Being at Bread & Butter—Europe’s biggest fashion trade show—is like taking a scenic flight over a landscape of upcoming trends in street and urbanwear. However, instead of actually boarding a plane, we just have to walk round an airport on foot. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.
We’re on the lookout for brands that fit the “Fab Closet,” that is, they’re fashionable, feature an element of design, but don’t lose that all-important sense of fun. Here are some of my choice picks. As you might expect, it was the smaller brands that really shone through with enthusiasm, in amongst the hustle and bustle of the big boys.
With their colourful tribal bags, Swiss label WayOo managed to combine design with deep-rooted social conscience. The label’s vision is to raise appreciation of traditional craftsmanship while emphasising its modern significance, and their handcrafted pouches celebrate the indigenous art of the founder’s ancestors. Native Venezuelan tribes benefit from the company, too, as WayOo gives voice to those who can’t express themselves via traditional Western means by encouraging local manufacturers to contribute to a contemporary, yet conscious way of trading.
Elsewhere, in a side wing of the hangar, a small assortment of socks in bright colours is clipped to a black wall. It’s nothing life-changing, but beaming with honesty for just that reason. As we approach, Milos Jovanovic leaps up from the beanbag chair he had been using to catch a couple of minutes’ rest (by day three, the fair is taking its toll!) to talk to us about Stereo Socks. Founded in February 2013, this remarkably new brand has managed to find itself a very old factory in the heart of Transylvania, where they’ve been making socks since 1927! It’s a funny contrast, but the socks are totally Fab, and I leave with a different attitude to my feet and a charmingly personalized cardboard lookbook in my hands.
With socks and bags covered, it was time to move onto the head. Only half a year old, contemporary Munich milliner NAVIIV. makes products with a vibrant street flavour that’s very much now, casting a modern take on traditional designs. Its first collection reworks the traditional six-panel snapback, calling on classic hip-hop hallmarks while emphasising a slimmer cut that’s in line with today’s style trends. The designs are crisp and clean cut, with all-over prints and premium nubuck leather bills for half the range. Simply beautiful, we both fell in love with them.
All too soon it was over, but with so many extraordinary ideas under one roof, we can’t wait to see what these brands come up with when Bread & Butter returns this winter.
- Magdalena Schmidt, copywriter
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