January 2018: a vintage session for Paris trade shows

The fashion trade shows held in Paris on 19th-22nd January benefited both from the buzz generated by the Men's Fashion Week, which attracted a significant number of international buyers, and from the slightly more optimistic economic outlook of early 2018. Overall, the impression left by the January session of the French capital's B2B shows was positive, with visitor attendance on the upswing and, above all, a buoyant, bustling atmosphere throughout. 


The Première Classe show on Saturday 20th January - FashionNetwork

This was notably the case at the largest of the week-end's events, the Who's Next-Première Classe show, which brought together nearly 1,300 fashion and accessories brands at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre. Visitor attendance was back on the growth track at last September's edition, and it was the same this January, with visitor numbers up by more than 3%. A modest increase, but it felt more robust thanks to the busy mood in the stands.

"It's a good show, with scores of European buyers and also many from the USA, and especially more optimism than in previous seasons," said Patrick Draijer, founder of Dutch womenswear label Yaya. An opinion shared by several exhibitors, who chiefly remarked on the show's energy, notably on the Sunday, and the satisfactory number of orders received.

As proof of the positive business climate, the organisers underlined how the number of buyers attending the show grew by 14%, accounting for a 70% share of the total number of visitors.

The organisers of Tranoï were equally satisfied. The show was held at three venues in the city: the Palais de la Bourse for womenswear, Carreau du Temple for menswear, and a cosier showroom format in the Marais district. "After a troubled 2017, the show has truly taken off again," said a spokesperson for Tranoï's organiser, reporting that unique visitors across all venues grew 14%.


Entrance of the Tranoï show at Palais Brongniart, Paris, January 2018 - ©Global

"Signs of improvement were seen in October, and we are back to something more like the [attendance] levels of 2015 for example. We benefited from Paris' leading position on the fashion scene, and from the buzz around the Men's Fashion Week, though we also responded to the demand for early purchases on the womenswear side," said the Tranoï spokesperson.

As for the Capsule show, its organisers had decided to stage a trimmed-down version, returning to the Marais district. "We had the chance to hold an event with our own personal touch again, giving it a showroom feel, in close proximity to all that was happening during the fashion week. [Exhibitor] brands felt they were part of the Fashion Week's life." The Marais district was indeed a showroom hub during the fashion week, and Capsule claims to have attracted to its rue du Vertbois location about one thousand buyers from directional stores the world over.

Paris show organisers are keen to enjoy the same success next March, for the end of the womenswear sales, and also in June for the launch of next year's season. Both Man/Woman and Who's Next in fact took the opportunity afforded by this positive, busy session to launch new events, scheduled in the period which used to be the slot for launching the women's pre-collections.

Tranoï's organisers aren't worried by this new competition, in fact they're happy. "We are delighted. If the June calendar will be like January, with the success we had, we will be able to dominate Paris. When things are going well, as they did this month, everyone benefits from it," said the spokesperson for Tranoï.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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