PARIS -- The Federation Francaise du Pret-a-Porter, France's women's ready-to-wear association, is renting a village-type space for next month's New York Premier Collections.
All told, about 20 French resources will be brought to the New York trade show by the Federation, which controls France's largest women's rtw show, Pret-a-Porter Paris. The next edition of the Paris show will run Jan. 29 through Feb. 1. New York Premier Collections will run Feb. 13-15 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
"The U.S. recovery is starting to pick up, which makes now the right time for French ready-to-wear to come back in force into the American market," said Gerard Roudine, the Federation's managing director.
Roudine said the Federation would spend about $500,000 on the project
As noted, two French salons, Premiere Classe for accessories and Atmosphere for emerging designers, participated in the first Premier Collections show last September in New York.
"The French have been the most aggressive of all the Europeans. They are by far the largest contingent outside of the U.S.," said Marshall Lester, chief executive of the U.S. apparel division of Bruno Blenheim, London-based trade show producer.
Lester predicted that Premier Collections will have about 280 stands this season, an increase of one-third over the debut show.
The Federation's decision to invest in Premier Collections comes at a difficult time for the French rtw industry. Last year, France suffered an rtw balance-of-payments deficit of $54.4 million (321 million francs at current exchange), the first in the country's history, according to figures from the Federation.
Roudine revealed that French rtw exports to the U.S. fell approximately 7.3 percent in 1993, but that in September, the last month for which complete figures are available, they rose a solid 14 percent.
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