«We are launching IMPACT to bring optimism back to fashion»,  Frédéric Maus (Managing Director of WSN)

Among the things that have been done and the things that should no longer be done; how to wear one’s jacket (the right way round)? On the margins of a changing fashion, ever more sustainable and responsible, Frédèric Maus, managing director of the WSN Development Group, will for the very first time, from 6 to 9 September, at “Who’s Next” in Paris Porte de Versailles, unite manufacturers, brands and end-consumers to order to inject a new impetus into fashion with IMPACT. Optimistic by nature, he and his team and the various partners are working towards the same cause; contributing to transforming a sector in the midst of a full-blown moral crisis.

WSN will present IMPACT in September. What is it all about?

Since my arrival in 2018 our events have been going through an overall transformation phase just like the fashion industry. In 2019, facing the surge in responsible fashion, we tried to offer a solution to the industry. We thus created IMPACT to respond to the growing demand of consumers, but also of brands. This new hybrid event is the perfect tool for supporting them and for effecting lasting change.

We are acting as a veritable sounding board because we are not alone in proposing an event dedicated to responsible fashion. Impact is a structuring project. We have also appointed a CSR manager. Our impact here is both internal, on our event organisers structure, and also external, with a direct impact on the industry.

To accomplish this we have affiliated ourselves with new distributors including, for instance, Galeries Lafayette, to create a community and synergies between all the fashion stakeholders.

IMPACT’s goal is to accelerate and inform the market, through partnerships and exchanges. It provides a veritable escape route upwards, between a B2B and a festival format, whilst safeguarding the original and festive atmosphere of Who’s Next, open to the informed public.

What themes can we find in this great “concept-store”?

Here, we are encouraging people to move towards green. The “Made by” theme will showcase the knowledge of the sector upstream stakeholders for production that is responsible and more transparent. “Slow is beautiful”, in line with slow fashion, will bring together brands whose production, distribution and consumption are controlled and responsible. Second-hand items, recycling and upcycling will be featured in “Old is the new black” and the leading Green-tech brands, in the space “The future is now”, will accelerate the transition thanks to innovation.

All of our events, Who’s Next, Première Classe and IMPACT, now have a veritable multidimensional eco-system that encompasses everything in the domain of fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Currently the largest concept store in the world, this place is indispensable for international professionals in a quest for all the information that they need.

To gain a better understanding of the stores within our country and observe their evolution, members of our team have visited the larger towns in France. They were able to detect a real change, both in sales dynamic and in product offer. We are seeking to better represent these outlets and offer them all the solutions that they need to experience this transition in the best way possible.

How will the exhibitors be different from those of Who’s Next and who will take part?

For IMPACT we have already approved more than 100 exhibitors from various countries distributed by theme in the salon.

These participants differ greatly from each other and include, for instance, Emmaüs, but also the UN for conferences or the Fashion Green Days event which will be supporting ten sustainable fashion projects.

IMPACT is nothing more than the natural extension of Who’s Next. It enters into the same dynamic but with responsible brands. Certain brands can, of course, have a dual presence, both in Impact and in Who’s Next, depending on their collections.

In your opinion, how will Impact be an accelerator for transition in the fashion industry?

IMPACT was actually created to bring together all the stakeholders of the responsible fashion sector. In fact, every one of us is involved in the fashion industry, whether from near or far, since one of the first things we do every day is to get dressed. We want customers to perform this activity with full awareness of what they are wearing and how their cloths were manufactured.

In the end, our mission is to shine a light on the industry. All our employees also feel a great sense of pride to be part of a community that is having a positive impact on fashion.

Photo Credit: Yannick Roudier


Related news