Whether buying for fashion or function, there was no doubt that camouflage clothing was a consumer hit at this year’s Johannesburg HuntEx show in the Gallagher Convention Centre. Stands offering camouflage clothing were swamped by young and old customers trying on the latest offerings – and that was on the VIP day that was supposed to be quiet.
Boots were next on the list. They were again bought for fashion – especially by ladies – and comfort, not necessarily just by hunters.
Camouflage is not only worn by hunters or the military. Globally, it has been identified as one of the big fashion trends for this year, and this will also have an impact locally. Trendy youngsters are sure to create an even bigger demand for the look than the current outdoor enthusiasts.
Several stands featured camouflage clothing: for example, Wildebees, locally distributed by Crown Footwear, had a huge stand at the entrance to Hall 3, which was crowded shortly after the doors opened. Others like Tag Safari Clothing, Boerboel, Calibre, etc. also did a brisk trade in camo clothing.
A retailer like Parktown Stores showed that camouflage prints need not be limited to clothing – bags, caps and other camo print accessories were also attracting plenty of attention.
Footwear brands like Jeep and Rogue got a pretty good indication what boot styles will be popular at retail this coming season. Men especially liked the Namib Sand, Serengeti Camo and Legend styles in Jeep boots, explained Lynton Picker from local distributor Footwear Trading. He was especially pleased by the reception of their new Jeep footwear ladies range – especially the fleece lined boots and colourful ankle boots.
His range of leather shoes and canvas hats and bags drew numbers of returning and new customers to the Rogue Outdoor Gear stand, where Trevor Selke wondered on the first morning whether his stock would last until the end of the show. After all, Mpumalanga, where he is based, is not exactly round the corner and brand fans enjoyed the opportunity to talk directly to the manufacturer in a central location.