The Sporting goods industry is huge and completely international – so when we arrived at he Internationale Fachmesse für Sportartikel und Sportmode, commonly referred to as ISPO, in Munich Germany on the 26th January we were only slightly surprised to see huge “Happy Chinese New Year” posters! (We could barely have comprehended the implications of the ‘storm’ that the Coronavirus was about to cast across the sportsfashion industry, even then in January).
All I really thought was how sad it was our Chinese friends had to give up their New Year celebrations to come all the way to central Europe to attend the biggest Sports trade show in the world instead of being with their families.
But this is ISPO – the largest multi-segment trade fair for the sports business. More than 2,800 exhibitors from around the world in 18 aircraft hanger sized halls stuffed displaying to 85,000 visitors from 120 countries. All with the latest designs in clothes, bags, equipment and gadgets for this huge marketplace.
Everytime I come here it’s like coming home. I have been coming to ISPO for over 25 years to see, and exhibit, the latest sports fashions, fabrics and trends in colours and materials.
ISPO is where new brands are launched. The halls buzz with competitors and friends alike in a 4 day whirlwind of the very best in the industry.
At Design IQ we do not exist in a design vacuum. We keep our eyes wide open to trends in colours, ethical fabrics, trims and changes in the activewear marketplace. This enables us to design exciting new bag ideas and provide inspiration for our client’s new product developments.
This year we were looking for new ethically produced fabrics and magnetic fastenings. We also wanted to check that our ideas about colours and trims were right on target. We took along some of our latest bag samples to check with suppliers that they could make the trims we wanted and explain our requirements on new designs.
It is always fun, and a huge challenge, to pack everything into so little time but it was great to see so many new ideas and meet influential makers and shakers.
Trims and Fastening details.
Details count, so from the ever reliable Duraflex to their competitors SBS it was great to check out the latest fastenings and Zips.
We found a new Japanese company who were offering a wonderfully tactile new silicone label that was covered in little “strokeable” sticky up bits, and rather elegant snaps in pop colours.
Colour Trends in Bag Design
IPSO is mostly about clothing but bags go with clothing and, as a sportive fashion clothing design company, long before we focused upon bags we know how to read the trends in fashion to create attractive bags….
All designers love the Design Trend Talks and this year’s did not disappoint.
But how we designers decide what to actually implement when we have to balance how our creative hearts feel with the commercial reality that our clients will “buy into” is always a mystery!
At Design IQ we approach colours with joy, but balance choices carefully with what we think the market will accept. “Rainbow glory is vanity, selling is reality”, so we seek to walk a careful line to give a client’s product personality while charming with colour.
Or you can just make your bags in every possible colour and see what sells if you are a big enough brand to afford the inventory?!
Recycling Recycling Recycling
Recycling. Shall we say it again?
We all know that fashion has to be responsible as well as alternately exciting and charming. We have a huge responsibility to try and design bag products that are sustainable and spent a lot of time at the show hunting and wearing out our boot leather (!) to find the latest responsible fabrics.
There are so many companies offering fabrics from responsible sources but can we trust their supply chains to be giving them the real “recycled” thing or are they just greenwashing.
We are designers, not sourcing auditors, but we do our best to interrogate the suppliers to check that we are buying sustainable or responsible fabrics.
Brand of the show?
Where do you start? Well let’s be biased and say the only stand we saw that charmed us was our ethically and campaigning friends at Patagonia.
And in the “Brand New” area.
The “Brand New” area is a competitive forum that shows the winners of a competition for new brands to exhibit at ISPO.
The most topical product was a face mask! But I soon discovered that it was a bit incompatible with a beard. (Is this a design business opportunity to solve this problem?)
Along with the usual electric bikes… there were a lot of new products – but maybe this harness mounted baby buggy was the most bemusing!
Packaging can be sustainable too…
We have been puzzling over how to arrange for the packaging to be made sustainable and avoid single use plastic.
Currently a bag gets made in the factory – where it gets put in a poly bag, then in a cardboard box then put in another poly bag to be delivered to the end consumer (if it is sold online….).
All this is waste. At least this company seems to have some credible degradable bags that can make the process less damaging to the environment.
Time for fun
Even at a big show like this people delight in making – and in the Sustainability area people were making small bags from scraps. What fun!
So that was ISPO 2020
Another year of filling our heads and souls with the delight of the new, the challenge of being commercial and delighting customers with new bag design ideas that are both fashionable, responsibly sourced and will sell. New designs that are worth the money and solve real life problems.
Would you like to tap into our years of design experience and our delight in making new things that will help you build your brand?