Review EUNIQUE 2017
EUNIQUE 2017 - Partner country Italy Photo: Jürgen Rösner
Karlsruhe, 21 May 2017. The ninth EUNIQUE – The International Trade Fair for Applied Arts and Design and the third LOFT – The Design Department Store ended this sunday at the close of their third days. With circa 15,000 visitors, Karlsruhe Trade Fair hosted unflaggingly large audiences through the duration of both fairs. Compared to their previous year’s outlays, this year’s visitors spent one third more money for unique and creative items in the genres of fashion, jewellery, furniture and living accessories, which were displayed on 15,000 square meters by 350 exhibitors from 13 countries.
“We’re very satisfied with the progress of EUNIQUE and LOFT. Our visitors appreciate the fact that the selection they find here is unique in Germany. Karlsruhe Trade Fair accordingly makes a valuable contribution to the international creative industry”, summarizes Britta Wirtz, managing director of Karlsruher Messe- und Kongress GmbH.
Christina Beyer, managing director of the Bundesverband Kunsthandwerk, likewise offers a positive summary: “The visitors’ willingness to buy was significantly stronger this year than it had been last year. They described the high quality of the items on display as especially striking. Furthermore, EUNIQUE and LOFT are perceived as a meeting place for the industry and as an important event for applied art and design.”
A European partner country presented itself at EUNIQUE for the eighth time: Italy. One aspect of the special Italian show that visitors particularly appreciated was the focus on items from Faenza, the cradle of the ceramic art. EUNIQUE thus annually offers points of contact for accurately targeted international networks that achieve their members’ objectives.
EUNIQUE and LOFT: a symbiotic relationship
EUNIQUE’s combination of stylish, handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces and items produced in small series, coupled with LOFT’s youthful and innovative design, assure the uniqueness of these fairs. Exhibitors and visitors alike enthusiastically appreciate this unbeatable mix. Simone Lüling (ELOA Unique Lights), who exhibited at EUNIQUE for the first time, was delighted by the symbiotic concept of the two fairs: “Applied art and design are two disciplines that are often displayed separately, but they’re connected at EUNIQUE and LOFT. I think that’s very appropriate for both genres, and the visitors at my stand appreciated this combination.” Adriane Krumm, who showed her work at LOFT, said: “EUNIQUE and LOFT create a terrific synergy. Both exhibitor groups benefit from visitors who come to EUNIQUE or LOFT, where they experience a pleasant surprise when they discover what the other fair has to offer.” The exhibitors’ impressions were confirmed by the visitor survey, which found that 83.6% of the visitors visited both fairs.
The quality and diversity of the exhibitors motivates the visitors to buy
The quality of the objects decisively determines whether a potential exhibitor will be invited to participate at EUNIQUE and LOFT. Over 90% of the visitors were enthusiastic about the high quality of the objects and products on display. This enthusiasm immediately expressed itself in purchases made and orders placed at the fairs. At the point in time when the survey was conducted, nearly 65% of the visitors had already ordered or purchased something and almost 30% of the remaining visitors said that they intended to order or buy at the fairs. Michael Mayer, an exhibitor at EUNIQUE (Ledermanufaktur Michael Mayer), said: “I notice that the audience seeks and buys specific items. But also for someone who is at EUNIQUE for the first time, this is truly a ‘wow’ experience in the best sense of the word. The diversity and dimensions are simply inspiring.” The quality of the products likewise occupies the foreground at LOFT. Lothar Daniel Bechtold travelled from Vienna to exhibit at LOFT: “My journey from Vienna was indeed worthwhile. I never had a more keenly interested audience. The visitors are really searching for something special. They understand quality and they are happy to get to know the person who stands behind my fashions. I’m very satisfied with the sales.”
EUNIQUE Award conferred for the first time on an artist from Karlsruhe
An outstanding designer or craftsperson was again chosen to receive the seventh EUNIQUE Award. Schwarzmüller Glas won the UNIQUE Award in 2017. The prize is conferred annually by the Bundesverband Kunsthandwerk and Karlsruher Messe- und Kongress GmbH. Michael Schwarzmüller uses glass, a singularly mutable material, to create artworks that are unique and fragile, yet nonetheless suitable for daily use. The appearances of light and water in interplay with glass continually inspire Michael Schwarzmüller to dare exciting experiments. A trained glassblower, Schwarzmüller creates drinking glasses, cups and other useful items in individualistic designs. Karlsruhe’s creative industry warmly celebrates Mr Schwarzmüller as the winner of the EUNIQUE Award. This year marks the first time in the prize’s history that the award remains in the Karlsruhe economic region.
The jury chose Schwarzmüller Glas from an elite circle of five finalists. The four runners-up were Barleben Handspielpuppen (hand puppets), Manfred Braun Ceramics, Monika Jacubek (jewellery) and ELOA Unique Lights (lamps).
High-carat artefacts were also displayed at a curated special show entitled “Just Leather”, which was dedicated exclusively to leather as a material.
Exhibitors’ comments about EUNIQUE – Applied Art and Design
Michael Schwarzmüller, Schwarzmüller Glas (Karlsruhe), glassware and one-of-a-kind glass artefacts
“I’m very pleased that EUNIQUE has also established itself beyond the local region. Many of my customers and acquaintances came here from all parts of Germany, e.g. from the Alps, the Allgäu region or the Saarland. The artworks that they find here in Karlsruhe aren’t shown at any other trade fair. Direct contacts between artists and visitors are always positive: people take time to interact and everyone is in a cheerful mood.”
Monika Jakubec (Munich), jewellery
“I’ve exhibited here annually since the first EUNIQUE fair. The quality of the visitors has always been very good. They appreciate quality craftsmanship are open to experimental pieces of jewellery.”
Simone Lüling, ELOA Unique Lights (Switzerland/Germany), lamps
“This fair’s generosity and liberality are tremendously helpful. I’ve never been at a trade fair where registration and setup are so refreshingly uncomplicated. It was also especially important for me to cultivate contacts with other artists and designers: this succeeded optimally here at EUNIQUE. Many visitors were very open and interested. They recognize and appreciate the quality of the artworks. I could very well imagine returning next year.”
Friedrich Barleben, Barleben Handspielpuppen (Freiburg), hand puppets
“I’m very satisfied with the sales. The audience warmly received my creations and the visitors were conscious of the quality of my work.”
Szenario. Birgit Sophie Metzger (Esslingen), hats
“My customers come from far and wide to purchase from me here. Visitors at EUNIQUE und LOFT are looking for something special and unconventional, and they arrive with a big budget.”
Exhibitors’ comments about LOFT – The Design Department Store
Riaz Dan (Karlsruhe), fashion
“I’m extremely satisfied this year. The selection of exhibitors is very high carat and many interesting products are on display. All in all, LOFT is a cool event. That’s why I come here every year.”
Frederik Ehmann and Anita Grommes, Ménage à deux (Obersasbach), living accessories
“Our products prioritize the factors of sustainability and ecology. Visitors were avidly interested and asked intelligent questions. They really like it when something old is transformed into something new and beautiful. Many visitors remembered us from past years and returned to buy from us again.”
Anna Gorka, Kinfolkz (Freiburg), fashion
“I’m very satisfied with the sales. I had lengthy conversations with customers and I took plenty of time for each person. Many people recognized me from previous fairs.”
Stefan Penella from fattoAmano (Wiesbaden), living accessories
“I had interesting talks with many visitors. They asked lots of questions and they understood the quality of the objects. Numerous customers asked about bespoken designs. My participation at the fair was also especially worthwhile because I came into contact with other exhibitors. Now we’re thinking about starting a potential cooperation.”
The next EUNIQUE and LOFT will take place from 8 to 10 June 2018.