All Photos Courtesy of Bread and Butter–Entrance of the show for check-in. Yes, it was packed but far more organized than an actual airport experiencing delays

The anticipation for the July 1-3 Bread & Butter fashion trade show, the official kick-off of the fashion trade show season, was extremely high as Europe’s most popular street, denim, and urban fair was returning to where it started in Berlin after being hosted in Barcelona for 4 years. The show also coincided with Premium and Berlin Fashion Week, making Berlin the fashion metropolis of the week.

The new homecoming location for Bread & Butter of course was a vital choice to the B&B team, especially the managing director Karl-Heinz Muller, who often mentions the importance of architecture for inspiration for his “tradeshow for selected brands.” The choice of the historic and abandoned airport Berlin-Tempelhof was unique in many ways with its C-hangar format, retro fonts, and giant Candy Bomber DC-03 in the middle of the show for added effect. While for Americans, such a location is a bit eerie (the airport was built in 1935), overall it fit the fact that Bread & Butter was returning home -and to their amazing city with a complex, rich history and corresponding architecture of new and old.

Arial view of the Airport Berlin-Tempelhof with Candy Bomber DC-30 in the Luna Park area. Note the cool stacked cargo containers on the right creating an industrial vibe and a similar feel to the “Ashes and Snow” exhibition by Gregory Colbert circa 2005. “The Yard” area at SIA trade show utilizes cargo containers pretty well, and of course cargo container homes are a hot design trend currently.

Because of the C-format of the hangar, the 7 sections of the show were easily divided, each in their own hangar, and were available via golf cart transport or easy walking. The main area of course was the Denim Base section featuring brands such as G-Star (and their massive tent runway), eco-brand Kuyichi, Nudie Jeans, Pepe Jeans, Mustang, Replay, Scotch & Soda, Edwin, Levi Strauss, Converse, Energie, and others. This was also where the Luna lounge was located outside of the booth area hosting beautiful displays of flowers and areas to chill like cabana-style enclaves with bright striped fabric, and various other set-ups including Wrangler’s area that had a cowboy theme and vintage sign that made it look more American in Europe than it does in America.

Sport and Street area at Bread & Butter

Other popular areas included the Sport & Street area, which is always packed with a who’s-who of streetwear brands including Nikita, New Era, Nixon, Onitsuka Tiger, RVCA, WeSC, Dickies, Element, and others. New this year was the L.O.C.K. area meant for brands of common kin -or common heritage. It’s like an old-school “heritage” section, which seemed appropriate given the heavy trends right now on heritage brands such as Woolrich. Some brands double-dipped in a couple of sections, such as Evisu, bringing out the old heritage styles to be in this coveted L.O.C.K. area and rub shoulders with other brands such as Fred Perry, PRPS, Red Wing Shoes, Shabbies Amsterdam, Gilded Age, and Blue Blood.

If there was a musical comparison to be made, the new Style Society hangar would be considered “indie” with it’s hipster denim and footwear with brands such as Creative Recreation, AG Adriano Goldschmied, True Religion, William Rast (which featured a cameo walk-about with the William Rast co-founder and unofficial new King of Pop, Justin Timberlake), Hudson Jeans, Ed Hardy, Religion, and Custo Barcelona.

Other sections that rounded out the show included Street Fashion (Lonsdale, Fly London, Henleys); Fashion Now (Birkenstock, Copenhagen, Scholl), and Urban Superior (I love the name!) including brands such as Bensimon, Noa Noa, Sessun, Bloch London, Marc O’Polo, and Floris van Bommel.

Street Fashion section of Bread & Butter

Like many other trade shows, Bread & Butter has scaled back in size and still keeping with the “selected” theme meaning you have to have a good, solid story and angle that’s creative and justified to even be in this show. Instead of 800 exhibitors like they had in Barcelona last year, this time it featured 567 brands. But the space is smaller and the vibe of the show was different. Like Project’s scaled back version in Las Vegas last winter, Bread & Butter also felt slightly more high-end, exclusive, and worthwhile.

According to Karl-Heinz at the press conference, “It’s part of our concept. We have less space here in Berlin, about 71,000 square meters compared to 95,000 square meters in Barcelona. In addition, the market in Spain has a different structure. In Spain we had lots of small brands with small stands; in Germany the situation is totally different. As it is the strongest market in Europe, most brands will have bigger stands.”

G-star Runway Show which takes place each day is always a highlight of Bread & Butter. Key trends including dark denim, faded shorts, military motifs, A-line skirts, tailored jackets, and marching band or drumline/cheerleader mini-skirts.

One of the ideas of moving the show back to Berlin was to try and get more brands and attendees from other parts of Europe, Japan, and the USA. At press time, there was a reported 25,000 visitors with a large portion from Germany, 800 from the USA and an estimated 200 from Japan. Other top countries included Italy, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, France, UK, Spain, and Australia.

Some changes may be made for upcoming Bread & Butter shows (next is January 20-22, 2010), including the possibility of not having the Source area, and making Tempelhof winterproof for the January show. Right now Bread & Butter is in a 10-year contract to host the show at the old airport location.

Other show feature highlights included a fabulous kick-off party hosting the Swedish band Mando Diao, the ever-popular G-Star runway shows, plus an assortment of DJ’s setting the mood in various areas throughout the day. Asics had an interesting exhibition that looked like sneaks in a fruit stand, and the show added a Flea market section (actually, this is the second show for this area) featuring top streetwear boutiques selling various discounted items, including limited-edition collab pieces. The boutiques in the Flea Market ranged from the Reed Space from New York, to Wood Wood out of Copenhagen and Berlin, and Starcrow from Paris. Similar to the Cash & Carry section at Pool, which featured mostly accessory brands, the Flea Market featured global boutiques and created an easy, fun way to buy key items right at the show, and get a sense of what some of these famous stores offer.

The cool Bread & Butter Fetish area again sold B&B limited-edition merch, including T-shirts, bags, and accessories -all of which proceeds go to charity. Similar to shows in the past, Bread & Butter again set new standards towards combining a fashion trade show with a creative and inspiring atmosphere, architecture, and history -one in which work does get done, but not without an added dose of inspiration and industry networking, both of which are greatly needed in these challenging economic times.

For more reviews from Bread & Butter including Label Networks%uFFFD first review when the show was originally in Berlin, do a key word search on “Bread” or “Butter.”

From the G-star runway show featuring stovepipes, high-waisted, and low-crotch denim styles.

Team G-star at show finale

Bread & Butter Managing Director, Karl-Heinz Muller in the blue shirt in the L.O.C.K. area

Justin Timberlake at Bread & Butter also representing as the co-founder of the new denim and street fashion brand William Rast featued in the new area called Style Society. Note the outfit behind him: The plaid button-down and business suit vest with tux-satin collar is new trend.

Entrance to Bread & Butter in Berlin–While Barcelona is beautiful, it%uFFFDs clear that the B&B team is extremely happy to have their show back in their home city.

One more G-star runway shot. This denim dress captures a lot of interesting aspects including the bubble-bottom style and belt. White gloves with 50%uFFFDs-esque collar are key for adding that vintage appeal to a very contemporary look.