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The New Face of the Paris Fashion Shows

8 Sept 2011

Fashion

Four months after the announcement that the trade fashion shows are to be combined under a new banner following the purchase of all the events organised by Sodes, including Prêt-à-Porter Paris [PAPP], by Comexposium and the

operational takeover of WSN Développement (Who's Next, Première Classe and Mess Around), a clarification of the Paris offerings is required.

According to Bertrand Foäche, a partner in WSN Développement with Xavier Clergerie, the purpose of this recasting which will become effective in January 2012 is to "put an end to the rivalry between the fashion shows (…) and to increase the number of international visitors to 50% as compared with the current 35% to 40%. By covering all the fashion markets, namely women’s fashion, fashion accessories and men’s fashion, our new arrangement offers greater coherence”.

Over 2,500 exhibitors will now share an area of 120,000m2 and the show will have only one name, Who's Next, subtitled Prêt-à-porter Paris [Ready to Wear]. The exhibition halls of the Porte de Versailles will now be clearly separated into five key market segments, in addition to the women’s changing rooms.

The worlds of ‘Fame’ which combines the creative brands of the Who's Next show, and Face (which has become the ‘Mr.Brown’ show) dedicated to men’s and urban wear (brands specialising in the Denim, Sport Lifestyle and Streetwear sectors) will be overflowing with exhibitors and the ‘So Ethic’ space, the window on fashion started at the Prêt-à-Porter Paris show, will disappear. “We are not against the ethics idea, but this sector will be swallowed up by the other brands,” says Xavier Clergerie.

Far from being a sudden cold shower, most of the specialist exhibitors in the sustainable markets will welcome the idea of being “in the spotlight” and being 100% involved in fashion. In this regard, a fair number of leaders in the sector, such as Clémentine Nguyen, founder of the brand Sobosibio, refuse to be confined to the “eco-fanatic” label. If Clémentine was not tempted to take a stand on the Ethical Fashion Show (Messe Frankfurt), held from 1 to 4 September at the Carrousel du Louvre, it is because the show is no longer “professional enough or to do with fashion”.

Other changes made to the agenda are as follows: in parallel with Mess Around, the footwear trade show, the hall will be home to a new world called “the Cube’ in which leather and luggage will be given pride of place, will assemble fine leather goods destined for special distribution. And 60 Days, dedicated to non-seasonal collections and therefore to short-term purchases, according to the model brought in by the large distribution trade names. The short-term circuit experts such as Karl Marc John, Suncoo, MKT Studio, and La Petite Française have signed up to this gathering that is the precursor to their presence.

In the face of the increasing power of the Bread & Butter or Premium shows in Berlin or even Pitti Uomo in Florence, they won’t let Germany or Italy run off with all the prizes. The September edition of the Paris Fashion Show will be brought forward to the end of June/beginning of July 2012. This decision “gives mobility allowing adaptation to and integration into the international calendar,” comments Xavier Clergerie.

It is also designed to coincide with men’s fashion week (27 June to 1 July 2012) and the Haute Couture fashion parade week (2 to 5 July 2012). “This great fashion gathering on an international scale gives us substantial market striking power and allows us to put Paris back in its position as the leading show,” Bertrand Foäche continues.

From our correspondent in Paris
PAPP
Premiere Classe
PRET-A-PORTER PARIS
WHO`S NEXT