Jan 21, 2019
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Berlin’s trade shows return to full strength

Jan 21, 2019

A creative overhaul at Premium, footfall growth at Panorama and the debut of Neonyt. After a rather weak summer edition, Berlin’s trade shows ended a new season on a high note. 

Berlin’s trade fairs drive the local scene. They generate footfall and attract a wide specialist public to the city, including Gleisdreieck, the ExpoCenter or Kraftwerk on Köpenicker Straße.

After a rather weak summer edition, the last season taking place from 15- 17 January, returned with a bang. The fairs redefined their purpose and delivered new and exciting concepts, as well as an extensive events programme and a series of collaborations. Michael Müller, the mayor of Berlin, made an official visit to Panorama and Premium.

Visitor numbers were high at Premium on the first day of the show - Rüdiger Oberschür


Feedback from exhibitors at Gleisdreieck was very positive: Falko Diebel from Munich-based fashion agency Klauser, which primarily represents Italian premium brands such as Pierre Louis Mascia, but also Le Rue Marcel, Bloch, Maddame, Suns and Faking in Germany, was already at the end of day one very happy with the fairs.

Drykorn boss Marino Edelmann and designer Fred M. Götz, who fully embraced Anita Tillmann’s new trade fair concept, transforming Hall 2 into a Drykorn factory and construction site, were also satisfied with the experience.

Hall 5 was completely revamped with a new concept. There, the atmosphere was very lively, particularly in the spaces hosted by Maerz Munich, Laurèl, Lacoste, Gant and Cinque, which joined the Premium line-up for the first time this season.

Roy Robson, who also exhibited for the first time at Gleisdreieck, said: “Response to our Roy Robson x Premium collaboration has been consistently good with enthusiastic feedback from all sides, which makes us very happy and motivated. Above all, it further demonstrates that we are on the right track and that our positioning is accepted in the market,” CEO Michael Bischof told FashionNetwork.com

Michael Müller, the mayor of Berlin, with Premium CEO Michael Bischoff - ROY ROBSON

“I am satisfied with our shows. Premium, Seek, Show & Order and the Fashiontech conference have been very successful. Premium’s restructuring and the further development of all formats has been well received -  feedback from retailers and brands is consistently positive,” commented exhibition head Anita Tillmann on the three-day events.

For the upcoming July edition, Tillmann wants to work on fine-tuning the realignment of the trade fairs and convince even more brands to use creativity to make an original presentation and emphasise their brand essence more clearly. Creativity is not a matter of budget, Tillmann said.


Creativity is also important at Panorama. However, Jörg Wichmann is currently more interested in finding a good location. Shortly after the fairs closed on Thursday evening, the Panorama CEO suggested Tempelhof, the former home of Bread & Butter, as a new location for all of Berlin’s trade shows.

Selvedge Run was integrated to Panorama Berlin - Rüdiger Oberschür

Wichmann said he would like to bring together not only Panorama, Xoom and Selvedge Run but also rival formats under the same roof. But the suggestion left Anita Tillmann in a complicated situation. According to sources, she will continue to focus on her plans without Wichmann.

But a partnership could be very beneficial. Panorama said footfall increased by 20% during the three days, growing at a faster rate than its rivals. The mood was also extremely positive, and exhibitors were completely satisfied.

Traditional German fashion producers, such as Digel or Bugatti, were also happy. They made their first appearance on the show this season to present their extended womenswear line in Hall 1.

Tommy Schmidt, country manager of Bestseller-owner men’s brand Jack & Jones, said: “In general, the mood was good, but there are always were urgent issues such as  online versus offline. Exhibitors need more information. [But] we are very happy that all the important key accounts were there.”

This was the first time that Selvedge Run was held within Panorama, showcasing over 70 brands. Unmistakably positioned at the south entrance, it saw footfall numbers increase significantly.

The trade fair said the number of visitors increased by 20% compared with the previous season - PANORAMA BERLIN

“We are closing with a significant increase in visitors on the last edition and draw a clearly positive balance, as far as the new location in the south entrance and the merger with Panorama Berlin is concerned,” commented Shane Brandenburg, founding member of Selvedge Run and Product Manager.

“Now we are working hard on the summer show. We will continue to refine the concept and have already developed some good ideas," continued Brandenburg,” Brandenburg continued.


This season’s debut of Messe Frankfurt’s new platform Neonyt was also successful. Combining its two Greenfashionroom and Ethical Fashion Show formats into a new concept at Kraftwerk on Köpenicker Straße, Neonyt is a new space for fashion, sustainability and innovation.

Images from the fair - Neonyt/Messe Frankfurt

Interest in the new show was high. VDMD president René Lang  praised the programme of events and was impressed by the high footfall levels. “For us, as an association and platform for fashion and textile designers, it was absolutely right to be present at the Neonyt,” he told FashionNetwork.com.

It remains to be seen whether sustainability evolves from a niche to a significant driver of change in the fashion industry, however some buyers at Neonyt showed optimism. “As a mainstream retailer, sustainability is a core topic for 2019. We know that customers are interested, and we want to get better in this area,” said Marc Ramelow, managing director of the German fashion house Ramelow.

After three days of trading, and months of strategic changes, Berlin’s trade fairs closed another season on 17 January. If their organisers continue to promote creativity and innovation, the trade shows are likely to elevate Berlin’s fashion scene next season.

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