Gifts Today magazine

Top Drawer sees visitor increase

With more new products being launched here than ever, and an extraordinary selection of companies, most exhibiting exclusively, the expertly curated worlds of Top Drawer saw a significant increase in visitors

Buyers and exhibitors alike left Top Drawer inspired by the high calibre of products, as the A/W16 edition presented thousands of carefully selected design-led brands from major international brands to emerging new names, across Home, Gift, Fashion and Craft. The new show layout spread over two floors at Olympia London, which accommodated the September debut of Craft, alongside Fashion and Spotted, was well received.

The quality of retailers seen and numbers were on the rise with a significant increase in international visitors (20%) from over 80 countries including USA, Japan, Chile, Australia, Netherlands, Korea, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, Hong Kong, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Peru, South Africa, China, Italy, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates.

The show also witnessed an increase in department store buyers. John Lewis, Selfridges, Marks & Spencer, Harrods, Arnott’s, Fenwick, House of Fraser, Fortnum & Mason and Brown Thomas were amongst those in attendance.

Show Director, Alejandra Campos, sums up the positive response to Top Drawer A/W16: “These positive trends are indicative of Top Drawer’s enduring success and continuing evolution, confirming our market leading position as the UK’s preferred destination for international buyers, department stores and top independent retailers. With thousands of top UK and international brands, most of which were exclusive to the show this September, we attracted an unrivalled variety of retailers across our sectors.”

Charlie Gladstone, Founder of Pedlars, agrees: “In Britain, Top Drawer is undoubtedly the best distillation of creativity. In just one show, you can get everything you need. The highlight is that I always find someone new here. My aim is to be the first to discover new products from niche brands and Top Drawer is the place to do this”.
Show highlights included:

The Home A/W16 Edit saw a strong showcase of UK and overseas brands - with a 30% expansion from A/W15 - offering buyers a compelling selection of design-led product across Interior Accessories, Kitchen & Dining, Furniture & Lighting and Outdoor Living . New independent designers sat comfortably amongst
renowned brands such as Seletti, Eva Solo, Leonardo, Bliss Home, Ulster Weavers, ON Interior, Pantone, Bronte, Also Home, Umbra, Make International, Alessi, Garden Trading and Skandium. Keith Brymer-Jones, judge of the BBC Great British Pottery Throwdown fame returned to dazzle visitors with his live demonstrations.

Craft made a hugely successful debut this September, with a curated pick of the most sought-after handmade products. Award winning surface designer Daniel Heath, in partnership with online design portal In The Window, created a real buzz around Craft by performing live screen printing of his new wallpaper collection.

A unique and exclusive selection of UK and international brands featured throughout the expertly curated Gift sector. Buyers were able to catch up with their current suppliers as well as countless exciting new companies across Gift, Greetings & Stationery, Wellbeing and Children’s. Exhibitors included: Nkuku, Wild & Wolf, Cubic, Manta Gifts, Max Benjamin, Caroline Gardner, Men’s Society, True Grace, Bombay Duck, Scandi Chic, Rice, Dassie, Qualy & Co and Kikkerland.

Spotted - new talent
Spotted, curated by journalist Charlotte Abrahams, presented an expanded collection of emerging designers offering buyers the chance to snap up brand new, market-ready products. By Royal Appointment - the former King of Spain, his majesty Juan Carlos, payed a surprise visit to friend Lauren Dickinson Clarke who was launching her new tableware range at Top Drawer A/W16.

Fresh content, new initiatives
In its new home: Top Drawer, PaperFest was a rousing success. Nestled in the heart of Greetings & Stationery the PaperFest talks from leading industry speakers - including Audrey Woollen of Urbanic Paper Boutique, and Sophie Conran - were packed with eager listeners.

The newly launched PaperAwards 2016, sponsored by G. F Smith, celebrated the creativity and innovation of Top Drawer's Greetings & Stationery exhibitors. Katie Leamon, Ohh Deer and Portico Designs were the winners of the three categories Emotive Design, Engaging Print and Exciting Use of Colour.

A/W16 Trends were presented in partnership with global trend forecasters Stylus. The six trends identified - Serenity, Clean Primary, Urban Nomads, Crafted Neutrals, Modern Metallics and Earth Patterns - were displayed in a specially commissioned featured at the show.

Guests soaked up fresh industry insight at the Academy LIVE seminars. Hosts included Harrods, Google and John Lewis.

Two new trails guided visitors through the show. The Men Only trail highlighted original gifts and accessories for men. The UK Debut trail enabled buyers to home in on new international brands. These complemented the already popular Product GB and Eco trails.

The next edition of Top Drawer will be held at London’s Olympia during the 15 - 17 January 2017.

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