Before Football there is a ispo

We take a quick look at some of the up and coming highlights from Munich.
Months before the British sporting public start their trek to Munich and voice their support for football’s finest, the sports trade itself will be making its own pilgrimage to Germany.

Hot on the heels of a Hollywood reminder of the destination name. Ispo has become the directional show for the great and glorious in the winter sports and outdoor market,with 07 themes and trends on display for the first time. For some, the journey has over time lost a little of its potential perhaps, but for those with eyes very wide open, this is the absolute forum for inspiration. This will be the biggest show in ispo’s history with some 1800 exhibitors, of which 80% are from outside of the German market.

Ispo is nothing less than forward thinking. The concept of producing sports communities to simplify decision making is a superb legacy left by Peter Knoll, who has been instrumental in driving the show towards its showcase style. This spring, under the direction of Tobias (Toby) Gruber, Ispo moves ahead once more with a range of creative platforms to set the sports world thinking about future opportunity. One of the keynotes of attending ispo is absorbing the sheer energy that is generated throughout the halls. Much needed after a lengthy journey from A to B.

Music, art and style all weave their way into the ispo mix,with a party vibe buzzing alongside the business scene. Whilst it is true that many UK brands are not represented in their fullest or finest, this is a chance to see the full European product offering, to make comparison and to take inspiration from that potential. Fashion and functionality are easy partners at the show and that, in truth, is where the future lies. It is small wonder therefore that global trend leaders WGSN (www.wgsn.com) work closely in partnership with ispo to identify many of the trends that could and even should make it to the windows and retail rails at home. Ispo is never short of ideas and it provides the perfect forum to spot them, share them and then quite simply put them into action.On Monday at 3pm design conscious forward thinkers should head for Room 5 of the ICM where Danielle Sellwood will be presenting WGSN’s coulour and trend directions report for the global sports and street market winter 07/08. Register at ispowgsn@wgsn.com.

A trip to ispo is as rewarding as your own creativity and forward thinking allows. ispovision treats visitors to a glimpse of sublime style, with over 60 brands all beautifully displayed to create the kind of environment that those who worship style cannot afford to miss.

This is the shop window for sporting elegance and it is of course the stuff that consumer dreams are made of, decorating the pages of the publications so many brands court for pr coverage. With the introduction of the Global Sportstyle Award as part of ispovision, a visit to Hall A4 is an absolute must have in your personal planner – with infield providing the cult corner and a close up on personalised and deconstructed style from some of the hottest young designers around. This February, ispo continues to break new ground. Building on its launch in 05, The Greenhouse Project is the outdoor sector’s answer to the Seedbed that has been so effectively cultivating all that is edgy in the wintersport sector. This dynamic outdoor presentation platform identifies brands that have previously only been active nationally, stand for a good product with functioning distribution, and have the potential to be marketed internationally. Distributors and discerning buyers should make tracks to the centre of Hall B5.

Ispo brandnew is a hot bed of happening stuff, not to be missed if looking for an emerging brand opportunity. Here Vaughn’s Zip-Off Gloves will be hitting the Winter Sports Market. Their innovative CZiP design features a zipper at the top of the hand portion (just below the knuckles) of a glove or mitten and allows the wearer to remove the material covering the hand and fingers without completely removing the glove or mitten (BN45).

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