Organizer Cancels Berlin’s Consumer Fashion Festival Bread&&Butter

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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BERLIN — Berlin’s Bread&&Butter fashion festival has been shelved by the organizing company despite drawing a record sold-out crowd this year.

Zalando, an online fashion retailer, told German media in late November that the event was being shelved for 2019 at the least. Co-founder David Schneider told the German news site Handelsblatt: “Everything we invest in needs to be at the same time strategic and scalable. With Bread&&Butter, we ran into natural limits. That’s why we have decided to no longer organize a fair from 2019.”

It was not clear if Zalando planned to sell off the event’s name and assets, or if it could be revamped and relaunched at a later date. Requests for comment from Zalando were not immediately answered.

Drawing crowds did not seem to be an issue for Zalando. The Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2018 edition at Arena Berlin was declared sold out with a record crowd of 35,000 attendees and exhibits from 43 exhibitors. The event featured more than 100 product debuts as well as food, panel discussions and major music acts.

“Staying true to the spirit of Berlin we created a lively, inspiring atmosphere for experimenting with trends and sharing ideas in fashion, music, and culture,” Carsten Hendrich, Vice President Creative Lab at Zalando, said at the time.

The 2018 festival was the third under the ownership of Zalando. The event was born in 2001 as a standard apparel trade show and even spawned a spinoff show in Spain. Zalando acquired the event out of bankruptcy in 2016 and reshaped it into its current consumer festival format.

This year, exhibitors shifted their focus to providing a more personalized and experiential event for attendees. “I see personalization alongside limited and special products as some of the biggest trends in the fashion industry,” Hendrich said. “Brands need to tell a story through the products they are offering and showcase what makes them unique. I am very impressed with how the different brands interpreted this trend throughout Bread&&Butter and how well this resonated with our visitors.”

The cancellation of Bread&&Butter was revealed around the same time that Zalando announced Third Quarter earnings growth of 11.7% over the previous year. The numbers were reportedly below estimates and considered disappointing by company management.

Reach David Schneider at +49 (0)30 2000 88 400 or david.schneider@zalando.com; Carsten Hendrich at +49 (0)30 2000 88 400 or carsten.hendrich@zalando.com.