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UKFT Report from Chicago Collective: August 2022


UKFT visited the Chicago Menswear Collective in August 2022, for the first time in many years to support GREAT British menswear and accessories.

UKFT’s Director of International Business, Paul Alger MBE, said: “The US and Canada are major priorities for UK companies, especially those manufacturing throughout the UK, and at times like these it more important than ever that we invest in our commercial relationships with the UK’s friends and allies.”

A full report from the event is available to members, covering:

  • The fast-moving tradeshow scene for US and Canadian buyers
  • The history of the show and the market right now
  • The look and feel of the show
  • Italian promotion
  • Feedback from UK companies which exhibited at the event
  • Feedback from agents, showrooms and distributors representing UK brands
  • Key conclusions from the show
  • Plans for the future

This is available to UKFT members – to access your copy email info@ukft.org.

Background on the event:

UKFT traditionally co-ordinated a group of British menswear companies at the event in the late ’90s before grant support ran out for most of the established companies as, even then, the show did not have room for new exhibitors.

More recently, the British Consulate in Chicago has been running a successful promotion of the 30 or so brands at Chicago Collective.

For internal reasons, the British Consulate approached UKFT to ask the association to take responsibility for the UK group at the show and UKFT’s visit to the show was planned to evaluate the show and look at what it should be doing to support British menswear at the event.

This is especially important as the US is the UK’s largest export market after the EU, and Canada is increasingly becoming a major focus for UK fashion businesses since the signing of the UK-Canada continuity trade agreement.

The unique purchasing power of the US and Canada, especially after Brexit and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, means that the market represented by this show is more important than ever for UK exporters.

UK menswear and textile brands at the show have always been a key part of the show and they offer something very unique in the market for their superiority in quality and design. The show organisers are very aware of this and are keen to maintain the special relationship between the UK and US market.
The full list of UK menswear and accessories brand showing direct or with a national/regional agent was as follows:
  • 1 Like No Other (Agent)
  • Alan Paine Knitwear (Agent)
  • Baracuta (Agent)
  • Barbour (Agent)
  • Belstaff (Agent)
  • Bennett Winch
  • Chrysalis England
  • Corgi Hosiery (Agent)
  • Daines and Hathaway
  • Derek Rose (Agent)
  • Far Afield (Agent)
  • Fox Umbrellas
  • Harley of Scotland (Agent)
  • Harry’s London
  • John Smedley (Agent)
  • Johnstons of Elgin
  • Joshua Ellis (Agent)
  • Hogarth Accessories (Agent)
  • Loake (Agent)
  • Original Penguin (Agent)
  • Pantherella
  • Peregrine (Agent)
  • Robert Keyte (Agent)
  • Sanders UK (Agent)
  • Scott and Charters (Agent)
  • Seaward and Stearn (Agent)
  • St James London (US base)
  • Tateossian
  • Ted Baker (Agent)
  • Truefitt and Hill (US base)
  • Universal Works (Agent)
As can be seen, the vast majority of the UK companies have a US agent, distributor or office.
The UK worsted textile mills present at the show, either through a textile merchant or direct, were:
  • Dormeuil
  • Dugdale
  • Harrison’s of Edinburgh
  • Holland and Sherry
  • Huddersfield Fine Worsted
  • Scabal

Not a member? For more details on membership click here  or contact info@ukft.org