Bread and Butter Berlin has become one of the top trade shows in the world and often the one that many other trade shows most try to emulate. Their attention to details in terms of transforming their environment, the Berlin-Tempelhof Airport, is nothing short of an architectural wonder at each show. Taking place January 18-20, 2012 in Berlin, during the Mercedes-Benz Berlin Fashion Week, means that Bread & Butter will be in the midst of a week of various open showroom events, private parties, and runway shows across the city.
Bright, the smaller, but somewhat of a rival show featuring mostly action sports, takes place also during this timeframe, and will be featuring the first ever European Skateboarding Awards (more on this soon).
But for Bread & Butter, all eyes in fashion turn to find out what to expect from this highly anticipated event. This season’s theme is High Fidelity, featuring a thermostat that looks like it’s heating up, to match the perception of what will take place during the show.
The show often starts with a press conference the day before, featuring Bread & Butter founder Karl-Heinz Mueller (also owner of the prestigious 14 oz. stores in Berlin). Unlike American trade shows like Magic or Agenda, Bread & Butter stems from a tightly knit group of creatives that many media people want to hear. It’s at this press conference where Bread & Butter also reveals their plans for their next shows, and the following year.
Opening night is always a high-voltage event complete with stadium-like stage and top performers. This time, it’s Fuerza Bruta who will be featured on opening night.
The show itself is divided into various sections with their own themes including Sport & Street, Street Fashion, Fashion Now, Style Society, Urban Superior (Men’s in one area, Women’s in another), L.O.C.K., and Denim Base—which is the unofficial hub and foundation of the show. Generally, it’s a who’s who of denim brands that attend. (Interestingly this year however, due to the global economy, especially in Europe, there are rumors that brands such as Replay, Meltin Pot, and Diesel may not be exhibiting.)
The day before the show is Sportswear International’s Denim Day featuring a bevy of seminars and interesting topics about the state of the denim industry, fabrics, trends, marketing forecasts, and more. Denim Day also provides insight on what’s taking shape in other parts of the world, and it’s become an important conference, especially for those moving into the European, Eastern Europe, and Asian markets.
While some of the areas such as Sport & Street and Street Fashion may seem redundant, they actually help clarify which brands are more upscale and boutique oriented vs. more mainstream streetwear. One of the most heavily trafficked areas, other than Denim Base, tends to be the action sports-inspired area of Sport & Street.
New areas this year include Treasury, which features accessories—a growing area of fashion, especially during economic hard times and among youth culture overall. According to Bread & Butter, the ideas was born to create a specialized laboratory within the show that focused on offering the latest accessories that have become successful in unique ways within the fashion industry.
Another new section is called D.O.C.K.—Department of Contemporary Keynotes which features a niche division in fashion of premium, grown-up streetwear labels including Gourmet, DURKL, Quintin, Waiting for the Sun, and Strivers Row, among others.
The final new section is called Fire Department at L.O.C.K.—Labels of Common Kin. The area is pretty unique featuring the old fire station of Airport Berlin-Tempelhof which has now become the L.O.C.K. extension: FIRE DEPT. – the platform for global trading nomads, owner-driven collections, and core L.O.C.K.sters, including Brooklyn Motors, Danner, Halcyon Belt, Noodles, Noodles & Noodles Corp., Pace Jeans, Tellason, and Viberg.
Other things to watch for at Bread & Butter and events in Berlin during the week include:
• The opening of Comme des Garcons Pocket Shop—a pop-up that will surly attract attention.
• Etsy’s Photo Booth Yourself area within the show, illustrating that this online crafty retailer is making headway globally.
• Swiss artists at Amateur Magazine booth
• Vans Off the Wall Launch Party featuring Lupe Fiasco and Mos Def
• Soto X Stussy X Holden Party (see our story on Agenda about the recent Stussy X Holden collab)
• G-Star runway shows—always a show-stopper, as well as their parties
• Mavi’s “Cook Your Jeans in Mavi’s Denim Kitchen” area which features the brand in a unique exhibition
• Press breakfast with Bjorn Borg—yes, the old-time favorite Wimbledon tennis champion has a collection that’s grown from men’s briefs and 1st layers, to more
• Toast & Jam Vintage Fashion Fair—this sounds fascinating and it’s nice to see that vintage fashion has a place within a contemporary fashion trade show
• adidas originals launch party for original girls! Finally…
Stay tuned for more from Bread & Butter Berlin from the show floor January 18-20.