Birmingham’s Moda ‘a lively growing show’

Drapers - Birmingham’s Moda ‘a buzzy growing show’

Exhibitors reported a strong, busy start during the first two days of Birmingham-based Moda.

It is now part of the organizer Hyve Group’s larger housing and lifestyle fair Spring Fair and Autumn Fair – a hybrid format which was only launched in September 2021.

Moda, which takes place twice a year in February and September, offers a curated selection of women’s clothing, accessories and footwear from both leading brands and new names. This year’s event hosts more than 90 womenswear and footwear exhibitors, including Danish womenswear brand Tia, Manchester-based label Saloos and footwear label Fly London.

Brands and buyers told Drapers that the show has grown bigger [within the space it shares with Spring and Autumn Fair]and orders are written.

Beverley Barr, owner of online womenswear retailer Front Row, said: “It’s the best version yet. It’s much bigger [than previous years] and is well furnished.

“We’re looking for something fresh to bring to our store and looking to take on some new brands. The show has a good brand mix and we’ve seen great styles and colors.”

Sanjay Mishra, head of Dubai-based department store Dollar Plus, said: “We’re delighted with the range of brands at the show and it’s good to have everything under one roof, from homewares and handbags to handbags and fashion.”

But brands also pointed out that shoppers are increasingly looking for affordable price points than in previous seasons as shoppers tighten their belts amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Dana Galtrey, creative director at Hertfordshire-based scarf and accessories brand Peony, said: “Yesterday [Sunday 5 February] was a good day and we had a really good foothold. We are more than happy with how it went so far. It’s a much bigger show this time.

“[buyers] tend to stay two or three days, so they look around more on the first day and maybe come and buy on the second day. They are still willing to try new things and open new accounts, but they are more savvy when it comes to price levels.”

Odile de Candia, international sales director at US-based raincoat and jacket brand UBU Clothing, said: “Yesterday it was quiet but today footfall is increasing. We came from the US hoping to get more stockists in the UK market but people are very cautious about the coming seasons. They’re looking for more value ranges.”

Nicola Meadows, portfolio director at the Spring and Autumn Fair, acknowledged that buyers are now more sensitive to price points, but said people are still spending, despite caution around the year ahead.

“Moda is a big show and is growing year on year, especially in the jewelery and watches categories,” she explained, “There was a really good buzz yesterday and a lot of companies told us they are confident and had a good January .

“People are nervous about the retail market, so it’s good to see a lot of independents turning up and placing orders. Buyers are more sensitive to price levels, but it’s nothing drastic.”

She said the fashion accessory brands have benefited the most since Moda was combined with the larger spring show, as they are exposed to more lifestyle buyers, but the show still has a core fashion audience.

“We are also constantly looking at what else we can do to grow and diversify, for example by adding more lingerie and menswear brands. It’s about giving people the opportunity if they want to come to our show,” she added.

The next edition of Moda will be held as part of the Autumn Fair on 4-7 September.

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