New trade show launches – Paris Fashion Days

by Katie on June 20, 2010

Last week at a two hour presentation in Covent Garden Hotel, in stilted English and confusing mis translated terms (NB. Really NOT the best way to express complicated ideas guys, when trying to enlist the support of the UK trade press) it was announced that yet another trade show was launching on the international circuit: Paris Fashion Days which will be launched this year at Palais Brongniart, Place de la Bourse, Paris on the 4th and 5th July 2010.

Now, as any buyer or press member on the international circuit will tell you, trade shows, as well as throwing up a lot of new talent can also be tedious in the extreme; Thousands of square feet of stands, new labels, often indistinct offerings, bored PR people o’ding on coffee while supporting their clients and thousands of weary feet and eyes blinkered by strip lighting. Not the best fun in the world. So why have Pret a Porter Paris responsible for such shows as Pret a Porter in January and September (Paris), Atmosphere/The Box in March and October (Paris), The Train/The Box in February and September (New York) and The Living Room in March and October (Tokyo) launching yet another show in Paris?

It appears that the Parisians have tumbled to the fact that the world economy hasn’t been so good for the past year and a half. Fashion purchases were down 3.3% in 2009 in the holiest grail of fashion, France. It appears that not only Josephine Public worldwide has been influenced in their purchasing power of luxuries but that buyers worldwide also have been, naturally. There is recognition that the international fashion calendar (that’s the bi-annual ready to wear catwalk circuit of New York, London, Milan, Paris, in that order) has been been being pushed forward by the gamut of trade and catwalk shows shows on either side of the timeline (February and September) and these have been happening earlier and earlier. What this means, simply, is that the big bucks being spent earlier in the season (by fashion buyers) on the big brands at the ready to wear shows means less money or willingness to support mid market and new emerging brands at trade shows.

Also, importantly, Pret a Porter Paris quoted that there is the threat, as in the past, that one of the big players (say Milan) may decide to alter their place in the schedule and fight for an earlier slot therefore further impacting buying decisions, possibly ousting London for an earlier slot. This has BIG repercussions if this were to happen as many powerful American buyers and press may simply miss London off their circuit and head directly from Milan to Paris with huge repercussions for British fashion and emerging designers.

So, Pret a Porter Paris with good business sense have decided to launch Paris Fashion Days, launching on 4th and 5th July to showcase existing brands wishing to take part (eg Anglomania by Vivienne Westwood) and offering them complete packages – the catwalk show, production, hair, make-up, stand etc is all part of the price and takes the weight of moving a whole contingent of support from country to country. Moreover, the shows will also be open to the public at some point to enable brands to engage with their public and sell their wares. So, a bit like the LDC’s London Fashion Weekend, then? Exactly. (NB. That would have shaved a half hour from the tedious presentation).

Launching on 4th and 5th July also means that the show is placed immediately after Paris Mens Fashion Shows (23rd-27th June 2010) and prior to Haute Couture (5th-8th July 2010).

It remains to be seen at this point whether Paris Fashion Days will eventually replace the Pret a Porter Paris Trade Fair in September. I shall bet that’s the aim but, like everything in the fashion industry, it needs heavyweight support to alter the global fashion calendar and its systems where even minute changes effect hundreds of thousands of businesses and their processes worldwide. Good Luck with that!
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Anastasia and Duck July 14, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Have you seen the idea of Le New Black as well? An ONLINE fashion tradefair (I think mainly for the buyers rather than press). Perhaps this is also a good idea for small stores who can’t afford to send people to the major fashion weeks yet…



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