Playtime launched their brand new and highly anticipated Berlin show on the 5th of July. Starting a new venture is exciting and a little nerve wrecking but as much as you plan or anticipate the launch it’s not until afterwards when you can look back and really take it in. We had so many questions about the new show so we had a chat with the Playtime team and in the process discover how the launch went for the team. We also spoke to the exhibitors to get their first impressions of the all new Playtime Berlin show , Nici Zinell (Noe Zoe), Emma Watson (Little Hotdog Watson), Lula Aldunate (Lulaland) and Laura Egloff (Veleveteen)
Playtime Team on Playtime Berlin
Why Berlin? Why now? (Did you consider anywhere else?) Since a few seasons already, we noticed that the proportion of German, Northern European and Eastern European buyers coming to Playtime Paris was less important than in any other European countries. And because they are used to having local fairs they travelled less frequently. But those markets remain crucial for our exhibitors. It was therefore logical to make it possible for a targeted group of brands to go to them. Berlin offers a unique dynamism and geographical positioning which will allow them to shine beyond Germanic borders. The Berlin Fashion Week getting more and more important at an international level, it seems to us it was the right time to enrich it with an original children’s fashion event.
For now we are focusing on our 4 shows, no other city is planned.
Work does not stop after you’ve launched a show, we want to establish it in the long term, which means we’re facing several seasons of hard work!
36 hours to move the show from Paris to Berlin. How did it go? How did you support your exhibitors doing both shows? It’s been intense! We split our team, part of the team flew from Paris to Berlin on Monday, July 3 evening, to start setting up everything at 6am and the other part joined them on Tuesday, July 4 in the morning.We booked a truck leaving Paris to Berlin on Monday evening with our own material, and we offered brands doing both Playtime Paris and Playtime Berlin to transport their collections as well.We decided to have a lighter scenography, more open, with no entire walls. Brands only had to hang their collection on the racks.
What was the biggest challenge? The main challenge was to get everyone working together to make this a global and stronger event. We faced a similar challenge in Japan where agents used to do many different little showrooms all over the country and eventually came to understand how much easier it was for them to take part in one strong unique bi-annual event.
Biggest surprise? The crowd when we opened the doors on Wednesday morning. Honestly, the first hours of the show were really busy in a truly positive and friendly atmosphere.
Will you be doing anything differently next time? We know the international trade show calendar is very tight, whatever the slot you decide to pick it will be complicated for some reasons. But we’re ready to face organization difficulties to offer professionals a nice and successful show.
Our main focus will always be to to attract even more German and international buyers, in order to ensure more business contacts to our exhibitors next season.
What has the feedback been like? I think people were pleasantly surprised with this first edition. Location was gorgeous and extremely luminous. It enabled people to work in a pleasant and friendly atmosphere. Exhibitors were happy with the quality of buyers. Many brands who exhibited at Playtime Paris just before coming to Berlin were happy to meet different buyers. As organizers, we’re also glad to see that many brands visited the show to exhibit in the future.
Congratulations! How are you all going to wind down after this ?We’re currently working on Playtime NY (August 6-8) and Playtime Tokyo (August 22-24), so there is no time to rest for now. But September will definitively be more quiet for us, we’ll have some time to rest and think about new ideas before launching the winter 2018 season!
Nici Zinell, owner & founder Noe Zoe
Why did you decide to take part in the 1st edition of Playtime Berlin? As a berlin based brand I didn´t have to think twice. This is our hometown and we feel that there is great potential to develop a show here. The first show we ever did was Playtime Paris back in 2011. We have been taking part in Playtime Paris and New York ever since and for us it has been the stepping stone of our success. The Playtime team is doing a great job and having a successful venue in Berlin is obviously something we can benefit from.
What was your first impression of the venue? The location is great! I didn´t really have any expectations, so we were happy to meet many german buyers. Both mornings of the show were very well visited, but the afternoons were rather slow.
Through your eyes, could you describe the general feeling at the show? Many of the retailers we meet were very excited and positive about the new event.
What set Playtime Berlin a part from it’s older sibling in Paris? The show only goes on for 2 days which we felt is enough and different to the 3 days we do in Paris and New York. It needs time to develop still, but the concept is working well.
Obviously the Berlin show takes place straight after Playtime Paris with just one day in between. Is this positive or negative in your view? It is very stressful for the brands to only have one day inbetween the shows, but I understand the date was chosen to benefit form Berlin fashion week. Hopefully next season will be easier to handle.
A favourite comment from the show? Our collection received many comments about it´s strong colors and unique identity, those are obviously my favourite comments.
The buyers you spoke with at the show were mostly from? Germany. Which is great as we are looking to grow in Germany.
Anything to say to the Playtime team? Thank you for a wonderful show!
See Noe Zoe brand profile here.
Emma Watson, owner and founder Little Hotdog Watson
Why did you decide to take part in the 1st edition of Playtime Berlin ? In the 12 months since Little Hotdog Watson launched we have established a customer base in Germany. As soon as Playtime announced the new show in Berlin we knew we wanted to be part of it.
What was your first impression of the venue ? The venue was fantastic and very different to the other Playtime shows. Centrally located, close to Galleries Lafayette it was a modern, airy building with a contempoary feel featuring huge windows and ceiling.
Could you describe the general feeling at the show ? The feeling of the show was one of optimism. The Playtime team and all the brands were very excited to be part of the very first show and the energy was infectious.
What set Playtime Berlin a part from it’s older sibling in Paris? The vibes for both shows were very different. Berlin offered visitors a more handpicked collection of brands that were edited to give real choice. From the visitors point of view it was really easy to get around and see everyone and spend more time with them. From a brands point of view you had more breathing space and a chance to stand out.
Obviously the Berlin show takes place straight after Playtime Paris with just one day in between. Is this positive or negative in your view? From my point of the view the back to back nature of the shows was positive. Little Hotdog Watson was already showing in Paris so it was a case of simply hopping on a plane over to Berlin. It condensed the travelling and meant I could organise appointments across both cities giving me more time. On a personal level I was away for nine days and missed my daughter. It was a long time away.
A favourite comment from the show ? Everyone was incredibly impressed with the space and also the timing with Berlin Fashion week meant that we saw visitors attending both shows.
The buyers you spoke with at the show were mostly from ?
There was a real cross section of countries, personally I spoke mostly with buyers from Germany, Russia, Belgium and Switzerland.
Anything to say to the Playtime team ? Really looking forward to hearing their plans for the next one.
Lula Aldunate, owner and founder Lulaland
Why did you decide to take part in the 1st edition of Playtime Berlin ? We had a great response from the German market when we went to Paris for the first time two years and a half ago. We are always looking for opportunities to expand our horizons and challenge ourselves! and of course to support Playtime’s New show! we believe in them!
What was your first impression of the venue? The venue was beautiful! and their scale was perfect! it reminded me to the beginning of Playtime NY, with a very curated yet warm spirit.
Through your eyes, could you describe the general feeling at the show? LOVED IT, everyone was super excited and happy to be part of this new show ! I think the local buyers and other visitors were very happy to have the kind of show that Playtime brings to the market, right there for them.
What set Playtime Berlin a part from its older sibling in Paris? We had visitors from countries that haven’t contacted us before (showing in NY and Paris) the vibe is different as it is much smaller and it feels more familiar, I personally love being part of new things.
Obviously the Berlin show takes place straight after Playtime Paris with just one day in between. Is this positive or negative in your view? Positive !! it may seam tight but for me, once you are in the “New Season” mode you want to show your collection everywhere !! and make the most of your time ! We flew at noon the day after Paris finished, the flight was 1.30 hours, got there kind of late but got everything ready as the set up was easier in Berlin (no big decor booths) and I don’t have kids but I heard from friends that most business women that are moms were missing their families and found it convenient that it was right after Paris.
A favourite comment from the show? We had a great response to this collection many compliments. The main feedback was about how buyers appreciate to find a brand that is environmentally friendly and at the same time is authentic and full of personality. Through these comments I felt that buyers are now seeing more our message and mission, that we are a brand that cares about our materials and processes very much (using organic fabrics, producing consciously, paying fare wages) and want to make stylish fun clothing for kids to love (creating our own prints and mixing textures in untraditional ways) a combination that not always goes together !! (lucky us!!)
Anything to say to the Playtime team ? A huge THANK YOU ! we love them, it is and amazing team ! a professional, genuine and caring group of people. I know them since the beginnings of Playtime NY and the chance to interact with them from different ‘places’( I’ve been a helper, a visitor, I did one trend space one season, then I became a buyer and after started showing with Lulaland). Marie and Sebastien are two of the nicest more professional and creative down to earth people I know in the industry !
Read more about Lulaland #pirouette12watchAw17, click here.
Laura Egloff, owner and founder Velveteen
Why did you decide to take part in the 1st edition of Playtime Berlin ? Germany and Austria are exciting markets for us and we see a lot of potential for further development there as well as in Eastern Europe. My family is Swiss German so we spend a lot of time in and around Berlin and it’s an exciting and dynamic city that we were very happy to visit.
What was your first impression of the venue? The show was held at Palazzo Italia, of all places, which provided a bright and open space for the show. The location was quite central and very convenient for exhibitors and buyers.
Through your eyes, could you describe the general feeling at the show ? The buyers were certainly more reserved than we’re used to seeing at the shows in Paris or Florence as many of them don’t travel to the trade shows so it was a new and exciting buying trip for them. The result was an environment that was more quiet than most shows but also full of exciting potential.
What set Playtime Berlin a part from Its older sibling in Paris?
You really cannot compare the two shows at all. Paris is so much more established and has become really big and all encompassing. The Berlin show was a more intimate environment that allowed buyers to be more relaxed in their meetings and provided a nice open space for the brands to showcase their collections. Both shows have their advantages and disadvantages.
Obviously the Berlin show takes place straight after Playtime Paris with just one day in between. Is this positive or negative in your view? Logistically, this creates a real challenge for the brands to move locations quickly and staff both shows accordingly. The buyers we saw were not travelling to the other trade shows so they didn’t have the same travel challenges that we experienced. It’s obviously better to see as many buyers early in the season so I agree with having the show early in July but it certainly did keep us on our toes.
A favourite comment from the show? It’s hard to choose just one but I would say the overall energy of the buyers was exciting to see. They’re not used to seeing the top brands in person and many told me they were previously ordering off line sheets so it was a great experience for them to touch and feel the pieces and meet the design teams for the first time.
The buyers you spoke with at the show were mostly from? We saw predominantly local buyers from Germany and Austria but there was also a presence from Eastern Europe.
Anything to say to the Playtime team ? The Berlin show is going to take time to build but I applaud Sebastien’s dedication to bringing the brands to buyers who might otherwise not see the collections first hand.
Read Laura’ s Parent & Child interview, click here.
On a personal level we were very excited to receive the interview answers. Having spoken with a number of the Playtime team at the Paris show it was evident what an effort they had put into finding the venue and their excitement for the next couple of crazy days of relocating to Berlin. Congratulations on pulling it all together, it certainly seems everyone is looking forward to the next edition!
Total number of visitors 1236
German purchasers made for the largest portion of visitors (69%), while most other visitors came from European countries such as France, Denmark or the United Kingdom. On a smaller scale but no less noteworthy was the presence of several beautiful points of sale from Switzerland and Poland. In total 29 nationalities were registered on the visitor’s side.
Top 10 Countries
All countries in descending order
Germany, France, Denmark, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Italy, The Netherlands, Austria, China, Japan, Turkey, Sweden, Belgium, Chile, Lebanon, Australia, Colombia, South Korea, Mexico, Norway, Slovenia, Ukraine, the United States, Israel, Pakistan
Playtime Berlin website
Next Edition 23-24 January 2018