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Following four years in Barcelona, Bread & Butter enjoyed a successful return to Berlin last July. For the next edition, taking place Jan. 20-23, 130 shoe brands have signed up to exhibit at the show housed in Berlin-Tempelhof, a former airport.
Show stalwarts, including Converse, Camper, Havaianas, Kickers, Rocket Dog and Bloch, will be joined by Wolverine 1000 Mile Collection, Velou, Alejandro Ingelmo, Djinns, Gio-Goi Footwear and others. The footwear collections can be found within a larger hall that includes categories such as Style Society, Street Fashion and Denim Base. And the new location is helping to boost Bread & Butter chief Karl-Heinz Müller’s optimism about the upcoming show.
“A lot of cities where other fairs take place — for example, Paris and Florence — are struggling, but Berlin as a city is not,” he said. “And from what I’ve heard, Germany does not have the big problems that retailers have in Spain, the U.S., Italy or the U.K.”
Here, Müller discusses how the urbanwear show has become an international destination for the footwear industry.
FN: Why are you so confident about the January event?
KHM: We have 10 percent more exhibitors this time and we also feel that more people will come to Berlin this month because fall collections are always the most important for retailers.
FN: What sets Bread & Butter apart for footwear buyers and retailers?
KHM: Shoe brands are included in their right neighborhoods, whether it be denim or sport. The brands like being mixed in with clothing, and shoe stores find shopping Bread & Butter inspirational because it offers a different atmosphere than other trade shows.
FN: Are there any brands that you are particularly excited about showcasing?
KHM: Puma is back, so we now have nearly all the sports brands here, including Nike and Adidas. We’re also pleased that Diesel will be here showing all its collections, including shoes, while an additional 10 percent more space allows brands like Levi’s and Boss Orange to have their own pavilions here for the first time.
It was no coincidence that Premiata chose July 2 — when the international fashion pack last hit town — to launch its Berlin store in the hip Mitte district of the city.
The 262-sq.-ft. boutique at 84 Oranienburgerstrasse carries men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, shoes and bags, as well as the Premiata White collection. Creative Director Graziano Mazza chose Berlin because, he said, its unconventional and innovative nature is different from Via Della Spiga in Milan, where the Italian footwear-turned-apparel-brand opened its first store in 2007.
“The German capital now enjoys the status of cutting-edge metropolis and experimental workshop, a magnet for creative energy,” explained Mazza. “Berlin possesses an intriguing charisma that springs from contrasts, and so does Premiata.”
The brand also has ramped up its list of leading retail customers in Germany, including the Berlin shoe store Riccardo Cartillone, Mortimer B in Mannheim and Liz Schuhe in Düsseldorf.
Bread & Butter is just one of eight shows scheduled to run during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Berlin, held from Jan. 20-23.
Runway presentations offer a mix of fledgling homegrown talent and better-known international brands such as Custo Barcelona, Rena Lange and Schumacher (at right).
“The interest is enormous and the feedback extraordinary,” said Dorothee Schumacher, who will unveil her eponymous fall ’10 women’s collection of clothing, accessories and Portuguese-made shoes at Bebel Platz, this season’s runway show location. “Other fairs such as Bread & Butter and Premium, which take place at the same time, attract additional audiences to Berlin, and these three events together in one city at the same time turn it into an international fashion melting pot.”
The Premium show, held Jan. 20-22, caters to both men and women. This season, the event will feature shoe names including Alima, Chie Mihara, Minnetonka, Steve Madden, Sergio Rossi, Puma, Repetto and See by Chloé, all showing in a former postal freight depot at Gleisdreieck.
Two key players weigh in on the upcoming Bread & Butter trade show.
Helen Povey, branded footwear buyer, Office, U.K.
“Bread & Butter is a really important show for us as it’s the first show we do for fall ’10, [where we’re] seeing all the major brands under one roof and getting a good gauge on street fashion and general trends. We’re always on the lookout for new brands we can bring to the U.K.”
Alejandro Ingelmo, designer, U.S.
“We have decided to show my men’s collection this season at Bread & Butter to expand the distribution in Europe. We hope to gain exposure within the luxury sneaker category, and Bread & Butter in Berlin has comparable footwear brands, as well as attendance from the editors, buyers and bloggers.”