Karl-Heinz Müller to organise new Berlin trade show in January 2019

The charismatic co-founder of the Bread & Butter trade show, Karl-Heinz Müller, has announced he will be back on the Berlin show calendar in January 2019 with a new event called LOCK. Like the section of the Bread & Butter show with the same name, LOCK will be dedicated to “authentic, heritage” brands, as Müller told German trade magazine Textil Wirtschaft.


Karl-Heinz Müller in January 2014 with Klaus Wowereit, then Mayor of Berlin - FNW

LOCK, the acronym of Labels of Common Kin, will riff on the former Bread & Butter show, even going back to its former venue in hangar 7 of Berlin’s decommissioned Tempelhof airport, the home of B&B until July 2015. The venue’s lease has been taken over by Zalando, now the owner of Bread & Butter, until the end of 2019. Karl-Heinz Müller said he has struck a deal with the German fashion e-tailer for the venue's rental. LOCK will be held on January 17, 18 and 19 2019, in parallel with the Berlin Fashion Week, which is scheduled from January 15 to 18.

The new event, about which more information will be forthcoming next week, is scheduled on a busy week for the Berlin fashion calendar. Selvedge Run, an event similar to LOCK, showcasing “authentic” denim brands, was bought a few weeks ago by Berlin show Panorama, and will be held jointly with Panorama at the Berlin ExpoCenter City on January 15 to 17. There will therefore be a one-day overlap with its potential new competitor, whose programme is still to be determined.

LOCK’s  market positioning will be an offshoot of that of the 14oz multibrand store operated by Karl-Heinz Müller, featuring “authentic, heritage” brands like Armor-Lux, Canada Goose, Frye, Barbour, Superga, Levi's Made & Crafted, G-Star Raw Essentials and New Balance.

The fact that Karl-Heinz Müller is back in business is no surprise. The show organiser himself had planted the first seeds of his come-back when he announced the end of Bread & Butter, whose rapid demise had surprised exhibitors and buyers alike. “I’m convinced that the continuation of our concept, which was a successful one, will involve a break with the past. Undoubtedly, something exceptional needs to come to an end to allow something new to be born,” said Karl-Heinz Müller at the end of 2014, when the company filed for receivership.

The Bread & Butter show was launched in Cologne in 2001 with 50 exhibitors, eventually becoming a gigantic, 100,000-square-metre event with some 1,000 exhibitors in Barcelona, where it was staged for four years before returning to Berlin in 2009. As business slumped, the show fostered multiple new projects: a childrenswear section, sessions in China and South Korea, new dates, a longer duration and the opening up to the general public. After the January 2015 edition was cancelled, it was held as a symbolic gesture the following July, when its purchase by e-tailer Zalando had already been announced.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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