Brand-Up back at Portugal Fashion
Brand-Up back at Portugal Fashion

Similar to the see now, buy now concept, the Brand-Up showroom, an initiative promoted by the Next Step programme – the "commercial arm” of Portugal Fashion – which supports the participation of national labels and designers at important world fashion events, was visited by the various audiences attending the 39th Portugal Fashion at the Porto Customs House. But the main focus of the showroom was the national and international buyers attending the event.

It is a complement to the image component seen in fashion shows. The focus on international trade shows and showrooms has resulted in an integrated internationalisation strategy by Portugal Fashion, which thus intends to take the entire national fashion sector to a higher commercial level. It was with this in mind that the Next Step project, under the auspices of ANJE – National Association of Young Entrepreneurs, was set up in late 2015.

Beatriz Bettencourt, David Catalán, Eduardo Amorim, HIBU., Carla Pontes, Estelita Mendonça, Susana Bettencourt, Pedro Pedro, the Modatex fashion school, the Pé de Chumbo label and well-known designers Anabela Baldaque, Luís Buchinho and Katty Xiomara were the names present at this Brand-Up event. This is a fundamental approximation to the public in general, but it is mainly aimed at specialised audiences, such as buyers. In fact, the idea was to take advantage of the entire international environment that the event already attracts. Journalists from countries like Japan, Dubai, England, France, Italy and Spain were given the opportunity to visit the showroom and document approval of the collections presented on the catwalk at a more interactive level. There were also buyers from Madrid, Helsinki and Beirut, for example.

It was in October 2013, at the 33rd Portugal Fashion, that Brand-Up made its début at the event. At the time, the showroom logic was visionary. Although the term "see now, buy now" had still not taken hold in the vocabulary of Fashion, the coordinates seen at the fashion shows were already on the Brand-Up commercial platform. This is a privileged space for seeing the collections close up and making it possible for buyers to place their orders there and then.

Brand-Up is supported by Next Step. This programme began in late 2015, complementing the image promotion campaigns in the field. Since then, it has been responsible for parallel events at the main fashion weeks throughout the world. It was present at London Fashion Week, at London Collections Men, at Paris Fashion Week Menswear and at Paris Fashion Week Prêt-à-Porter, and even on the other side of the Atlantic, at Edit, an important trade show held during New York Fashion Week.

This project is aimed particularly at younger designers and involves specialised consultants. It provides support for competitiveness and includes active support and services in the markets visited, but it also focuses on skills training (management, networking, expansion and internationalisation, prospection and sales force) with a view to attracting human, technological and even financial resources.  

Next Step 2015-2016 is a project financed by Portugal 2020, under the Compete 2020 - Competitiveness and Internationalisation Operational Programme, with funds from the European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund.