White Gallery a resounding success
White Gallery, the newest concept for high-end bridal design, opened in sumptuous surrounds at the Saatchi Gallery on the 23rd of May 2010. The trade only event was an exclusive affair held over the three days from 23-25 May in which the beauty of the surroundings at the prestigious art gallery served only to amplify the bountiful talent on display.
Amanda Wakeley at White Gallery
Talking to FashionMag.com, Alejandra Campos the event director described the breathtaking interest that the first edition of the event had garnered. “The reception has been phenomenal. We have more than sixty publications that have come to cover the event, where we have thirty-six of the finest designers from the United Kingdom and overseas as well.”
Discussing the new, more exclusive, driving concept behind White Gallery, Ms Campos was forthcoming on the planning process. “We’ve been actually talking about this concept for the past two years,” she said. “Since August we’ve been planning everything, contacting all the key designers, that’s in the United Kingdom as well as internationally and getting the right venue and the right team behind to be able to deliver a comprehensive campaign.”
The key to the concept is in both the smaller boutique nature of the show, as well as the full schedule of catwalk shows which were open to buyers and the press alike. By combining the business interaction of a trade only event with catwalk demonstrations by bridalwear’s leading designers, White Gallery is able offer a platform to simultaneously display the latest designs and make the all important connections with buyers and businesses.
This concept was self-evidently a success. One needed only to walk around the Saatchi Gallery or spend a few seconds beside a runway to appreciate the tangible enthusiasm and excitement. An example of this was seen at Ian Stuart’s catwalk show on Monday 24th May, his second of the show, where buyers from the United Kingdom and as far afield as Asia packed the hall to see the influential British designer’s latest creations.
Ian Stuart at White Gallery
Optimism and brisk business was echoed by exhibitors at White Gallery. Jelena Govorusa at Amanda Wakeley’s stall summarised their first day as “very successful. We picked up a few new clients and we had our fashion show. We’re very pleased with the venue so long may it continue.” Similarly, Anton Weiss of Pepe Botella seemed impressed with the attendance of serious buyers; “we had lots of people looking and coming back, some orders also, so yes we’re happy.”
Suzanne Ermann, one of the three French designers exhibiting at the show, seemed pleased but was also looking to the future. Ms Ermann commented that she found it a “beautiful location to present collections. It was necessary to have a trade show dedicated to the world of bridal wear in London. White Gallery is a beautiful trade show with lots to offer in the future.”
With such positive comments reverberating around the gallery, Alejandra Campos could have been forgiven for being overtly pleased with the result of the first edition. She too though was looking to the future and to ways of improving upon the impressive first edition of this high-end event, launched in a tough period for the world of fashion: “We probably decided to launch in the hardest time, you could say that, but I think that there has been some refreshening of the bridal industry and that there’s been consolidation with some of the companies and some of the manufacturers.”
Suzanne Neville at White Gallery
“Well, this is the first edition and I’m a perfectionist so I know that there are little things to improve on,” Ms Campos said modestly. “I’m already thinking about 2011. We’re not planning to grow much more; it’s going to be forty to forty-five designers maximum. The idea is to carry on keeping that exclusivity and to make sure that it’s the right level of designer and to become more international and attract more international buyers.”
A resounding success for the first edition of White Gallery. The exclusively elegant trade event attracted strong interest from the start with 1,500 buyers pre-registering to attend the event; the next edition looks set to be even more popular.
By Jonathan Fulwell