Brno as a Crossroad of Fashion Industry and Market
The 44th trade fairs STYL and KABO introduced trends for next spring and summer, and, as the only international B2B fashion industry presentation on the Czech and Slovak market, they attracted five thousand expert visitors, businessmen, and buyers. In comparison with last August’s trade fairs, the exhibitors’ offer slightly expanded, and the number of Czech manufacturers at the trade fairs almost doubled – partly thanks to the successfully emerging novelties: the Fresh Fashion zone of alternative independent fashion and jewellery, and the special section for textiles, haberdashery, and other subcontracts required for the final production of clothing.
Expositions of two hundred and thirty-eight exhibiting companies from nineteen countries were gathered in the pavilions P and F. Overall, five hundred and ninety-four fashion brands presented themselves, and the share of foreign visitors was 31% – most of them came from Poland, Germany, and Slovakia. Importers predominated among Czech exhibitors, but the number of Czech manufacturers increased to eighty-five. Thirty-one companies altogether presented themselves at the Brno fashion trade fairs for the first time; the collective exhibition of companies from the Taiwan Textile Federation was one of them. During the first two days, expert visitors from thirteen countries registered at the trade fairs. Sixty-six media representatives from the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia were accredited in the Press Centre.
The interest in the STYL and KABO trade fairs has stabilised in the past two years, similarly to the situation in the Czech textile, clothing, leatherwear, and footwear industry. As can be seen in the current data of the partner of the trade fairs ATOK (Association of Textile-Clothing-Leather Industry), the profit of the textile and clothing industry grew by 10.7% in the first six months of the year 2014, and, as usual, textile manufacturing did better (12% growth). Retail prospered as well; these results were influenced by the optimistic consumer mood.
Novelties and trends for the spring and summer of 2015 were seen by the exhibitors not only at the stands, but also at fashion shows. Four contractual swimwear, lingerie, womenswear and menswear shows took place every day, where collections of two dozen fashion brands were introduced. In addition, two special fashion shows took place: the collection of lingerie Felina paired with Jablonec bijouterie, and an original collection of ladies’ formal dresses by young Czech designer Luděk Kellner.
The successful return of the textile materials section to the STYL trade fair in August 2013 started a tradition, which is supposed to continue every August. This year’s repeat took place in an expanded form; among others the company Velveta returned to STYL after fourteen years, and the attendance of Czech ribboners was almost a hundred per cent.
The zone of alternative independent fashion and jewellery Fresh Fashion expanded as well. It premiered exactly a year ago and during its third time at the trade fairs fourteen small companies emphasising original, quality designs, and manufacturing mostly in the Czech Republic, presented themselves.
The results of several competitions were officially announced during the fashion trade fairs. For the eighth time, young footwear and leather haberdashery designers had competed for the Jan Pivečka Foundation Awards, which were presented in three age categories. Four companies were given the awards “Žirafa” and “Česká kvalita”, which declare quality and healthy children’s footwear. And for the very first time a visitor poll for the most beautiful handbag took place at the KABO trade fair. The companies Verde, Ragazza, Arteddy EU, and Hellas Star participated in the contest. The winner, and the prize for a selected visitor, became a handbag by the company ARTEDDY EU.
Supporting programme prepared by expert sponsors ATOK and ČOKA (Czech Footwear and Leather Association) was part of the trade fairs. The seminars dealt with the shortage of technically educated graduates, professional selling of footwear, and healthy shoes for children’s feet.
What they said about the trade fairs
Kuliš, Chief Executive Office of the Trade Fairs:
The August trade fairs STYL and KABO not only showed new fashion trends, but mainly signalised economic recovery and increase in the fashion market demand.
Liu, International Affairs Section Chief, Taiwan Textile Federation:
Our participation is the first official presentation of the Taiwan Textile Federation at the Brno trade fairs. We brought here six companies representing Taiwanese manufacturers of materials for lingerie, and outdoor clothing and activities, as well as manufacturers of final products, such as socks, scarves, and gloves. We also present Taiwan as a country powerful in the field of production of synthetic fibres and the second biggest producer of nylon in the world. We initiated business negotiations of the Czech and Taiwanese traders who visited our stand. We think it is a good start.
Kurowski, representative of the company ROCKS, Poland:
At the trade fair we present jeans fashion for ladies from thirty years of age. The organization of the trade fair is very good, even the atmosphere of the party the first day was excellent. Concerning our business activities I think that we have reached the same sales volume as in February or last August, but that’s because customers, who know our goods from last time, came to our stand and did business with us.
Urban, Managing Director of the company URBAN GROUP:
We exhibit here regularly once a year and I have to say that in the last three years the quality of the trade fair has increased. There are prettier stands here and more quality presentations. The choreography at fashion shows is very well done; the models are beautiful and they present the goods nicely. In comparison with previous years the quality of STYL and KABO has definitely improved.
Mašlíková, model, the face of the brand RICH & ROYAL:
The trade fair is still a place where people can find new brands and choose what they want. I’m always glad to return to STYL and KABO. I used to come to Brno for five years as a model, both for the summer and the winter trade fairs. I used to be a lingerie model and I like the memories of it.
Kellner, fashion designer, author of the fashion show Without a Name:
My relationship with the Brno trade fair is very good because I have been coming here for ten years, basically since high school. I’ve always wanted to have a fashion show here and this year the dream came true. And since I work here as well it’s a nice enlivenment.
Salačová, Miss Czech Republic 2000, presenter, and blogger:
I’ve come to the trade fairs to see some fashion shows and to search inspiration for writing. Six months ago Tereza Suchánková and I founded the blog project www.coolbrnoblog.cz which is focused on the lifestyle in the city of Brno. We also write articles about fashion, cosmetics, and interesting brands there.
Macháčková, Managing Director of the company Afeli (dealership of the brand
Before every trade fair I consider whether our participation will be worth it, and during the trade fair I know that it is and that we will come the following year as well. This year I feel like the market has kicked off and reorganised a bit. We’ve been losing some customers, who haven’t innovated their businesses, but we’ve been gaining new and perspective ones in return.
Pražáková, Managing Director of the company Lanson Praha:
KABO is a great opportunity for us to present our whole collection to the wider circle of our customers for the very first time and in all its beauty. The first two days of the trade fairs were excellent; the price of contracted footwear was slightly higher than a year ago. The market sentiment has ameliorated and diversified a bit. We’ve gained several new customers, and there is a growing interest in collections of mid-range and higher price category. Overall we’re definitely satisfied.
Vilímek, Sales Manager of the company PEGA-VEL:
We returned to STYL a year ago after a longer time and we invite our customers here, because they can find several suppliers in one place here thanks to the materials section. We have branches all over the republic, but here they can see our offer all in one place. We present not only novelties but our complete offer at the trade fair.
Jeglová, Sales Manager of the company KARPET:
We participate in the STYL trade fair twice a year. We meet our regular customers here, who come every half a year to view our new collection and to order, and we naturally gain new customers as well, because various new businesses are opening. We don’t participate in any other trade fairs, so our customers don’t even have a chance to see our collection somewhere else. Not everyone wants to order from catalogue, some people prefer to touch the goods and look at them in person.
Táborská, sales, the company VELVETA:
We have returned to STYL after fourteen years. We want to reach mainly confectioners, both exhibitors and other manufacturers, who we invited to our stand. Czech purchasers come back to Czech suppliers nowadays, and we think that the trade fair is the place where to meet them. We feel that the interest in Czech materials is growing, because a lot of companies want to sell namely Czech products.
Zábojník, the sole representative of the brands Marco Tozzi and Caprice:
We have been exhibiting at the KABO trade fair twice a year for fifteen years because we meet our customers here and we can introduce them to our new collection. We don’t see them anywhere else, as a matter of fact. Unfortunately, the number of customers from Slovakia is declining, because the situation there is more difficult. We haven’t noticed the decline in demand on the Czech market because we have favourable prices. Overall we’re satisfied.
Rosíková, two-time winner of the Jan Pivečka Foundation Award in the category
It is definitely good that this competition exists, because finding employment in our field is difficult nowadays and winning this contest means big motivation. I attend the KABO trade fair regularly, and when I don’t manage, I at least follow the web pages. Of course, I am interested in the developments in the field of footwear, I need to know what’s happening in this environment and the Brno trade fair is very important to me as a budding designer.