Concurrently with Paris men’s week but more far out of the city center, Who’s Next and accessory trade show Premiere Classe held their first installment of the year for four days ending last Monday (January 23) at the Porte de Versailles.
Who’s Next has really worked on its concept and came up with some new initiatives, especially for its connected Urban and Trendy areas which were placed at the very end of the fairgrounds in hall 7. For the first time, booths containing accessories and lifestyle products (paper products, interior goods etc.) were directly integrated into the 700-brands encompassing show space in order to make the buying experience more appealing, also for buyers from fields adjacent to fashion.
The show’s “Girlsquad” topic was played out across various measures, also reflecting in the fair’s extensive conference and workshop offer. Panels such as "The women who are shaking up the lines” or the open discussion round on young customer’s shopping behavior with the 16-25-year-olds behind millennial magazine Twenty, led by former Colette communications director Nadège Winter and Delphine de Canecaude, were also live-streamed on Facebook.
Also new was the “personal buying” initiative: previous to the show, the organizers selected 15 brands for different buying request, each containing 20 handpicked exhibitors from fields such as “urban/streetwear”, “new talents”, “athleisure”, “evening wear”, “plus size” etc. Buyers were able to access these selections online and the Who’s Next team reported that 75% of the people doing so were newly attracted buyers.
There were also pop-up spaces for direct buying, such as the one by famed vintage wholesaler Eureka Fripes in the Urban area or a display of “it-products” to buy immediately for SS17 in the Trendy area.
“We want to position our show as a learning tool for buyers”, said show director Camille Descollonges.
Together with French retailer Citadium, Who’s Next had also called out a competition for young French labels before the show, whose 10 winners got the chance to exhibit their collections, many of which had a strong graphic element (such as Seas, Weyz Clothing, Prelude or Keur Paris) in a dedicated area in the Urban hall. This space and also the area around it proved to be most inspirational with lots of creative collections to be discovered (including names such as Fade Out, 8IGB or Zing).
At Premiere Classe, 900 accessory brands from the fields of footwear, bags, jewelry, eyewear and more catered for an almost excessive amount of things to see. Amongst the highlights was Parisian label Wize & Ope, which started out with watches and sunglasses and is now making good business with its illuminate-able or fluorescent sneakers. Also Pairs in Paris presented a casual footwear collection full of creative and beautiful ideas.
Together, Who’s Next and Premiere Classe welcomed a total of 45 192 visitors this season, a decrease compared to 48,684 visitors during their last January edition. The next edition of Premiere Classe Tuileries and Paris sur Mode Tuileries will be held from March 2-5 whilst the next edition of Who’s Next and Premiere Classe will run between September 8-11, 2017.
Our list of the most exciting newcomer labels from the show grounds:
Prelude: Kévin Abdoul, the 22-year-old founder of this Paris-based label is a self-taught designer. Starting out with print shirts, his second collection also includes sweaters, jackets and a dress. Everything is made in France. www.preludo-studio.com
Keur Paris: Started two years ago, Keur Paris makes beautiful embroidered t-shirts containing sweet messages and symbols, which already got them involved in a collaboration with legendary concept store Colette. www.keurparis.com
Fade Out: Run by two Italians based in Berlin, Face Out buys up old jeans and re-assembles them into new patchworked denim pieces since 2015. Their permanent collection is sold online plus at independent retailers in Japan, Switzerland and Berlin. www.faceoutlabel.com
8IGB: Founder Ruben Bissoli started his label only 6 months ago. The creative loves to play with well-known logos and double meanings. His accessible graphics-loaded pieces are currently available via the Noir Kennedy and Addicted stores in Paris. www.8igb.bigcartel.com
Zing: All made-in-Italy, Zing from Tuscany offers a collection solely made out of one material: velvet. Its fifth collection contains jumpers, floor-length dresses and flared pants. www.ilovezing.com
Teessue: Having one Eleven Paris’ ex-CEO as one of their co-founders, Teesue surely has a knack for fast-to-market, accessible and millennial-compliant trend fashion: half of the comprehensive first collection can be shipped globally within three weeks so buyers are encouraged to reorder styles during the season. Bombers retail for 130 Euros, tees between 29-39 Euros. www.teessue.com
For more information on trade shows check out DFV Group’s expocheck.com.