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Fresh Looks Pop at Premiere Classe

PARIS -- The more trend-oriented the merchandise, the better the results were for many of the companies exhibiting at Premiere Classe.<BR><BR>The four-day accessories trade show here, which ended last Tuesday, was part of the Pret-a-Porter event at...

PARIS — The more trend-oriented the merchandise, the better the results were for many of the companies exhibiting at Premiere Classe.

The four-day accessories trade show here, which ended last Tuesday, was part of the Pret-a-Porter event at Porte de Versailles.

While this early-in-the-year show traditionally does not produce strong ordering, the 80 exhibitors — 20 more than a year ago — appeared generally satisfied with the quality and pace of traffic.

According to Xavier Clergerie, organizer of Premiere Classe, fashion-forward merchandise seemed to drive most of the buying.

“The most creative companies did the best this season,” Clergerie noted. “People were going for a more directional product.”

There was no one dominant trend among the lines, he added. Sparking interest, though, were such varied looks as earthy and natural jewelry, small deconstructed caps, colorful beads and textured bags.

The combination of fresh looks and moderate prices was key to success for some firms.

Handbag firm JaminPuech showed an offbeat lineup that included its much-copied sweater handbags, as well as small tartan flat sacks, swirled rattan drawstring bags lined in velvet, feather boa collars and shapely leather hats.

“There have been a lot of people at the show, and we’re selling more, particularly now that we’re establishing a loyal following,” said Benoit Jamin, co-owner of the firm. He added that a new 15-piece minimum ordering policy has also helped his firm bring down its prices to a more moderate level, thereby boosting show business.

Jewelry designer Philippe Ferrandis introduced a new collection along the lines of the minimal trend and priced 30 percent lower than his signature line. It’s called Pure Concept.

Comprising mostly large pendant necklaces, including ebony crosses and circular glass, the 20-piece collection also has safety pin pendants and small earrings.

Herve Van Der Straeten, another jewelry designer, made his first appearance and featured hammered metal jewelry adorned with natural stones and shells.

Van Der Straeten also made a point of showing a full range of prices: “Normally, people think I have expensive things, but the line has gotten bigger with some cheaper prices.” Still another jewelry designer, Chantal Audias, made a Premiere Classe debut after several seasons of showing at Bijorhca, a more mass market accessory salon.

“There are more designer clients here than at Bijorhca. We’re better off here, and it’s been a busy weekend,” said Michele Randier, commercial director for Audias’s firm.