In February, the London trade-show TBC ( celebrated its fifth birthday. But instead of throwing a fancy bash, the organizers took the opportunity to raise some cash for the charity organization Spree (, a training setting that provides disadvantaged young people with the opportunity to gain work experience in the London retail sector.

Some of the names that partook in the project and donated garments – many of which especially designed for the auction – were Fred Perry (pictured above), Lee 101, Seal Kay, Putsch and One True Saxon. The designers were selected honoring the fact that they’ve supported TBC with their presence since its humble beginning half a decade ago.

The February edition of TBC, which showcased a/w 2006-07 collections and ran February 12 to 13, fared well with most visitors. "I was pleased with the increase in new labels offered in the up-and-coming section. A few new brands stood out and it was nice to see some of our existing brands exhibiting at the show. Mackintosh, Rag & Bone and 6876 always present great collections. It was really busy on Sunday and I imagine the organizers had a great response, " said Simon Spiteri, Liberty’s ( menswear buyer.

Indeed, the show organizers seemed more than content with the outcome of the season. “This has got to be the busiest show we’ve had to date,” said organizer Mark McCann. “We’ve had 9,500 visitors recorded over the two days and the response across the board has been outstanding. Our figures are based on the actual number of people arriving at the show rather than re-entries so it seems we are up a genuine 46% since last season.”

On the exhibitors’ side, there was more variety than usual; quirky T-shirt labels such as Two Legs and Yes No Maybe mingled with formal names like Hardy Amies, who unveiled the premiere ready-to-wear range. In terms trends, the love of the organic, hand finished look – albeit the fuss-free variety – persisted and was excellently interpreted by Tito Cashmere, And 28 and Lijn Material. On the other side of the spectrum, in line with the new minimalism, prevailed collections of a more sharp-edged nature. This mood was put into words quite well by Joakim Bonér, one of the brains behind the Swedish denim label, Pace. “The styling and details of our autumn-winter collection are sophisticated but still a bit rough; nothing fancy, just plain, authentic and genuine. There’s a very graphic expression going on, with stark contrasts and a simple color scheme consisting of black, white and accents of red.”

– Emma Holmqvist, London Correspondent