City of Paris to start investing more heavily in fashion
The launch of a major campaign by the City of Paris during the French capital's Fashion Week is not an isolated event.
As explained to FashionMag by Bruno Julliard, First deputy of the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hildago, responsible for culture, heritage and the arts, the City of Paris is planning to put more of an emphasis on the fashion sector in Paris than ever before. "In Paris, there was a certain shyness in fully claiming the City's role in fashion," he said. "Paris is of course still the n°1 fashion capital in the world, and recognised by all as such. But the competition is extremely heavy. We are lucky to be ahead of the crowd thanks to the renown of all of our fashion houses. But New York and London are closing in. The former is playing the sportswear card while the latter is known for its unbridled creativity."
In other words, the City has decided to invest even more in Paris as the world's fashion capital by expanding its number of offerings tied to fashion while serving as a unifying force.
The city is thus working with different players on several actions to be carried out in the coming seasons. "For example, we hope to involve the RATP and the SNCF (France's public transport system in the Paris region and its national railway company) in this policy of mobilisation. We have also started to work with Aéroports de Paris so that as of 2016 the Paris airports have a special set-up for welcoming guests specifically coming to Paris for fashion week," said Bruno Julliard. "We are in talks with the Chambre syndicale des créateurs et couturiers (the trade union of couturiers and designers) as well to open even more of the City's locations up to runway shows and events. This could mean museums but also sites under construction. We would also like to be able to propose young designers affordable places for showing or presenting. And why not install a giant screen to broadcast some of the shows live in a public place and thus mobilise the Parisians even more."
Some of the initiatives are not just aimed at Fashion Week, notably the role of fashion schools and the support of young companies. "We have every intention of creating a masters programme in Paris," emphasised the first deputy of the mayor of Paris. "There has to be an acceptance procedure decided upon by several schools in order for it to work. We also have to remember that we have the best workshops and very good students. Yet these students, the best of them, sometimes leave Paris to finish their studies elsewhere. There needs to be a recognition of these talents. Another important aspect is to allow for the development of business creation. On this subject we are intending on developing incubators and platforms of creation by working with Ateliers de Paris. We need a real eco-system dedicated to the development of fashion activities and creation."
It is true that the role fashion plays in Paris' economy is quite significant, even beyond its role as a global influence. "Some 60,000 people work directly in the fashion world of Paris and 100,000 when indirect jobs are included. We encompass retail in this number. As for what that represents in terms of business and Paris Fashion Week, we have set up a study group comprised of students from the Paris School of Economy to evaluate this question. But there is no doubt about it, it is worth doing more than just being interested in it!" concluded Bruno Julliard.
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