How The Bread & Butter Trade Show Came Back From Bankruptcy

After declaring bankruptcy in late 2014, Berlin’s Bread & Butter fashion trade show returned in a big way last weekend with a new consumer-friendly format that attracted top brands and buzzy celebs, including Gigi Hadid and A$AP Rocky.

For its debut, more than 20,000 people turned out for Bread & Butter by Zalando, held Sept. 2-4 at the Arena Berlin. Hadid was on hand for the unveiling of her collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger. On opening day of the show, she revealed the Tommy x Gigi capsule collection to a crowd of 600 fans and influencers.

Gigi Hadid Bread & Butter
Gigi Hadid at Bread & Butter by Zalando.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Caroline Saage

A$AP Rocky, meanwhile, provided some musical entertainment to the show attendees, with a concert on opening night.

A$AP Rocky Bread & Butter
A$AP Rocky performing at Bread & Butter by Zalando.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Bread & Butter.

In June 2015, German e-tailer Zalando acquired the Bread & Butter show for an undisclosed amount and set about revamping the B2B event as a consumer-facing trend show for fashion and music. According to the organizers, their goal was to create an “innovative platform for brands and consumers where they can connect and interact directly with each other.”

To make this change, Zalando implemented a couple of key changes. First: seasonality. Instead of previewing next season’s collections, the more than 30 participating brands showed current fall ’16 product that was instantly shoppable.

Adidas Bread & Butter
Consumers visit the Adidas brand lab at Bread & Butter by Zalando.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Bread & Butter

Another change: the show-floor experience. Instead of setting up in basic booths, exhibitors were invited to create interactive “brand labs” to better tell their stories. At Nike’s lab, master trainers were on hand to offer tips, and music artist Lena Meyer-Landruth hosted a one-of-a-kind H.I.T. & Run Session.

Adidas, meanwhile, themed its brand lab around its Futurecraft initiative, hosting TED talks with partners such as Parley for the Oceans and collaborators like Creator Farm Brooklyn.

Other highlights of the Bread & Butter by Zalando event included runway presentations by Topshop, Puma, Hugo and others.

Puma Bread & Butter
The Puma runway show at Bread & Butter by Zalando.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Zalando.
Topshop Bread & Butter
A model walks in the Topshop show at Bread & Butter by Zalando.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Bread & Butter.

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