Autumn Fair International 2013 gets underway

charlotte2The first day of Autumn Fair International 2013 has got off to a flying start, with retailers from around the UK and wider world flocking to view around 60,000 brand new launches from over 1,500 exhibitors across 11 different market sectors.

The greetings and gift halls are buzzing as we write and we also took some time to celebrate this year’s Fashion Accessory of the Year 2013 award winners with the British Travelgoods, Handbags & Accessories Association. BTAA Chief Executive Paul Yates and Chairman David Nathan presented five category winners with a beautiful engraved glass trophy and £500 towards a stand at Spring or Autumn Fair 2014, while the runners-up received £100 towards exhibiting at Spring or Autumn Fair next year.

Forma House was winner of the Luggage & Travel category for its Convertible Picnic Bag by Built, with the British Bag Co’s Messenger Back as runner-up. The coveted Fashion Handbag award went to Smith & Canova’s Tudor Collection, followed by Mala Leather’s Abertweed. Santoro won the Small Leathergoods prize for the Scottie Dogs purse wallet, while M Golunski’s Katy Lu was runner up. Balagan’s One Wish collection was the Fashion Jewellery winner, with Miss Milly in second place for the Floria Collection. Last but not least, Powder Designs scooped the Fashion Accessories award for the Audrey Gloves in Tangerine, followed by Mag Mouch Sophos’ Harris Tweed Gloves.

Another highlight took place at the Talking Point seminar theatre in Hall 3, where Hotel Inspector Alex Polizzi gave invaluable advice to retail businesses and their suppliers via an extended Q&A session attended by droves of independent retailers and Autumn Fair exhibitors.

Tomorrow we’ll be scouring the aisles for inspirational greetings cards and extra special gifts, so watch this space for updates!

Gifts & Greetings Review publisher Charlotte Cowell is shown here with Autumn Fair brand manager Alexia Emmerson raising a glass to the award winners at the Fashion Catwalk in Hall 4