The boutique womenswear show Scoop International held its fifth event in London’s Saatchi Gallery 10-12 Feb. Having expanded with about 25% since its last outing in July, this edition brought together 250 brands across apparel, accessories, footwear and lifestyle products. The denim and young fashion brand quotient is still fairly limited, but the representatives we spoke to from M2F, Denham, Mother and Levis Made &Crafted seemed contented with their choice of UK fair. “Our experience with Scoop has been very positive,” said Beatriz Losada, UK assistant sales manager at Levi’s. “We’ve previously only exhibited Levi’s Made &Crafted, but this season we decided to showcase the Levi’s Vintage range as well, as the show attracts the type of boutique buyer we aim to target –both from the UK and beyond.”

The boutique niche Scoop has developed is so finely carved that it extends to the space itself; wandering around the show is not unlike browsing a spacious concept store, complete with premium jeans, cashmere scarves, hip perfumery offerings, progressive footwear signed Chie Mihara and Tracey Neuls and leather goods by the likes of Ally Capellino.  The venue itself is another reason why Scoop has been so well received – the Saatchi Gallery offers a charming layout over three floors, and the art on the walls are left hanging to provide an intriguing backdrop to the collections.

Further expansion is on the cards, and next season (21-23 July 2013) will see the line-up grow with an additional 175 brands, which will bring the total count to 400. The new crop of names will include a considerable portion of premium denim and directional sportswear brands. Since Scoop has already outstripped the space available at the Saatchi Gallery, the new additions to the Scoop stable of brands will be housed at a second venue –The Phillips Gallery in the nearby Howick Place. “We’ve been searching for a second venue for over a year, but I was determined that any additional location should be every bit as beautiful and iconic as the Saatchi Gallery,” said Scoop organizer Karen Radley. “The Phillips Gallery has the same spaciousness and quality of light as the Saatchi Gallery, and in keeping with the show’s existing concept, exhibitors will share space with the contemporary artworks dotted around.”

Fellow womenswear show Pure (10-12 Feb.) has seen some changes in the past couple of seasons. The Young Fashion showcase– formerly known as Spirit – focused primarily on feminine, dress-based ranges by the likes of Ruby Rocks, Honor Gold and Saint Tropez. Denim brands that exhibited in previous seasons  – such as Only and Monkee Genes – were no longer present, with the exception of Gas and Pepe Jeans. Instead, Pure has diversified into other areas; the so-called Body section returned for a second season with an extended range of names operating within the areas of lingerie, loungewear and swimwear, while the small Junior showcasepresented collections by the likes of Converse and Ben Sherman.

It’s impossible not to draw comparisons between Scoop and Pure, but the two shows are not necessarily in competition, since Pure’s offer of some 1000 brands is broad and largely mid-market inclined, while Scoop focuses on the slightly higher, more design-led area of the industry. To survive the tough trade show climate, the differences should be celebrated and nurtured and made as consistent as possible with the help of careful editing and considered brand adjacencies.