people should have the desire to return time and time again.