"All Tomorrows" area at Bright
"All Tomorrows" area at Bright
 

24 Jan. 2012

SHOW REPORT: BRIGHT XIV

In busy fair times, entering Bright is always a pleasure. Less trouble, less bother, less hype; more relaxation and time for talk. For the 14th edition of the skate and streetwear trade show, which took place from 19-21 January in the now cult location of the former Berlin STASI headquarters, the energy was no different. But is a nice atmosphere alone enough to attract customers?

12,000 visitors were recorded at the most recent Bright event with Friday as the most popular day and Saturday as the least frequented. These figures show 3,000 less people than July of 2011, but 600 more than this time last year.
Frisurclothing at Bright
Frisurclothing at Bright

So the previous fear that with the first-ever absence of traditional Bright magnet Carhartt plus the loss of Roxy and Quicksilver, a significant share of guests might keep away from the fair, proved needless.
A few exhibitors still seemed unsatisfied with their booths’ attendance rates or bemoaned that they had met too few prospective customers. Furthermore, their regular customer base often files orders elsewhere. Trade agencies like R.O.U.G.H distribution (responsible for Emerica and Brixton) stated that most of their order meetings are held at their clients’ locations, while others reported that signed customers are planned to drop in at their showrooms after the trade show. “The real work is going to start after the fair,” confirmed Jochen Smuda from streetwear label Ucon.

Colorful denims at Reel
Colorful denims at Reel
Still, receiving initial feedback regarding their collections and showcasing them to an enhanced public, including interested parties from all over the world, are strong and promising reasons for exhibiting at Bright. The presence of international guests was generally perceived as outstandingly good. “We welcomed many international visitors at our booth, even from places like Canada, where we don’t even have a market presence yet,” claimed Salah Boukricha from denim brand Reel, which celebrated its 15th anniversary with an installation of numerous pairs of jeans in all the colors of the rainbow. In fact, 40% of all attendants came from abroad with France holding the greatest share, followed by the Netherlands, the UK and Italy.

Nike
Nike's Lunar Lab
Booth arrangements and the division of space stayed nearly the same as compared to previous seasons. Some stalls showed particular originality: while Nike presented the creation of their iconic “Lunar” shoe sole in bright neon lights, Volcom offered their guests free hot dogs and individually branded beanies. The young designers platform “All Tomorrows,” which was launched during the previous edition of Bright, was expanded this season so that even more new talents received the chance to exhibit their fashion or photography work on the third floor of the former STASI building. Next door, visitors had the chance to challenge each other at uniquely designed indoor miniature golf tracks, which was very well received by the audience.

Volcom customized beanies
Volcom customized beanies
Another novelty was the inclusion of the first-ever Bright European Skateboard Awards, where contributors from the skateboard scene were rewarded for their achievements. The award show was a formal evening event at the third floor auditorium of the East-German Security Service’s building and was a great success. Thomas Martini, one of the two managers of the trade show, seemed very pleased. “It was a lovely evening with 550 invited guests. Of course we were a bit nervous beforehand, but the show turned out to be exciting from start to finish. The unique thing about the award is that not only professional skaters, but also everyone who takes part in the scene has a chance to win. If the concept keeps developing like this, it can become just as big as the trade show itself,” he predicted.

Lifetime Collective at Bright
Lifetime Collective at Bright
The lucky winners were: Kingpin Readers Choice Award - Eniz Favilov with 70,000 votes; Best Skate Shop – Lost Art, Liverpool; Hardest Slam – Steve Forstner; Photographer of the Year – Sem Rubio; Best Trick – Steve Forstner; Cover of the Year – Sem Rubio, Kingpin; Best Video – Lukas Puig, Adidas; Rookie of the Year – Albert Nyberg; Brand of the Year – Palace Skateboards; Best Skater – Lucas Puig.
Maria Hunstig

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