Paris tradeshows face 'calm' traffic, organisers remain positive
Paris men's fashion week is more than just several days of runway shows captured by international photographers. There are also designer tradeshows and showrooms for both brands and multi-brand retailers unveiling the latest in menswear collections, including the three majors: Man, Tranoi and Capsule.
Overall, exhibitors in Paris said traffic was "calm", in comparison to Pitti Uomo in Florence. While the Florentine tradeshow can not be compared to the modest Parisian tradeshows in terms of size, several brand heads underlined that the presentation of collections suffered with a less buzzy vibe.
"I don't know what the formula to adopt should be, but a lot of brands aren't playing the game in showing collections across innumerable showrooms in Paris. At Pitti Uomo, at least, all the brands are grouped together and the traffic is regular and dense," said Marcy Szwarcburt, from the brand Maison Marcy, at Tranoi.
At Tranoi, exhibitors did not blame the tradeshow as such, but the general atmosphere of the show and the continued "tense" market faced in Paris.
"It's true, the market is difficult, but the best international buyers come to these tradeshows. Exhibitors are used to a more regular influx of visitors, however, the traffic is less important. This doesn't mean that business is bad, but it can dampen the spirits. For our part, we are increasing events and collaborations to create a dynamic, not only for Tranoi, but for Paris, because buyers and professionals in general are coming to Paris for the atmosphere," said David Hadida, managing director of Tranoi.
Meanwhile, at Capsule, held at the Maison de la Mutualité, exhibitor responses were similar and mixed, with brands such as Naked & Famous and Clae recording a positive season, while brands like Egoïste being more disappointed.
At Man, the tradeshow celebrated its fifth anniversary, this year inside the halls of the Pavillon Vendôme, several metres from the Ritz. The relocation to Place Vendôme could have perturbed buyers and brands -- with the bohemian and friendly vibe of the former rue Yves Toudic disappearing, but organisers said the new place "allowed the tradeshow to feel more professional, with more spacious stands and a much more structured layout."
According to its organisers Antoine Floch and Olivier Migda, the tradeshow ended on a positive note with "visitor numbers up 30%" compared to the last seasons. A figure, however, to take with caution, since the increase does not distinguish buyers from other visitors. Ending the tradeshow with a cruise along the Seine, organisers will next embark for New York in three weeks time, and are again thinking about a relaunch of the tradeshow in Japan in March 2018, in partnership with Tokyo Fashion Week.
Despite reservations on this season's attendance, the majority of exhibitors remain aware that their presence at a Paris tradeshow is the best way to present collections to international buyers. These include Japanese and Korean buyers, who are always fashion-fixed, and Americans, who seem to have returned to the French capital after the recent terrorist attacks.
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