THE DREAM THAT BECAME A REALITY: KARL HEINZ MÜLLER IS THE VISIONARY AND MAIN MAN BEHIND THE MOST IMPORTANT INTERNATIONAL TRADESHOW OF URBAN STREET FASHION IN OUR TIME AND IT IS NO COINCIDENCE THAT THE WHOLE WORLD TALKS ABOUT “BREAD AND BUTTER” AND MEANS FASHION! MR. BREAD AND BUTTER EXPLAINS TO OZON WHY HIS DREAM IS DYNAMICALLY CONTINUED.
How did you come up with this January’s concept of the United Nations of Bread & Butter? Is there a subliminal message that the industry should be united against something? Quite the opposite! The campaign underlines the connection between all our international exhibitors and visitors. During our last event in July 2008, we welcomed 893 brands and around 90000 visitors from 105 nations to our tradeshow for selected brands.
It was the most international show in the history of BREAD & BUTTER and that is exactly what our next edition in January 2009 focuses on: the union of all those numerous nationalities and markets in one place: the BREAD & BUTTER BARCELONA.
You have already experienced the great success of a unique, massive, international fashion event that you have perceived and created. What is Bread & Butter’s limit? The sky is the limit! No, seriously, we are quite happy with the healthy size the tradeshow has reached until now. This is why for the coming events we want to focus on our qualitative growth. An increasing number of our exhibitors are asking us for more and more individual presentations at BBBarcelona. The brands need their own “destinations”, just like G-Star has been having theirs in the Luna Park for seasons now. This, of course, also includes the request for more space. Therefore, we will be further limiting the number of our exhibitors for the next season, just as we announced it in July.
The financial crisis in the markets around the world is affecting the fashion industry in several ways. Do you worry about the impact that this might have on BREAD & BUTTER? There are always ups and downs in the markets – such is the nature of economy. But BREAD & BUTTER’s core segment consists of strong brands that are not that easily touched by eventual fluctuations. And generally speaking, BREAD & BUTTER has already faced multiple phases, where the textile sector was said to be standing on shaky ground, and still we have been growing and standing strong since the very beginning. And this, again, is very closely related to our strict brand selection and to the companies we work with.
You have been collaborating with the biggest fashion brands in the world. Could you name the three most significant new tendencies in the fashion business? I think that authenticity, sustainability and eco-consciousness are three of the most relevant topics at the moment and for the future. People are looking for quality in the products they buy and pay more and more attention to where and how the products were manufactured. That is also why the brands increasingly point out which materials they use, where the garments were sewn, etc. At BREAD & BUTTER this awareness for the “origin of things” is directly implemented via THE SOURCE: here, fabric producers, laundry mills and suppliers will be showcasing their newest trends. This again is very important for all B&B brands that, after all, are the customers of THE SOURCE brands.
Is the denim sector going to continue growing? The denim sector is one of the healthiest, if not THE healthiest in the whole fashion industry. There are few products that really tie people to a brand: it’s the car you drive, the cigarette you smoke – and yes, the denim brand you wear. A jean is the most important branded product in the apparel sector. Denim is all about quality and authenticity. That’s why people stay true to “their brand”. And that is also why this sector is constantly growing and evolving. This is also reflected at BREAD & BUTTER: our denim hall is our core segment, our mother ship so to say. The brands present here have stands that correspond to their strong position in the market.
What is your opinion on the Greek fashion market? Until now we only had a few, selected Greek brands exhibiting at BREAD & BUTTER BARCELONA. However, our visitor numbers from Greece have been steadily on the rise. During our last BBBarcelona, almost 1300 Hellenic fashion professionals visited our tradeshow. You can see that there is an evolution in the Greek retail industry – the market is growing and it has a lot of potential.
Barcelona has been an ideal setting for Bread & Butter. Are there any thoughts of moving again? What would your favorite candidate cities be? We feel very good in Barcelona and have everything we need here. The fairgrounds are great, the architecture and the surrounding grounds are suited for excellent logistics and individual presentations. Of course thoughts of expansion can never be ruled out. But such steps require careful planning, country-specific knowledge, competent representatives on the ground etc. So for now, we are staying in Barcelona!
The Bread & Butter passport sounds like a great idea. Have you already got yours? I hope I won’t need one! But I agree, it is a nice way to underline the strength of our community. And BREAD & BUTTER BARCELONA is always worth the travel!