G-Star at Bread and Butter is always a showstopper.

With the theme High Fidelity, Bread and Butter Berlin which ran from January 18-20, 2012 at the Berlin Tempelhof Airport exceeded expectations in many ways including the high volume of attendees despite economic hard times across Europe.

One of the leading fashion trade shows in the world, Bread & Butter is a key show to watch in order to understand leading-edge brands and styles, not only among those that exhibit but also those that attend especially in the subcultures of denim, streetwear, upper urbanwear, edgy contemporary, sportswear, and artisan brands with a high dose of retro influences and craftsmanship. It’s also an ideal people-watching place and many people capture the latest style concepts from the attendees themselves.

Sportswear brands are big here.

While some who attended said traffic was a little light the morning of the first day, things grew progressively with an interestingly increased turnout of people from Germany and Scandinavia, as well as Eastern Europe and Russia. Where the numbers dropped were among fashion industry people from Italy, Spain, and Greece.

According to Karl-Heinz Müller, Managing Director of BREAD & butter GmbH & Co. KG: “Berlin has once more proved and further established itself as one of the world’s most important fashion metropolises. The run on Berlin has not stopped. The versatility of the different events is an essential part of this. It was the strongest BREAD & BUTTER since the return to Berlin in summer 2009. Especially the results in the Urban Superior and L.O.C.K.  – Labels of Common Kin areas exceeded the expectations of the exhibiting brands and labels. Our exhibitors have showed themselves in the best colors. We thank all those involved for their great commitment.”

Colored denim is a theme for 2012.

The shows opens with a spectacular B&B Opening Party and band line-up that welcomed 3,500 guests which then kicked into the “HIGH FIDELITY: prepare for a strong winter” campaign reflecting  the three tradeshow days.  All eight hangars and the gates of the historical airport Berlin-Tempelhof were fully occupied with 640 exhibitors. Cool new areas that were also highly trafficked were included TREASURY area and the expansions FIRE DEPT. at L.O.C.K. and D.O.C.K.  – Department of Contemporary Keynotes at SPORT & STREET.

Bread & Butter is known for its fitting themes—some that change depending on shifts in fashion. But there’s a greater issue now going on during Bread & Butter and that’s the increase in other shows that take place at the same time, including the action sports-based show Bright, and the smaller show Show & Order, not to mention various show room openings across the city that host private runway shows.

Fixies and urban bike culture is taking off globally.

According to Müller when it comes themes, “It is good and only natural if even more takes place in Berlin – in the end, success attracts. However, it is important that every format has its own theme, so that existing, successful events are not cannibalized.  I am afraid that the buyer does not really know anymore where to find what. I have visited the Show & Order, founded by my former employee Verena Malta. She has done a very good job: great location, good brand portfolio, very beautiful presentation and a lot of love for detail. But: in my opinion, Berlin cannot be managed in three days. The events have to split up better, e.g. from Tuesday to Saturday, this would mean five days. Berlin needs a real week of fashion!”

So what’s up for Bread & Butter Summer 2012? First, this show is very popular—more popular than the winter show especially for Americans seeking to check out Berlin at a warmer time of the year.

D.O.C.K. area is a unique location in the industrial Tempelhof Airport.

According to Bread & Butter, the area of Urban Superior which includes a more “dress-up” fashion segment will be expanded. Other areas of expansion include the newly founded Treasury section which covers accessories. This makes sense as accessories are becoming even more important when it comes to fashion, especially youth culture fashion as a quick and usually less expensive way to change one’s particular style.

“In summer 2012, BREAD & BUTTER will take place from 4 – 6 July under the motto THE ROCK: the campaign is centered around the rock, symbol of stability and immovability, reflecting the strength of character and constancy of BREAD & BUTTER – tradeshow for selected brands,” stated Muller.

Fashion Now section includes some leading-edge women's brands.
California retro themes especially retro motorcycling accessories continue to abound in fashion (see last week's story).
Authentic Americana brands like Woolrich going strong in Europe.
Vans and other brands from Sports and Style section saw heavy traffic.
Dresses for 2012. Patterns and block colors are key themes.
More plaids. This trend is not going away soon but morphing into many areas.
Part of the cool-factor of Bread and Butter are the various lounges to eat and drink in, plus the plethora of events in evening.