Bread & Butter President Karl-Heinz Müller can look back at a very successful January edition of his ‘tradeshow for selected brands’. Taking place for the 8th time in the majestic hangars of the old Tempelhof airport, Bread & Butter is definitely on the rise. With 560 brands exhibiting and only 12% of these being German (in addition to 7 out of 10 of all guests being non-Germans) Bread & Butter’s position as the leading international fashion trade platform is undisputed. The most noticeable growing group of international visitors were the Japanese. Along with the boom of Japanese top brands exhibiting at the show, the number of Japanese visitors has doubled. “We’re very delighted by this development since Japan is still an essential indicator when it comes to quality and trends of the future,” says Mr. Müller. More than ever Bread & Butter is about quality over quantity.
Visitors were queueing up in the entrance hall on Tuesday 10 o’ clock.
The L.O.C.K. area was buzzing as always.
The list of former market leaders in the world of denim fashion that didn’t participate in the show is long and it’s mostly comprised by major commercial players like Levi’s, who pulled the plug in the summer of 2012 after 25 consecutive participations in the show. Along with several other giants like Diesel, their absence has led to questions of the strength of Bread & Butter. Yet, the charismatic President Müller argues that Bread & Butter is merely a reflection of the state of the market implying what everybody knows; a lot of big brands have been brought to their knees by the crisis. Also, a lot of theses brands are now focusing on self-owned retail instead of wholesale.
Levi’s for one has undergone huge changes over the past few years with focus being centralised in San Francisco. Mr. Müller himself worked for Levi’s in the 80s when the brand rose like a phoenix from its ashes and hopefully the brand will come out stronger once again.
The Denim Base was renamed Urban Base. The mono cultures no longer exist and street- and denim wear has become urban wear, which comprises more than just denim and covers all segments of fashion. The Urban Base isn’t only about denim because denim fashion isn’t only about denim.
Unveiling his plans for summer 2013, Mr. Müller stated that, “we are more than confident to offer our visitors a comprehensive and meaningful women’s wear concept on top level in July 2013.” The new concept will follow the principal of the popular L.O.C.K. area and will set focus on fashion for cosmopolitan women.
Enough about the state of affairs of Bread & Butter, this is what we’ve truly been looking forward to; all the inspiring new collections and styles of our favourite brands that are pushing the boundaries and setting the standards for what we’ll wear next winter. To our great joy, Levi’s Vintage Clothing were back. For the fall season 2013 the two themes for the collection are based around the 70s, taking its departure in the Detroit Motown music scene and the Orange Tab brand, respectively.
“The real McCoy” is an idiom used to describe ‘the genuine article’ and the extremely detail oriented perfectionists of Japan’s The Real McCoy’s brand, that exhibited for the first time in Berlin, really take their name seriously. These guys are the best in the world when it comes to replicating authenticity and state of the art products that transcend the perfect replica. They make absolutely no compromises when selecting the right materials as is also the case in the sewing and finishing of their products. Often with years of preliminary research, most of the articles in the collection are based on originals from the huge vintage collection of founder Hitoshi Tsujimoto.
Red Wing Shoes are returning to their roots with the introduction of the Oro-Legacy leather that will replace the present Oro-iginal leather on the 875 and the 877.
Mike Hodis and his Rising Sun & Co. probably created the most commotion in the L.O.C.K. area by having af vintage Ford T-model as the basis of their booth.
In the Fire Dept. 3sixteen attracted quite a lot of attention; our advice is to keep an eye out for these guys.
Similarly, Tellason brought out a really strong and impressively big collection that among many other things included a breath-taking collaboration item from Jack/Knife.
Among the over 100 brands that exhibited at the show for the first time was Circle of Friends that launched themselves at the show.
For the first time in the L.O.C.K. area, Bread & Butter had partnered up with the Japanese denim head of the Clutch magazine to create the so-called ‘Concept Room’. Naturally, this was where the majority of the Japanese denim brands were located, which of course included Big John.
With Daniel Cizmek of DC4 stepping up as the company’s European representative, the “fading-geeks” of The Flat Head showed us why they are the talk of the town when it comes to amazing fadings and authentic rockabilly clothing.
Midori had teamed up with Nigel Cabourn to create an exclusive notebook and pen, the latter being army green, of course.
Along with some new interesting Collect denims for Momotaro, under their Japan Blue brand, the Japan Blue Group introduced a new super stretchy fabric that is guaranteed not to stretch out with wear and keep its shape.
Coming out strong with an updated urban look, Viberg are moving themselves out of the shadow of Red Wing, commercially speaking – the craftmanship of the brand is hard to match.
Another interesting newcomer was London-based lifestyle clothing label, Allevol.
‘Was that all?’, you may ask. This report covers our highlights of the show and it only touches lightly upon each brand and the news that they’re bringing. Stay tuned for more detailed reviews to be published soon. Thank you for reading.
Words and thoughts: Thomas Bojer. Pictures: Bread & Butter and Thomas Bojer.