By  on March 22, 2011

PARIS — Buyers at the recent apparel trade shows here were going wild for fur, leather and color.

Many cited budgets up as much as 20 percent for the shows, which included Tranoï, Rendez-Vous, Atmosphère’s, Paris Sur Mode, Capsule and D&A Paris. Running across four days, the events wrapped on March 7 at various locations.

“We found some brands that we fell in love with for the first time in years,” said Pascale Camart, director of women’s buying at Galeries Lafayette. “However, they are not all very commercial. We loved Humanoid, Forte Forte and La Compagnie du Cachemire, which was a real discovery. In terms of trends, we are predicting a return to color, particularly mixing colors like gold, burgundy and green together, and the representation of androgynous and romantic styles have both confirmed our predictions.”

At Tranoï, French fur manufacturer Yves Salomon secured Nordstrom and Jeffrey as new customers, according to managing director Thomas Salomon.

“We are very satisfied with business at the shows [Yves Salomon Accessories was on show at concurrent accessories show Premiere Classe],” Salomon said. “Fashion changes so quickly we have to take advantage of the current trend for fur.”

The company’s Army Fur collection attracted attention from hip stores like Bird in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“I don’t usually buy fur,” owner Jennifer Mankins said. “But it is so popular for this fall. I’m buying the casual line as it’s younger and a little less obvious.”

She picked up a khaki fur-lined stadium coat, priced at 395 euros wholesale, or $549 at current exchange.

Also popular with buyers at Tranoï Bourse were the washed leather jackets by Italian brand Giorgio Brato, whose stand was bustling all weekend. Hamburg, Germany-based multibrand store Feldenkirchen’s owner Claudia Feldernkirchen bought from Brato, as did Farah Monsavvi, owner of Florentin Boutique in Brighton, England. “I love that washed leather look,” she said.

Canadian line Mercy, showing in Paris for the first time at Rendez-Vous, was impressed by the quality of buyers present.

“We have seen some very good quality British and Paris stores,” designer Jennifer Halchuk said.

The brand’s quilted Liberty fabric dress with a bird print designed by singer Edwin Collins, priced $155 wholesale, was particularly popular, Halchuk said.

At Capsule’s second women’s show in Paris, British tomboy brand YMC presented the first collection by its new women’s wear designer Sofia Prantera, who added dresses to the line. An off-white silk dress with navy blue detailing wholesales for 93 pounds, or $150 at current exchange.

“We have seen mainly Japanese and South Korean buyers,” the brand’s sales manager for women’s wear Beth Hackett said. “Urban Outfitters U.K. also bought from us. They are already a big client in the U.S.”

At Tranoï, French brand Ella Luna’s collection of jackets and dresses with integrated jewelry was popular, and will soon be stocked by Harvey Nichols in London, according to designer Ornella Haddad.

D&A, meanwhile, now in its second Paris edition in an expanded, two-venue format, celebrated receiving an award from the U.S. Department of Commerce for its commitment to exporting American fashion, presented by U.S. ambassador to France Charles Rivkin.

Show organizer Ed Mandelbaum said visitor numbers doubled compared with the first show, which took place last October. At D&A, California designer Raven Kauffman’s Everyday Exotics collection of rubber alligator-skin effect handbags created a stir.

“The idea was to create a bag that looked luxurious but was resistant,” Kauffman explained.

The collection already has been picked up by Saks Fifth Avenue at D&A’s New York edition, and in Paris attracted a lot of Japanese buyers, including Isetan and Harvey Nichols, she said. The line’s bestseller is the red Stella clutch bag that wholesales for $158.

“At a 5-to-1 ratio, stores have gone for the colors, and not for black and brown,” Kauffman said.

This was mirrored at French jewelry brand Ela Stone, on show at Tranoï, which introduced a leather handbag collection, with colors including green and taupe selling best. The brand’s jewelry is sold in stores such as Le Bon Marché, Harvey Nichols Hong Kong and Fenwick, said general manager Dov Benitah.

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