Barely a week since the shutters came down and the last costume character waddled off into the sunset, the organisers of Brand Licensing Europe have announced that fashion will be the sole theme for 2020.
This year’s event achieved record visitor numbers once again with a rise of 4% to 8,062 and exhibiting companies also increased, from 264 to 268.
Next year’s event, which returns to ExCeL London on 6-8 October 2020, will live and breathe fashion licensing: apparel, footwear, accessories and beauty. Ambitious early stage plans include a live catwalk, with dramatic themed shows beamed onto every digital screen throughout the venue.
“BLE has become infamous for its themes and we are so excited about next year’s, we’ve been planning it for months. What I love about fashion in licensing is how inclusive it is. It’s accessible to every BLE exhibitor and its appeal is universal: it’s relevant to every demographic and is gender, race, age and generation neutral,” commented Informa Markets VP licensing Anna Knight.
“We all have an emotional connection with fashion. For years, toys have traditionally been the gateway to consumer products for brands, but apparel is now helping to drive experiences and build brands, especially for categories like eSports, which have an older, hardcore, merch-driven, fanbase. At BLE 2020, we will be exploring fast fashion, haute couture collabs, sustainability, the economy and more.
“One of the reasons we moved BLE to ExCeL was the potential it offered to create a more experiential show. We proved that this year with our activations and Fresh off the Runway showcase. But, next year, our fashion theme will really highlight what ExCeL can offer BLE and our exhibitors and visitors.”
BLE 2019’s activations included Beyond the Book (publishing), Arcade (gaming and eSports) and Heritage X Interiors. Knight continued: “They were a huge hit with visitors: interactive, inspirational, bold and beautiful, a real testament to the impact creative, successful licensing programmes can have at retail.”