Paris Fashion Week (February 26 to March 6, 2018) started with a cold spell and a show calendar that provided some time gaps to take advantage of the numerous fairs and showroom offers that France's capital offers. The current discussions about the importance and necessity of fashion weeks were also an issue in the French capital: Many designer brands put together their men's and women's shows for synergy reasons or showed them in much smaller settings. Even fashion giant H&M bid farewell to the big show. Its see-now-buy-now collection was available in stores one day after the show. Even the organizer of the Fashion Week, the recently renamed Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM), has merged its official press area with the young designer showroom "Designers Apartment.”
The 13 young designers selected by a jury showed on the first floor of the well-visited Palais de Tokyo, a popular fashion show location. During show off-times, press representatives were able to discover young creatives and, in small presentations, also examine their collections on models. Among the 13 selected were already quite experienced fashion designers, such as the Chinese Dawei, who previously worked with John Galliano and Balenciaga and already served as creative director at Cacharel.
MAN/WOMAN has become more and more established in Paris. Especially thanks to its very selective and curated offer. The smallest of the well-known fairs was again situated at a central location on Place Vendôme, which offers space for around 70 exhibitors and thus remains quite clearly arranged for the visitors. The mix of the offer is very international and combines both big and well-known brands and small newcomers such as the famous swimwear brand Mara Hoffmann, the label Creatures of Comfort, which also shows at the New York Fashion Week, the traditional French knitter Le Mont Saint Michel or young Taiwanese Lauren Yates. Her Hong Kong-based brand W'menswear debuted at the trade show with double-face denim and a workwear style. François-Ghislain Morillion, co-founder of eco-shoe manufacturer Véja which has shown at Man/Woman for years, is very satisfied with visitor response: "We have been twice on the road for several seasons: At Man/Woman we reach the international audience and at Première Classe the French customers. "
Paris sur Mode/Première Classe
The light-flooded tents of the Paris sur Mode (around 70 exhibitors) and Première Classe (around 440 exhibitors) on the Place de la Concorde and in the Tuileries are certainly the trade fair locations with the most daylight, giving the buyers the opportunity to discover the products in real and color-true light. Although this season, Paris sur Mode had to share the famous square around the obelisk with the Ferris wheel. Organizer WSN Development solved the problem with a new stand organization. As in previous seasons, great emphasis was placed on scenography and a varied program at the fairs. So there was a photo exhibition, a vintage store area and under the title Atelier Secret a special area for brands that work according to old craft techniques or haute couture rules. Here, for example, the glove manufacturer Agnelle or the hatter De Bornarel exhibited.
A new feature at Première Classe is a platform, which is open to a broader fashion week audience. The third tent in the Tuileries, called Jean-Louis (32 exhibitors), aims to provide a novel approach to fashion and to combine digital and physical presentation of the collections. Interested parties can order selected products at the fair, which are then partly produced in the see-now-buy-now cycle. The idea is prevent meaningless overproduction, to bring stationary and digital commerce together, and to bring fashion in line with other lifestyle topics such as nutrition or music. Within this new concept, there was also an event space where workshops and talks on trend topics such as influencers, DIY fashion and sustainable consumption were offered during the four days of the fair.
As in previous years, the established Tranoi trade fair has three locations. And, as always, it offered a rich variety of different restaurants, attracting visitors and letting them linger in the showrooms for a long time. A total of 450 exhibitors showed in the halls on the Paris Stock Exchange and in the Carrousel du Louvre. The focus this year was on French and sustainable brands. From France, for example, the lingerie brand Naelie, the label of the top model Inès de la Fressange or the jewelry label Feidt Paris. At the third location, called Tranoi Week, which was held for the third time in an art gallery in the Marais district and is open only to buyers and the press, the organizers united 22 independent young designers. The newcomers shared the space with the London Showrooms, which provided more inflow. However, while the English brands, such as Phoebe English or Eudon Choi, had generously distributed space for their stands, the exhibitors of Tranoi Week were concentrated on a very tiny space. As a result, the presentation of the collections suffered badly.
However, the entrance area in the Carrousel du Louvre was even more beautiful and configured with an art piece of 73 flying fishes, made of textiles by the Venetian artist Anna Paola Cibin. The organizers are realizing also a clever idea of recycling older trade showbags, where remnants from the past eight years have been distributed to the visitors.
The fact that the use of synergies in the current critical industry situation pays off is also demonstrated by the successful joint concept of the DACH Showroom, where young Swiss, Austrian and German brands already came together last season. Arne Eberle, organizer of the German side, announced proudly: "With 30 brands we have more than last season. Also the location is larger with 200 sq. meters over two floors. Even the registrations are constantly increasing. This season we had 300 requests." The proven location near the Carreau du Temple, amid other showroom locations in the Marais, was retained. What's new is that the rooftop showroom moved to the ground floor, where a large shop window provided an even better showcase for attracting visitors.