Copenhagen’s biggest fashion trade show closed its fall/winter ’18 edition last Friday after three days of bringing together Scandinavian and international fashion brands from all segments with buyers, press, artists and other stakeholders from different fields of the fashion industry.
Before entering the show floor, one was guided through different art and fashion installations in the “Raven Projects” area, beautifully created by top-class names such as youth culture authority i-D and leading fashion filmmaker ShowStudio. 1granary, the publication by famed London fashion school Central Saint Martins, showcased a selection of newcomer designers and in the Do It Yourself space. You could build your own chair according to a concept by British designer Max Lamb and have it individualized by man of the hour Virgil Abloh of Off-White, who was not only generously signing chairs, sneakers and all other personal belongings for hours, but also personally touring the trade show grounds and DJing at one of CIFF’s after parties.
Of course, these things are in no way necessary for the actual business activity on the show floors, but due to its late timing, the Copenhagen shows are generally less hectic and serve more as a platform to unite and inspire–and CIFF did really well in fostering that vibe, also through its many side initiatives and events. “Our aim is to really create a community and a place of exchange–also for many brands who don’t normally go to trade shows,” said a very satisfied Kristian Andersen, CIFF’S creative director, at the end of the first day.
Amongst those non-usual trade show exhibitors were impressive names such as Ami Paris, MM6 (both of which were shown in a more closed presentation space by Copenhagen-based Now Agency), Aspesi, Helmut Lang and Alexa Chung–brought to the show by the Norwegian Freudian Kicks agency, whose large booth in the “Sleek” area also contained promising Danish newcomer Blanche.
As usual, the grouping of brands according to the show’s seven different segments helped to not get swamped in the roomy hallways of CIFF’s own Bella Center.
In the “Style Setter”’ area, hosting all the commercially successful female Scandi collections such as Minimum, Just Female, Second Female, Custommade, Twist & Tango, Modström etc., the general fashion motto was pretty clear and uniform: Fashion tracksuit (pants) and hoodies, paired with more elegant pieces such as blazers and pointed boots, all flavored with lots of checks, fake/teddy fur and (animal) prints.
In the “Urban” area, lots of retro sportswear collections including Starter, Fila, Helly Hansen, Le Coq Sportif, and the newly launched tracksuit collection by original swimwear brand Arena were blended with sneakers, streetwear and denim brands, including Antwerp-based label Eat Dust, whose Rob Harmsen reported some unexpectedly positive response: Some Southern European store owners who the brand had never been in touch before stopped by and made an order straight away.
Just a few meters from the Eat Dust stand was a booth that did not hold any label sign but instead some very familiar labeled garments: Naketano. In defiance of the recent published, much discussed (and little understood) news that the Germany-based success label was going to close down in 2018, the blank Naketano booth held a full and classic Naketano-style collection of sweatshirts and hoodies with the brand’s signature thick drawstrings and a very close-lipped sales rep in it. No Naketano end in sight after all? That enigma still remains to be solved.
Next to the actual trade show ground, CIFF also gave an increased number of brands the option to present their collections on the catwalk. In context of the reworked CIFF Runway, six shows took place on Wednesday and Thursday in the Bella Center premises; this time not only in one, but different halls offering a more individual set-up–which was, however, not in all cases beneficial for the show, such as in the one-sided setup at Designers Remix.
Whilst the shows seemed to bring mainly local press and influencers to the site, they, too, helped foster the whole community feel.
For those of you who’ve not been to CIFF, here’s our compilation of highlights from the showground:
Newcomer to watch: Blanche, created by Mette Fredin (designer) and Melissa Bech (commercial director, former Wood Wood/Norse Projects), offering a beautiful collection including much denim
Streetwear to watch: Post Details, a skate brand from Sweden, offering fun graphics, cool wool coats and newly added (corduroy) pants
Trend: Pointed shoes
Trend: Logobands and -belts - everywhere!
Trend: Patent coats
Trend color: Orange
Finally, nice jewelry for men: Maria Black (Dad ring, Grandpa necklace, thicker chain necklaces)
Most fun t-shirts: Collina Strada New York (“Call Mom” stitching, pierced nipples…)
Accessory trend: Printed socks (with logos or fun claims)
Best collection motto: Teenage Dirtbag by Martin Asbjorn
Is it a comeback? Arena, the swim brand, offering a retro collection of tracksuits