PARIS — Economic uncertainty contributed to a decline in visitors and reined in order writing at last week's Texworld fabric fair at Le Bourget exhibit halls here.
Organizers said 17,100 people visited the four-day event, a decline of 4.4 percent compared with last year, and cited a softening economy and that companies seemed to be traveling to the show with fewer people than in the past. Much of the decline was attributed to a marked drop in visitors from Europe, although there was an uptick of attendees from Russia and other Eastern European countries.
Buyers said they would exercise restraint as a result of the tough business environment, with most indicating they would keep budgets on par with last year. Some, however, reported nascent signs of better business trends since the beginning of the year, which augured well for exhibitors, most of whom said business had been good, but not as strong as in years past.
With 800 exhibitors from 40 countries, Texworld traditionally draws a wide cross section of major retailers looking for bargain textiles in bulk. Exhibitors at the fair have moved more upscale recently and more fashion brands have started to attend. Still, buyers have become habituated to first visiting the more upscale Première Vision show, which runs concurrently, to get a read on the trends before coming to Texworld to place orders. That trend seemed to continue this year, especially as pressure on the bottom line has mounted.
"We do our core product here," said Liz Holmes, a designer at New Island Clothing, a firm that supplies major retailers in the U.K. "PV is for trends."
Most buyers said price remained their foremost concern. However, they also stressed there was a new appreciation for quality and more luxurious fabrics from their customers.
"Customers are willing to pay more for quality," said Julie-Anne Boothby, manager for fabric and color for Marks & Spencer.
"Price is very important," said Linda Gray, a designer with Britain's Citilites dress brand. "Our budget is the same as last year."
Glorie Martywa, product manager for Amsterdam's Vanilia fashion brand, said, "We went to PV and it's more interesting here for us. Price is important, but we're also seeing demand for quality. Business is getting better."Buyers said geometric or floral prints topped their wish list and that bright colors, even neon, would be an important story going forward. Among looks that are going nowhere is ethnic, buyers said.
"It looks so dated," said Rebecca Watson, a buyer for Sterling Group in Manchester that supplies department stores in the U.K.
Embroidery continued to be important. Indian mills like Ventures have changed their focus from ethnic looks to more jewelry-influenced styles, which proved popular with buyers.
"It's not embroidery anymore, but surface ornament," said Agush Murarka, a partner at Ventures.
Murarka said the bulk of his business at Texworld came from Europeans and Middle Easterners, adding that Americans seemed scarce.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye