By  on March 3, 2008

PARIS — John Crocco is early to his 11 a.m. meeting with representative Amy Keats of Turkish mill Soktas, but apparently he’s already in distress. “My hotel doesn’t have any Red Bull in the refrigerator. It’s a real problem,” the creative director for Perry Ellis says with a chuckle. But it doesn’t show, as he’s surprisingly cheery, even after nine appointments at Première Vision the day before. His orange journal is packed with fabric photos and scribbles. His cool, crisp PV ensemble consists of a khaki blazer, black T-shirt, jeans and (gasp) white sneakers. “I’m wearing them because I just bought them and I like them,” says Crocco. It’s then that his practical side emerges.

Crocco’s approach to the mill appointment is methodical. Laid out is his white trend board with small, square color swatches attached with Velcro for easy removal for comparing to sample fabric books. Each book is preceded with a brief introduction from Keats, and a big fabric swatch to touch. “This is our 140s two-ply with a great hand feel,” says Keats. Crocco takes it in his hand and coos, flipping to see it in various colors and patterns. “I don’t know,” he says. “We’re having a hard time with people appreciating higher-quality fabric. The perceived value is not there.”

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