Womenswear consumers elevate JATC Manchester

Simply Round The Nook (JATC) organiser Juls Dawson says he has discovered rather a lot from the second JATC Manchester version of his commerce present after this week’s two-day occasion noticed weak assist from menswear consumers contrasted with a lot greater attendance from womenswear retailers.

“Our total numbers have been up on final season, because of womenswear consumers, however I’m puzzled why the menswear success of our inaugural Manchester version in January was not repeated this season,” he commented.

“I’m disillusioned for the menswear and footwear exhibitors specifically and I apologised to them throughout the present. It may very well be that we underestimated what number of consumers can be on vacation as that is the primary post-COVID summer season they might get away.

“I additionally marvel if we have been a bit late for menswear this season because it appears fairly a couple of manufacturers have already closed their books as a consequence of making an attempt higher to handle provide chain points.

“On the plus aspect, I’m inspired by the response to our enlarged womenswear provide, together with The Edit, our part for extra elevated manufacturers. Additionally I used to be happy to see the brand new manufacturers in our Sustainable style part have been proud of the retailers they met.

“I’ve had numerous messages for the reason that present ended from exhibitors and consumers who have been very glad.”

JATC Manchester

On Tuesday and Wednesday about 150 manufacturers have been represented on the Freight Island venue in central Manchester, which is a Victorian former railway depot. The JATC present was developed out of Dawson’s Simply Consultancies style company, which itself confirmed eight collections on the occasion.

The primary JATCs, which offered menswear and womenswear individually, have been held in London in September 2021. Dawson, a Manchester native with greater than 20 years’ expertise of many points of the trade, added the northern version, combining males’s and ladies’s put on, in January this yr and ran the identical format in London in February.

This season’s London version, once more showcasing males’s and ladies’s collections, will run on the Truman Brewery in London on Sunday to Tuesday, 7-9 August.

The Manchester occasion was conceived to offer suppliers with a platform to succeed in northern consumers who traditionally have been loath to go to London occasions. Lauren Brown, proprietor of the adjoining Sisters boutique and Misters menswear store in Falkirk in central Scotland, is an enthusiastic fan of the idea and placement.

“JATC is nice for me as I’ve to purchase for each my companies,” she stated. “By coming to the present I ended up shopping for from a womenswear assortment I most likely wouldn’t have gone for by simply it on Zoom. I like that I can come to Manchester, do the present, go to some showrooms within the metropolis after which take a look at a couple of inventory homes. It being right here makes good use of my time.”

Jan Shutt of famend womenswear retailer Sunday Greatest in Rawtenstall, solely 18 miles exterior Manchester, was happy to have found James Steward, a brand new Yorkshire-based costume provider, at JATC. “If I hadn’t have come right here, I wouldn’t learn about them,” she noticed.

London-based exhibitor Dylan Chadha, who was exhibiting some immediate-delivery kinds of his Louche womenswear assortment in addition to the spring-summer 23 ranges, felt the present had delivered its promise: “This has been one other nice JATC present that has helped us additional develop our presence within the north. Some incredible new accounts from throughout the area purchased into Louche for SS23. Roll on London after which subsequent season.”

Jam Companies has its principal showroom in Manchester, solely 10 minutes from JATC. Regardless of this proximity, managing director Kally Shukla introduced Faith Ladies’s, St Tropez, Haven and eb&ive to the present and stated it had delivered the fitting consumers to her stands: “That is our second JATC version in Manchester and it once more allowed us to see an excellent proportion of our Scottish and northern accounts, and to open new ones. Consumers remarked they favored the dimensions of the present and its relevance in each division. We at the moment are trying ahead to the London occasion.”

Lucy Walsh introduced 4 collections from her London-based The Model Ambassadors womenswear company to The Edit part and confirmed she would most likely strive it one other season.

“The present introduced collectively an excellent model combine. It was the primary time JATC had tried collections like mine, with attire retailing for round £250. I noticed excellent northern boutiques like Hope in Clitheroe, Black White Denim in Wilmslow and Sunday Greatest, plus extra Irish consumers than I used to be anticipating. I opened 4 new accounts for my Sirens London label, which alone made it worthwhile.”

Walsh was one of many womenswear exhibitors who suffered when {an electrical} contractor failed to put in stand lights on the final minute. Others needed to cope with rain coming into the venue on the primary morning.

“I labored for a number of years on Pure Womenswear in London and I do know issues like this may occur at any present,” Walsh stated. “Juls and his staff labored very well to maintain us knowledgeable and make issues nearly as good as doable however he wants to think about whether or not that is the fitting venue for premium womenswear.”

In different sections, exhibitors have been puzzled by patchy response, particularly as different exhibits aimed toward independents have seen brisk visitors this season.

“It’s very late for menswear, so the consumers have already spent their budgets,” stated one sad first-time exhibitor. “Anyway, most don’t look to intro a brand new model for the spring-summer season except it’s actually on hearth.”

“The timing is early sufficient for footwear consumers, so there’s nothing flawed with the dateline,” remarked Mike Wyld, gross sales space supervisor for Spanish model Camper. “Monday was barely higher than Sunday, which was poor for us. I had come to JATC straight from what had been a busy two-day present for our group on the extra mainstresam Harrogate womenswear present. I noticed consumers I’d seen at Harrogate in Manchester, however they appeared extra fascinated about clothes right here than footwear.”

Matthew Rawlings, industrial director for long-established menswear model Remus Uomo, which has expanded from its tailoring heritage with a casualwear provide, felt the 2 days had been time effectively spent: “We did the London JATC in February nevertheless it was our first time in Manchester. Footfall was most likely a bit lower than anticipated however the present had been very effectively marketed, so it’s arduous to elucidate why. Juls and his staff have labored arduous to create an excellent expertise, offering everybody with free espresso, drinks and meals.

“In a market sector the place our model shouldn’t be well-known, we opened conversations with six new accounts and had a really helpful and surprising assembly with a really massive key account we didn’t anticipate to be on the present.

“Now we’re trying ahead to the London version on Sunday.”

JATC Manchester

The laid-back and funky really feel of the present, very very like the defunct Bread & Butter exhibits in Europe and Jacket Required in London, was usually loved however some exhibitors felt a pleasant vibe isn’t any comfort for lack of consumers.

Dawson believes in making an attempt new classes at JATC. This season he put a small group of sustainable style manufacturers on the entrance of the present. British model Komodo, a JATC common, has been championing eco-fashion for 35 years. A more recent arrival on the present searching for extra mainstream accounts was fast-growing Passenger Clothes, a New Forest-based firm that celebrates 10 years in enterprise this autumn.

A newcomer to the UK is Outerknown, an LA-based sustainable model arrange in 2015 by browsing legend Kelly Slater. Lesley Johnston, who labored for Barbour for 20 years, is dealing with UK gross sales and was happy with the publicity JATC had given the model, particularly with some bigger gamers.


Though it’s focused at indies primarily, JATC attracted consumers from Subsequent On-line, The Hut Group, Web Fusion (Nation Apparel and Surfdome), Tessuti and Scotts (each a part of the JD Sports activities Group), JD Sports activities itself, JD Williams (Jacamo and Merely Be), Soletrader and Footasylum.

Dawson already is trying ahead to early 2023, when he plans so as to add new sections for magnificence, skincare, fragrances, homewares and jewelry. “We wish to give numerous consumers numerous causes to come back to Simply Round The Nook,” he stated. “The early indicators are optimistic for subsequent season from ladies’s manufacturers indicating they’re eager to return. Many potential exhibitors visited this week and appeared eager to come back on board for Manchester’s January version. However first I wish to take pleasure in our three-day London version, which is a sell-out with round 175 collections on present. Purchaser pre-registrations are 30% on final season, so we hope for a powerful attendance on the Truman Brewery.”

Eric Musgrave feedback: I’ve been mates with Juls Dawson for nearly 20 years and I used to be very happy when he employed me, as a contract commentator, to take over the Instagram feed for JATC in Manchester. It was enjoyable to work the present with Teresa Paul, a long-time buddy of ours and one other fully-paid-up member of the Manchester style mafia.

Having seen busy independent-focused exhibits at INDX and Harrogate this season, I used to be shocked and disillusioned with the relative scarcity of menswear consumers specifically at Manchester. Indies have a window in the intervening time to reaffirm their significance to the market and they should get out and about to search for new merchandise to maintain their provide recent. They should assist the manufacturers that assist them.

In my 40-plus-year profession I had stints engaged on exhibitions throughout my EMAP days. A great present stands on three legs, supplied by the organiser, the exhibitors and the consumers. If a type of doesn’t measure up, the present doesn’t work. If northern and Scottish consumers need native exhibits – and there are sufficient of them to make {that a} viable prospect – they want to take the time to prove and assist them.

Juls might discover that though he began Simply Round The Nook as primarily an informal menswear and streetwear present, there’s a greater and extra worthwhile prize to win by concentrating on womenswear. He’s not the primary particular person to find that when operating a UK style commerce present you can’t please all of the folks on a regular basis.

Photos: Eric Musgrave

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