The latest edition of Premiere Vision, the Paris international fabric fair showing new products for a/w 2004/05, ended its three-day run on September 20. Despite the positive result of the first day dedicated to special buyers’ (+10% compared with the September 2002 edition), there were 5% fewer vistors in total compared to last year’s edition. There was a 21% increase of Eastern European visitors from Poland, Russia and Czech Republic but a decline in visitors from Western Europe.

The general mood from the event was not enthusiastic. “Since production schedules for jeanswear have been anticipated so much, the fair takes place when most decisions have already been taken,” said Enrico Barzaghi,the sales manager of Italy for Italdenim. “Significant US companies companies visited us, though the fair remains a good PR for meeting new clients and people. Although ‘real’ work happens earlier and somewhere else.”

To keep its importance as meeting point for the textile industry, PV is constantly welcoming new exhibitors, especially from extra-EC countries. For this edition there were 34 new manufacturers. Two significant new entries for the denim section were Bossa Denim from Turkey and Santista Textil from Brazil. “PV is the biggest and most important textile event,” said the Bossa Denim & Sportswear team. “The fair was quite profitable. Visitors were good and with clear ideas in mind. Our presence was essential for making PR.”

European exhibitors didn’t feel hurt by the presence of newcomers from outside Europe: “Non-European companies have always been in the market even before participating PV. Though, Europeans are closer to the market because consumption happens in Europe,” said John Katsianis, the general manager of Hellenic Fabrics. “Though now European manufacturers have to always be an edge advanced from their competitors with added value products, just in time deliveries, stronger relationships with customers and always pioneering new product development.”

After about three years of denim inflation, non denim specialists are gradually losing interest in this fabric and – consequently – bringing a slowing down in denim requests. On the oppposite side jeanswear manufacturers are showing greater interest in high-quality products and materials. Super dark blue indigo fabrics are mostly asked for according to ISKO, Hellenic Fabrics, Legler and Italdenim. Fabrics are getting lighter (between 8 and 11 oz. mostly). Less rigid hands are hot because of the overall moving away from traditional five-pocket models toward more comfortable fits and new cuts. ITV presented The Denim, a group of innovative denims made with a special ring yarns obtained from new special spinning system. Thanks to this technique, fabrics are characterized by a lucid surface, a more open weave and such a soft hand that they almost need no washing. Italdenim has started employing higher quality cotton with longer fibers and developed a series of new “slub definitions”. The result are top quality ring-ring denims with new textures and optics which simply need rinsing. A more urban attitude offered through alternative weaves, striped denims, ochre and sand tones multicount yarn denims and flats are offered by Montebello, Legler, Hellenic Fabrics and Gentex.

Wool is cool with typical woolen weaves and motives employed for more aggressive image cottons as presented by Gentex, Cotonificio Veneto and Hellenic Fabrics. Versatility is a key-word for a/w 2004/05. Hellenic Fabrics, Lauffenmühle and Bossa Denim, actually, presented special denims that can react differently to specific washes. Some new color denim has also been launched. Bossa Denim developed two innovative colored denim groups – gray and green. Montebello, meanwhile, alternates blue and colored weft yarns for new surface shades. Away from all trends, strongly innovative in new denim intepretations is Santana, a Brazialian denim manufacturer. It presented a unique glitter denim made with a blend of indigo cotton and recycled bon-bon paper. It also created a few jewels in silver and denim.

The need for inner wellness and easycare are constantly getting today’s weavers’ attention. Invista, the former DuPont Textile and Interiors Division, for instance, after keen research on modern consumers’ needs, presented Advanced Teflon, a special treatment that combines two functions that make fabrics both dirt-resistant and easy-to-wash. Lauffenmühle lauched E-care, a cotton shirting fabric with antimagnetic properties containing 1% silver. Olimpias presented a new finishing that helps keeping fabrics fresh and free from smells. This special treatment’s molecules absorb smells and release them while washed.

Premiere Vision, always sensitive in catching new moods, organized an exhibition “Symbiobic Textiles” focused on high-tech and high-functional new materials. The event saw the collaboration of Clerprem, high-tech Italian fabric manufacturer. In addition, PV presented a book and organized a debate on this topic. Among the participants were Michel Caillibotte, senior materials engineer for the Adidas Salomon group and Francois Girbaud, designer and director of Marithé + Francois Girbaud.

– Maria Christina Pavarini, Features Editor, Sportswear International