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Coronavirus: UKFT International Tradeshow Update


In these challenging times for UK fashion and textile businesses, UKFT is in touch with its international tradeshows and some of the key showrooms to identify which shows will take place, when and where. DIT tradeshow grants are confirmed for shows scheduled to take place in June and early July and we expect to receive the rest of the grant programme for the period running from July to March 2021 very shortly. If shows are postponed we shall ask DIT to carry these events over into the second half of the year and DIT have said that they will work with us on this flexibly.

A number of fashion weeks (i.e the catwalk or runway shows) scheduled in June and July have either announced, or are believed likely to announce, that they may either postpone or reschedule. This does not necessarily mean that the tradeshows and showrooms around them will do the same but as soon as we have precise and accurate information, we shall let you know.

The organisers of Pitti Uomo and Pitti Bimbo have confirmed that they will move their show dates to September also. Therefore, for 2020 only the dates of Pitti Uomo will be 2-4 September (three days) and Pitti Bimbo will be 9-10 September (two days).

The key trade associations representing the major trade fairs for the fashion sector in Paris issued a joint communiqué to confirm that they have taken the decision to either postpone their shows scheduled for June and July 2020 due to the outbreak of Covid19. The letter is signed by the organisers of Interfilière, Man/Woman, Splash Paris, Tranoi, Unique by Mode City, View and the federations. The letter confirms that the shows will not take place in June or July but that their teams are working on alternative dates in September 2020. Details will follow but, in practical terms, UKFT’s expectation is that that they will plan to realign their shows on the same dates as Who’s Next/Première Classe in early September and the later Paris Fashion Week dates at the end of September and beginning of October.

We expect that the independent showrooms will follow suit so that the majority of activity for menswear, womenswear pre-collections, swimwear, lingerie, beachwear and accessories would look to coalesce on one of the two traditional show slots in September. UKFT’s interpretation is that Interfilière and Unique by Mode City will aim to reschedule alongside Who’s Next, currently scheduled for 4-7 September. We anticipate that Man/Woman, Splash, Tranoi and View will look to reschedule alongside the later Paris Fashion Week dates. As soon as we have confirmed dates and information, we shall let you know.

In the meantime, a number of showrooms have put details of their collections online for buyers to see, even if they cannot travel. These can be traced via www.modemonline.com which lists most of the key international showrooms, with a link to those which have a virtual showroom campaign. In addition, Playologie  (an established platform for predominantly womenswear and childrenswear brands) has offered to extend its established online showroom platform free of charge to up to 300 brands for the foreseeable future at https://www.iloveplaytime.com/hello/playologie/special-announcement/ .

We realise that buyers are being extremely cautious as most stores are closed and many are carrying excessive stock at the moment but, looking to the future and the promise of better times to come, it is important to know which resources are available to help once things begin to go back to some form of normality. Based on the information we are receiving, some brands are still managing to make good sales to their B2C consumers online but many retailers have all but forgotten about collections for spring and early summer, especially anything which needs to be shown in a party environment!  On the other hand, we are seeing reports of increased demand online for loungewear and athleisure categories which are very popular at the moment.

For textiles, the latest updates are that Milano Unica (should have been July 2020) has pushed dates back to 7,8,9 September 2020, while Première Vision (15,16,17 September 2020) has delayed recruitment for the September show until mid April. Intertextile Shanghai (23,24,25 September 2020) seems to be ploughing ahead with recruitment and Proposte, Como (should have been end April) for interior textiles has been postponed until 23, 24, 25 September 2020. Heimtextil, Frankfurt (12,13,14,15 January 2020) – no change and recruitment currently underway.

UKFT will tell you about any other similar offers we become aware of to help you to build and rebuild your business. We are already working on a regeneration plan to submit to government to support the industry in time for when life begins to return, so that we can help the industry to anticipate and adapt to the new reality when it is here.


UK Export Finance and the Department for International Trade

UK Export Finance has expanded the scope of its Export Insurance Policy (EXIP), which means UK businesses can now secure export insurance cover to markets including the EU, US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland with immediate effect.

The Department for International Trade urges companies to contact one of its 170 International Trade Advisers. To find your local ITA, visit: https://www.great.gov.uk/contact/office-finder/

Businesses are being encouraged to:

UKFT is in constant dialogue with the government and is outlining the latest support available for businesses on our website. We will update the details as and when the situation changes.