British fashion trade fairs Pure London and Scoop returned to the English capital on Sunday for separate but concurrently running events showcasing the latest SS24 collections.
Leading womenswear fair Pure, which will draw to a close Tuesday afternoon at its usual stomping grounds of London Olympia, welcomed hundreds of brands, buyers, and other industry professionals to see the latest collections spanning fashion, footwear, and accessories.
Brands in attendance this season included an eclectic mix of new and returning faces, including Desigual, Emme Marella, Penny Black, Mirla Beane, GWD by George Davies, Haris Cotton, Glamorous, Humility, Joules, La Fee Maraboutee, Les Waves, and One Hundred Stars.
One of the newcomers to the July edition of Pure was London-based designer Jocie Juritz, who was showcasing her eponymous footwear label. “This is my first trade show and it's a totally new experience, but it's been really interesting so far,” Juritz said on day one of the three-day event.
“I feel like I've made great new contacts and networked with a lot of people that I otherwise wouldn’t meet which is exciting,” she said. “I have got the best spot, I'm right next to the networking hub and not too far from the catwalk so there's a lot of footfall here.”
Meanwhile, returning brand Jayley hailed a “fantastic response” to its collections, which were showcased on the Pure London Catwalk. “There is really high and positive energy - it’s wonderful,” said Sinead Bradford from Jayley.
Pure London event director Gloria Sandrucci prides the Catwalk Show as one of the features at Pure London which sets it apart from its domestic and international rivals. The catwalk show runs three times a day in the centre of the expansive trade fair venue and showcases the collections of attending brands.
This season, for the first time, Pure partnered with Graduate Fashion Week to showcase some of the designs of this year’s winners, including the likes of Lucy James from Arts University Bournemouth, Rachel Hunt Piers from Birmingham City University, and Phoebe Potter from Edinburgh College Of Art.
Sandrucci said the partnership was a way to show “support for new talents and designers” while also attracting a younger demographic to the event, something trade fairs have increasingly been focusing on in recent years.
Another initiative by Pure to entice younger attendees this season was the launch of a new ‘Pop’ section which showcased a curated mix of streetwear, alternative gender-neutral collections, vintage labels, and festival wear.
Also setting Pure apart from rivals, according to Sandrucci, is its partnership with trend consulting bureau Vesuvius. On Monday, Malaika Ewande, the creative director of Vesuvius, highlighted two overarching trends for the SS24/25 season, ‘Quest for innovation’ and ‘Ultra Elevated Basics’.
Keep an eye out for FashionUnited’s more in-depth coverage of Vesuvius’ SS24/25 trend breakdown in the days to come.
Seeking solutions in an evolving industry
Finding solutions in a rapidly evolving and often challenging fashion and retail landscape was one of the most pressing topics this season. Source Fashion, which began as a smaller section within Pure London but has since been spun out into its own manufacturing and sourcing trade fair, covered topics such as sustainability and navigating a post-Brexit landscape.
Jack Stratten, a trend forecaster at Insider Trends, spoke about disruptive new business models and the importance of embracing new technologies, such as AI, which he said will play a key role in ethical sourcing moving forward. “AI can help reduce waste, he said. “Retailers need to be open to how technology can help reduce waste.”
Another topic covered this season, and one which is often discussed at UK-based fairs, was the implications of post-Brexit changes to the fashion industry. The subject was tackled at a seminar Monday called ‘What does the UK’s new unilateral preferences trade agreement mean for global sourcing?’, where Karen Johnson, Sofie Kinsey, and Rupert Casson from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development (FCDO) and Department for Business and Trade (DBT) offered insight into the UK’s new legislation - the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS).
Sustainability also continued to play an important role at Pure London, with a panel on Monday tackling the most pressing issues such as regenerative design, resale, and recycling.
Scoop: An ode to Morocco
Meanwhile Scoop, the premium contemporary fair also run by parent Hyve Group, took place at an adjoined but separated location from Sunday to Tuesday.
The event, which offers a more upmarket offering than Pure, showcased over 250 designers as well as buyers from the likes of McElhinneys, Annas, Katherine Draisey, Applause, Courtyard, 32 The Guild, Cordelia James, Sister, Moda Rosa, and Lulu & M.
New faces this season included Marches Rosa, Saint Armont, and Agua Bendita, among others.
Caroline Edge from lingerie brand Aubade said: “This is the first time I have exhibited at Scoop and it has been a great show so far. I have met the buyers I wanted to and have found the show inspiring and motivating.
“This is exactly how it should be. As well as seeing the buyers I wanted to see, I have gained a lot of interest from new distribution channels too. Scoop really has a nice vibe and great energy.”
This edition of Scoop welcomed visitors to a Moroccan inspired ‘Wonderland’ - which included walls adorned with patterned wallpaper, rattan and wooden relaxation areas, and large floral displays.
The Seated Queen, a skinwear brand which produces all its products in the UK and sources from traceable suppliers, including women’s cooperatives in Ghana and Morocco, was also attending the event for the first time this year.
Libby Banks from the brand said its vegan and natural ingredients “really resonate with store owners, and we have had a lot of interest and great conversations”.
Pure London and Scoop will draw to a close on Tuesday, and will return for the next season in January 2024.