Even though Bread & Butter does not communicate any visitor numbers in their final report, they couldn’t change the fact that exactly this subject was constantly the topic of discussion­ between retailers, visitors and exhibitors during the three days of the fair. Sentences like “it is striking how calm it is,” “the hall ways were empty,” or “less people than before,” were heard throughout the fair.

But it was quite clear why the frequency of Bread & Butter was less than before. Andreas Heep, Adidas: “The new ticket regulation – this was an intentional process by Karl-Heinz Müller and it was not hard to predict, that there won’t be a flood of visitors like in the last seasons. You need a leading trade fair like the Bread & Butter, there is no alternative and Berlin is the perfect place. Other fairs like Premium and Capsule profit from that.” Jens Wolf, Victorinox: “Maybe there are less people, but because of this, only the right people and the ones who are really interested are coming. The quality of conversation is much better.”

All in all the big and established exhibitors like Mustang, Mavi, Pepe Jeans, Rich&Royal and Adidas were very satisfied with how the tradeshow ran. However, the smaller, younger brands in the Upper Street area were disappointed about the smaller intake: “We were hoping that more people would have come to our booth, but we have been at the Capsule before and Bread & Butter is definitely the better fair for us,” said Jefferson Oseo from Daily Paper.

Another topic of conversation before, during and after the tradeshow was the Bestseller Group, which presented their clients with a really strong appearance during the Bread & Butter; even though most of the other exhibitors kept a low profile or even showed a lack of interest about the Bestseller topic, no one could escape the fact that the Danish brand presented many of their collections that were scheduled for August, September and October 2013 for delivery, almost a season before the rest of the exhibitors at the Bread & Butter.

What this specifically means is that trends that other brands bring out much later time in the season are currently available from Bestseller. So from a buyer’s point of view it is understandable to think: If I can get the trend now, why wait for another three to six months? Especially in times where trends change fast.

Speaking of trends it seems like prints still remain some of the strongest topics for men and women in summer 2014. Whether its graphic, fantasy, jungle, insects, or animal prints on sweaters and shirts. Another discovery: If the Kenzo Tiger was the main animal in 2013, for 2014 it could be the Persian cat. Labels like Eleven Paris, Vero Moda and Minimum seemed to be in love with the little kitty. Also the whole 90s basketball theme, as well as the college look, seen in tricot styles and number and mesh shirts, bomber and college jackets, was very strongly represented at the Bread & Butter.
Denim Connection at Bread & Butter
Denim Connection at Bread & Butter

In terms of denim most of the brands agreed that slim styles will remain the most important fit for men. Slimmer boyfriend fits but also skinnys for women. In addition to this everybody saw the return of blue denim. Indigo was the word at the fair. Authentic washes, destroyed and vintage washings will become highly important for next summer. Prints on denim will stay, but will no longer play a major role. All in all, it seemed that the colours are much more relaxed, with few exceptions. A lot of collections showed black, grey, blue, green and also earth coloured tones with just a splash of some highlight colours like red, berry or yellow. The booth with the biggest wow-effect was Eleven Paris.

Bread & Butter was a solid event and bringing in the Bestseller-Group was a legitimate choice and the right decision of Karl-Heinz Müller. In the end it just mirrors the reality of retail industry. Competing against fast fashion suppliers means nothing else than trying to offer assortments that are fashion forward, individual, carefully chosen and which surprise the customer, regardless of weather problems, flooded stocks and strong competitors.