The Paris fashion fair Who’s next and accessories fair Premiere Classe, which ended on Sunday, reported 5% more visitors (57,733 in total) than a year ago and 36% more than in January 2009. Sixty-three percent of visitors came from France, while international visitors accounted for over 13% of the overall attendance, or 21,638 attendees. The number of exhibitors also remained stable, whereas its competitor Prêt-à-Porter reduced its presence.

“Naturally, we lost some labels like Paul & Joe Sister, but a lot of brands also came back to Who’s next, like the accessories brand Nereides,” said the public relations manager Elodie Lavesvre.

Roxane Rizal, General Manager of the French label Hôtel Particulier, a newcomer to the show, added: “We moved from Pret-à-Porter to Who’s next this season because we think that we are in a more coherent environment of labels. I have the impression that Who’s next is quite energetic. They launched a blog, have a big vintage corner and an exhibition with Didier Ludot about the little black dress.”

In addition, Who’s next and Premiere Classe debuted a new layout. “After four seasons, it was time to move forward in the fragmentation of the fair. We concentrated the offer of the shoes on one space and downsized the stand architecture, so that the trade show became more clear and airy,” Lavesvre explained.

Concerning the offer, most businesses focused on their collections and mainly showed their strongest pieces. Said Lavesvre: “The firms are more business-oriented this season and focus on new trends.“ The same could be said for buyers. “There were less buyers than in other seasons but the right ones who really want to order,” Lavesvre added, reflecting the general opinion on the floor.

Who’s next will show for the first time in Dubai in October. The next Paris show has been planned for Jan. 24-26, 2010 and will run three days instead of four.

—Barbara Markert