Since its creation in 2008, Bubble London has evolved from a boutique trade show into a larger event with a more diverse brand offer, targeted to a wider array of retailers. Event Manager Tabara N’Diaye gives an overview of this coming session (16 & 17 June).

On the 250 brands showing at Bubble London, 50% come from Europe and the rest of the world.  With 82% of visitors coming from the UK, 13% from Europe and 5% from the rest of the world, Bubble London appears less international that its European competitors Playtime Paris, Pitti Bimbo or even Kleine Fabriek, but it is the place to be for who seriously wants to secure a retail presence in the UK.

Questions to Tabara N’Diaye, Event Manager, Bubble London

What are Bubble London strengths?
Bubble London is the only stand alone UK trade show offering retailers such a wide range of childrenswear and children’s lifestyle collections under one roof.  Its London location gives it international appeal and its compact venue means that retailers can see a great selection of brands in a short space of time in great surroundings.

How is the UK children’s market doing at the moment ?
Spending on children’s fashion and lifestyle is definitely a growth area in the UK, but this embraces all sectors of the market; from the supermarket labels to the designer brands. A brand has to offer something unique and exclusive in terms of design and quality in order to tap into this growth area and Bubble London offers retailers the opportunity to view the brands that will give them the edge over the high street.

What are according to you the big changes in consumption habits; what are the challenges that UK retailers and childrenswear retailers in general have to face ?
The UK market is more competitive than it ever was; there are more brands, more ways to buy and more information about what’s available, so consumers have a far more varied choice that extends beyond their local independent store. The independent retailer has had to evolve quite rapidly over the last 5 years, and I would say that those retailers that have embraced change, introduced new collections and have both an online offer as well as a bricks and mortar store are enjoying healthy sales.

What are the 3 brands that represent Bubble London well, or that Bubble London is proud about and why?
The three brands that epitomise Bubble London are:

No Added Sugar
Dandy Star

All three brands have been with the show from the beginning and have grown and developed commercially without compromising on originality and style.  They are all British, with their own distinctive look and I think they reflect the independent spirit of UK fashion.

The new brands that will bring something fresh, unique and different to the market?
New brands to watch out for at the  June show are Milliemanu, a beautiful collection for boys and girls incorporating Liberty prints and capturing a quintessential British style for both boys and girls.  Hong Kong collection Callie-n-Cullen incorporating the different cultural influences its US and Hong Kong born founders. Piupiuchick and Milk and Rock, two Portuguese brands bringing unique takes on the dungaree and the shirt respectively and Dimity Bourke, a new Australian collection bringing the energy and spirit of the young bohemian.

What are the highlights of the coming edition?
We will be launching our Rising Star Competition which is open to brands debuting at the show with their very first collection.  The results will be announced on Sunday, with finalists previewed within the show. We are also delighted that renowned British designer Donna Wilson will be returning to Bubble London with her wonderland installation to excite the senses and we also welcome the people behind Anorak, the stylish and stimulating magazine for kids with their interactive wall illustrated by Grace Easton.  Photographer Sonya Hurtado will also be on site on Sunday creating the CWB magazine photoshoot.

Voices say that Bubble London will move outside London in the future; rumour or true information?
The industry has been very clear from the outset that Bubble should remain in London and we have no plans to move the show outside the capital.  It is called Bubble London after all!


The next edition of Bubble London is 16 & 17 June, The Business Design Centre, Islington, London.

Founded by Vanessa Boz and Florence Rolando in January 2008 after the success of Bubble New York, Bubble London was sold to ITE Moda Ltd at the end of the same year.