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10 Questions With Liberty Fairs Founder Sam Ben-Avraham

Friday 22 January 2016

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The upcoming Liberty Tradeshow in New York is one of the most hotly anticipated events of the fashion calendar for brands and buyers alike. With a focus on hand-picked brands and nurturing emerging talent, Liberty has an ethos that Spindle certainly agrees with. We caught up founder Sam Ben-Avraham to find out more about Liberty Fairs.

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What makes Liberty different from other trade shows? What do you offer to your brands and designers?

Liberty’s brand assortment and merchandising makes us different from other trade shows. In addition, we have a strong connection to top tier retailers, which allows exhibiting brands and designers to get in front of the right buyers. In fact, we’ve been told by buyers that Liberty is their favorite show. Liberty Fairs also provides exceptional customer service before and during the show, ensuring that our brands have the best experience possible.


A lot of our readers are designers – why should they aspire to showing at Liberty Trade Show?

Liberty Fairs has a unique environment. We’ve created a space that has been successful in engaging retailers and conducting business, as well as allowing brands/designers to socialize with one another in a creative setting.


What advice would you give to a new brand?

It’s crucial for new brands to do their homework and to understand the (fashion) landscape. They should identify what their business goals are, including which stores they want to be in. In regards to being at a show, I would say that they need to reach and engage with retailers before the show date. Establishing relationships always makes things a bit easier.

How important is local manufacturing to you?

Local manufacturing is very important. It believe that it is not just a trend, but is and should be a global movement for two reasons: (1) First and foremost, local manufacturing supports the local economy. (2) It typically results in better quality product that is unique to the geographic location and culture (materials, patterns, etc).


What do you expect buyers to be looking for at the trade show?

Retailers want to differentiate themselves, and so Liberty Fairs places great importance on scouting new brands to the market and having them at our show. We encourage buyers to be open-minded and build relationships with these new brands.

Alongside fashion and apothecary, we are adding a new component to the show this season with The Living Room, curated by Andrew Livingstone of Knickerbocker Mfg. Co. This area will be dedicated to home wares and furniture. With the recent surge in menswear, men now have a greater appreciation when it comes to their belongings, and we believe this new offering will round out the experience for retailers.


Do you believe there is a future in fashion seasons? Do you think they’re on their way out with some trade shows and designers selling to consumers straight from shows?

There is still a future for fashion seasons. There are two different types of events – B2B and B2C. Both can coincide, as they have two different strategies. It is possible that more immediates will be offered at B2B shows, in addition to new collections, for the buyers with open-to-buy dollars.

What are your thoughts on collaborations between bigger brands and newer designers? 

Collaborations are a great thing, and when done right, have positive outcomes. We live in an era of collaboration (and not just in fashion), which is beneficial to all parties. It will become more common as designers and brands look to expand their business by utilizing one another’s vision and talent.


How important is British Fashion to the US market?

British Fashion is important to the US market because it injects a different level of creativity, from fine tailoring to bold & daring styles. It has certainly influenced the US (and the world over) – just look at Vivienne Westwood and punk rock, to the late Alexander McQueen.

What excites you about British Fashion?

All the young talent and creativity!

What British brands and designers can we expect to see at Liberty in Jan?

We have a great mix of British brands and designers: Baw London, Block & Last, Christys’ London, Clara Martin, Eye Respect, Haeckels, Hudson Shoe Agencies, James Gose, Riceman, La Menta, Marcus De, NXXUS, Sarah Hellen, STORY mfg, Tom Smarte and Tricker’s.

  • UKTI and Spindle are proudly bringing eight emerging menswear designer to New York for the Liberty Trade Show. Find out more here

Featured image credit: John Midgley