With 870 exhibitors, 58% of which were foreign brands, the most recent edition of Who’s Next (whosnext.com), held February 2 to 5 at the Porte de Versailles in Paris, was a hotspot for international buyers. With a wide range of womenswear, menswear and accessories in three different halls, the trade show attracted 32,101 visitors.

A third of these visitors came from outside France. Compared to 2005, there were 9.9% more foreign visitors. Among them, 77.6% (7,186) were Europeans, 11.3% more than the previous year. Most of the Europeans came from Italy (20.7%), followed by Belgium (11.1%), Spain (9.4%), the U.K. (6.3%), Switzerland (3.7%) and Germany (2.7%). The Italians were more present than ever: At this edition their number increased 19.1% compared to 2005. Even 2.5% Danish and Swedish buyers attended the show. The number of Portuguese buyers, however, dropped. There were 31.5% fewer attendees from Portugal compared to the preceding year.

Apart from European visitors people from all over the world came to the fair. About 13.4% more Asian buyers were there compared to the prior edition, and 7.6% of the total foreign visitors were from Japan. Korean buyers made up 1.8% of the total amount of visitors – a third more than in the year before.

There was also growth in the number of Canadian and American buyers; they represented 2.8% of the total number of foreign visitors.

But even if Who’s Next is internationally en vogue, the majority of its visitors (71%) still come from France. But there is a movement taking place: Contrary to the years before, the number of French buyers from outside Paris has increased by 3.8% to 15,694 while 7,126 Parisians attended the fair.

Best day for attendance was Friday, February 3, which attracted 9,096 visitors. In addition, 7,426 attended the show on Sunday, February 5 and 6,814 visitors were there on Saturday, February 4.

Buyers and exhibitors said that they were especially pleased with Hall 6, home of the urban “Fast” section, thanks to its clean re-organization, unified stands and all-around lounge music.

As a special eyecatcher, the show exhibited acrylic artwork by Kamel Yahimi, a painter from Lyon.

— Barbara Stockinger, Editorial Contributor