Bread & Butter is one of the world’s most important tradeshows. Period. It’s the biggest, the most visited, the most creative, and most inspirational show in Europe – maybe in the world for that matter – but for the 27th show this summer many of the usual suspects including Levi’s, Lee and Diesel were not exhibiting. The question “why” was on the lips or in the back of the minds of many attendances. Is Butter & Butter losing terrain, is it too expensive for the big brands, or is it the economy were some of the questions? However, instead of mourning the loss of the giants, I personally celebrated the birth of something new, something very exciting for hardcore jeans lovers and denim enthusiasts; the Tempel of Denim.
According to Karl-Heinz Müller, president and owner of the show, it is a natural development and only the leaders of the business are present at the show. It’s a sign of reality and Bread & Butter is the tradeshow for selected brands. But Mr. Müller also refers to reluctant buyers as the real competitors of Bread & Butter. Another reason why Levi’s wasn’t attending is allegedly that the brand will be focusing on it’s own retail instead of wholesale in the future, but as Karl-Heinz added even not Levi’s has an endless cash flow and the brand must prioritise.
The Denim Base has become crowded with non-denim brands, and in combination with exit of some of the bigger brands Bread & Butter has introduced the Tempel of Denim (subtitled Denim Religion) with exclusive high-end Japanse, American and European denim brands. So far it will only there for this one time, but there are a lot of possibilities for the future.
Basically, the Tempel of Denim was 3000 square metres roofed terrace in the middle of the main hangar that brought in new directions and impulses in combination with authenticity, masculinity, and femininity from 27 top denim brands from all other the world.
The Tempel of Denim is the new heart of the fair, it is where visitors can see what is truly important to people behind the show. In my opinion it’s intriguing to see something new and inspiring at the very core of Bread & Butter. This is actually what Bread & Butter is all about, and even though most of the brands lack commerciality (mainly based on price levels) we all need the small brands to lead the way and experiment.
The table in the middle was used for lunching and conducting business, and it gave people an opportunity to get closer to each other.
The list of exhibitor at the Tempel of Denim included among others Denham, Adrian Goldschmidt, 7 For All Mankind, 3×1, 45rpm, Natural Selection, Rising Sun Co., Momotaro, Japan Blue, K.O.I., 3Sixteen, Atelier LaDurance and Big John. As something completely new two denim mills (Collect and Orta) and a laundry (Candiani) also exhibited as the Tempel of Denim. Below are some of the highlights.
Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to visit Capsule or SEEK, or even some of the brands on my list at Bread & Butter. But if I had had the time I would have loved to take a look at brands like Indigofera, Ebbets Field Flannels, Wrangler, Pace, Viberg, Hansen, Eastland Maine, and Eat Dust.
If you want a break from all the denim when you’re at Bread & Butter, another interesting area of the show is Sport & Street, also known as the D.O.C.K. This is where creativity and youth with live music, DJs, and street-art is brought to Bread & Butter. It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of hard partying. The D.O.C.K. is reserved for brands that originate in sports and streetwear, but have moved into more commercial fashion, like for example Billionaire Boys Club. The theme for this season was House of Flora, and generally it’s more like a festival than a fair.
Get behind the scenes and get to know all about the history of Bread & Butter with this video – it’s a great way to kill 46 minutes.
Report by Thomas Bojer.