MUNICH FABRIC START’s popularity continues unabated. Munich’s textile trade fair ended with a further rise of +7%. 17,700 visitors gathered information here on some 1,300 new fabric and additional collections for the 12/13 Autumn/Winter season. This meant that the new concepts at both the M,O,C, and in the BLUE ZONE not only caught on well but impressively convinced visitors. The proportion of foreign visitors stood at 35%.
Munich has become a firm fixture for more and more buyers and designers, not just from Germany but also from neighbouring countries – a point also noted by new exhibitors like TRC Candiani. This Italian denim mill celebrated its premiere in the BLUE ZONE and talked of the good opportunity provided here in Munich to see their customers again during the season and to present new and further developments to them at this point in time. Also commenting on this Jacqueline Sefranek, Manager at Mustang Fashionservices, Bogner Jeans, summed up: “It is the right place and the right time. The fair should not be any later but with this schedule suppliers can still showcase good additions to give us new ideas. For the BLUE ZONE we always need an entire day and then another day at the M,O,C, for other fabrics and additionals.” Visitors appreciate the compact international range from over 800 exhibitors as well as the relaxed, friendly working atmosphere. Furthermore, Germany as Europe’s economic motor is a very important export market for foreign exhibitors. In this context MUNICH FABRIC START plays a key role as a contact exchange for strong German ready-to-wear firms – something yet again proven over these past few days. Exhibitors saw their high expectations of MUNICH FABRIC START being met. They found brands here like Next, Bandolera, Acne, VF Europe, Tommy Hilfiger, M.A.S.I. Company, Romano, Puma Asia, Kuyichi, Mexx Europe, Escada, Hugo Boss, Strellson, Lagerfeld and many more. For the first time now, buyers from France’s “Association Familiale Mulliez” (including companies like 3 Suisse, Décathlon, Phildar, Pimkie, Auchan etc.) also came to Munich.
In general, the fair was one filled with premieres. For the first time, trade journal Textilwirtschaft discussed with experts from the sector. At the same time, the German textile and apparel service provider Freshtex presented the first 3-litre trousers, the German printing firm Textil Fab the first GOTS-certified inkjet print and the agency Lebenskleidung the first GOTS-certified silk from India. Furthermore, the Bavarian textile and fashion association Verband der Textil- und Modeverband extended an invitation to a “Dialog Textil und Mode” (Fashion and Textile Dialogue).
There was great praise for the decision to move the ECO Village and organicselection closer together on the ground floor at the entrance to Hall 4 while the new trend areas of Version 2.1. reflecting the mood of the new season in the M,O,C, foyer together with the elaborately staged Colour Forum also went down very well. The MUNICH FABRIC START trend experts had prepared the colour and trend themes in an expert and informative manner. Together with the other Sample Areas they provided a detailed initial overview of the new fabric, colour and additionals trends. International specialist lectures and trade publishers completed the seasonal information here.
The Oktoberfest held as part of MUNICH FABRIC NIGHT proved a real highlight. Over 2,000 guests from the fashion and textiles sector came together for an evening of enthusiastic partying in the typical Bavarian festive marquee. Food here came of Käfer catering and music from Gerry & Gary Live Band who any seasoned Oktoberfest visitor will also be familiar with from the Käfer-Wies’n marquee. The party proved tremendous fun and boasted an amazing atmosphere.
Trade Fair with Lots of Optimism though Sector Concerns Persist
Lots of feedback from exhibitors ranging from “very satisfied” to “all key customers were here” is evidence of the very good time they had at the fair. Playing a role here was sure to be the fact that the German market with its good growth figures continues to be seen as the motor for European growth. Nevertheless, discussion is needed given the difficult framework conditions. For instance, when talking at the fully subscribed TW debate at the Spiegelsalon on the topic of “Made in Europe?!”Brax Product Manager Karl-Friedrich Schilmann described the situation as “terrible”. Dr. Walter Niedermair, Managing Director of the Italian weaving mill Lanificio Moessmer, also pointed out here that these price rises for raw materials would mean different pricing structures and that an innovative niche existence would in future probably be the “simpler” choice. The issue of fairness now set to become more controversial was also discussed. The allegation that ready-to-wear firms eye ideas up in Europe but have the products produced themselves cheaply in Asia signalises that the question of ethics is being raised more often in everyday business.
The “Green” Shift Continues
A major theme is and remains the ecological approach in the textile and fashion industry. The ECO Village at the new location on the ground floor opposite Hall 4, the neighbouring forum organicselection with its 480 certified fabrics and the GREENZONE in the BLUEZONE have developed into very important sources of information and guidance as part of a new market culture – ones that are used intensively and gratefully. Mathias Braunagel, Director Marketing & Sales at the German textile service provider Freshtex, was very satisfied after two days in the BLUEZONE: “It was a very good trade fair for us. The new product family “Planet Future” with themes like Aquatree and the 3-litre trousers were THE themes of the fair, also because they hold such good water-saving potentials.” IVN Branch Manager Heike Scheuer, who not only gave a talk but also dealt with many enquiries at the ECO Village, looks back in satisfaction and also notes: “A major theme here are alternatives to organic cotton, i.e. woven and knitted fabrics made of linen, hemp and wool. Many visitors specifically asked about bamboo, milk fibre, viscose and nettle, probably because the prices for organic cotton have risen so much.” The lecture was also attended by company representatives from the Otto Group, Kaufhof, Karstadt, KiK and H&M during their trip to the fair.
The ranges on display from weaving mills confirmed the trade fair’s “Detailoring” motto. More and more casual fabrics are meeting with perfect tailoring features. Colour, softness as well as hairy fabrics and “rock chic” coatings are moving increasingly into the foreground here.
In evidence in the wool segment alongside high-quality, luxury worsted woollen yarn and luxury woollen blends is more and more casual wool in a carded yarn look blended with cotton and acrylic – not just for fashion reasons but also due to rising wool prices. The popularity of wool in fashion is reflected by the many new cotton fabrics that have a soft and emerised touch and feature classic wool patterning. Velvet and cord were also successful, also especially amongst menswear designers. Viscose is one of the season’s winners. It creates a basis for flowing, feminine designs and is also superior to silk in terms of price. Nevertheless, considerably more blends with silk / washable silk have been included in the collections, starting with classic crepe fabrics through to fine poplin also patterned for trousers. All sorts of animal skins remain topical. This also applies for knits and jerseys which are, however, modernised with fleece looks as well as rough, felted variations or laminated high-tech interpretations for that future look. Double face fabrics, by all means in contrasting colours, in all sorts of variations provide exciting themes for half-lined coats. Imitation leather and leather finishes are also worth a mention here now spilling over into the denim segment. Oil and wax finishes make cotton suitable for outdoor wear.
Prints feature across all fabric types, often in single colours or tone-on-tone. Main themes include inspirations from nature in green and brown tones while petering out of all kinds draw attention here like dégradés and the watercolour patterns we know from summer. New here are multi-coloured graphic designs.
Additionals also join in the “Detailoring” theme. As ever, large buttons are the non plus ultra, especially in natural materials like wood, corozo and metal though also in high-quality imitations boasting the advantage of being easy care or metallic-looking without the weight.
Blue in all its variations remains the top seller in colour terms. This is also noticeable in the yarn cones in seasonal colours at the Colour Forum. Here, too, the blue tones are ahead. In addition, ready-to-wear manufacturers focus on warm brown tones and caramel in combination with wintry corals or intense red tones. Though icy pastels and silver grey also stay in the running.
A very warm thank-you to our sponsors without whom our comprehensive service range would not have been possible. Lenzing supported the extensive Coffee-for-Free operation, Cotton Council International once again ensured a smooth shuttle service between the trade fair and the airport with the Cotton USA airport bus. Nara and ITV took on the task of fitting out the hostesses. SKO also kept body and soul together with solid fare – and the Denimcrew ran a schnapps bar at the Oktoberfest.
The next MUNICH FABRIC START: 31 January – 2 February 2012