A stunning 430 labels from 100 of the world’s driving forces in bridal made European Bridal Week the largest industry buying event in Northern Europe – by a long long way. At Messe Essen over the weekend buyers from more than 40 countries turned out to welcome the sparkling new collections from some of the most important names in the business – in bridal and occasionwear, mother-of-the-bride, menswear and accessories.
The halls were buzzing, the atmosphere was electric, the beat was fast and the catwalk shows presented in the purpose-built theatre proved to be a magnet for retailers. Model after model strode down the stage making a powerful statement about 2020 design direction with brands such as Iceberg-Selestia, Impero Couture, Lilly, Oksana Mukha, Victoria & Vincent and Svetlana Zaitseva strutting their wow-factor stuff to rapturous applause. Sincerity, Sweetheart and Lillian West, always claiming attention at Essen, delighted retailers with their mix of cool classics, sensuous silhouettes and the very best interpretations of boho.
Event Director Siegrid Hampsink had high expectations for this, the fifth edition of European Bridal Week, but even she was surprised – and no doubt thrilled – with the visitor numbers – up more than 15% year on year. “Our pre-registration data was a pretty good indicator that retailers were geared up for a big buying experience,” she said, “but from the minute the doors opened to the show, the flow of visitors never slowed down. Early analyse shows that the biggest growth area came from within Germany, then Austria, and Scandinavia and according to exhibitors the value of orders was also on the increase. This paints a wonderfully optimistic picture of the industry which seems to be on steadier ground now than in recent years.
European Bridal Week delivered what the bridal business wants – quality, choice and a real sense of style. It was three glorious days of design statements, not only from the leading international labels, but from the new, young talents standing on the brink of the big time. And that is what our industry is all about.