PARIS — The City of Light is upping the ante when it comes to fashion.
At a breakfast meeting Tuesday with a handful of journalists at City Hall here, Mayor Anne Hidalgo detailed her plans for supporting the sector during her five-year tenure, which began in March 2014.
“Fashion is one of Paris’ best attributes,” she said. “But there was a sort of distance that had appeared between the public and political institutions and the fashion world. Even if a certain number of politicians attended fashion shows, it was as if it was their private occupation, and not something that concerned the nation….The institutions were not mobilized to be a partner for fashion.”
Hidalgo has made it one of her priorities to change that.
“Saying that Paris is the capital of fashion is not enough. Today, public authorities have a role not just in making the rules and ensuring they are respected, our role is also to accompany movements in society, economic movements, social movements, professionals, especially in a city like Paris,” she said. “It’s about putting City Hall and the institutions of Paris at the service of creativity and amplifying the importance of Paris Fashion Week.”
In September, Hidalgo’s support of the sector will be visible across the city.
The Eiffel Tower will be lit up with the slogan “La Mode Aime Paris” or “Fashion loves Paris.”
On Oct. 6, the second-to-last day of Fashion Week, Hidalgo will welcome designers, buyers and the press to an evening reception in the salons of City Hall.
A poster campaign will be displayed throughout Paris, and stores and restaurants will be mobilized to involve the public more, she said, noting that initiatives introduced in New York under Michael Bloomberg served as a model.
“I want the whole city to vibrate to the rhythm of Paris Fashion Week,” Hidalgo said.
Also under discussion are initiatives to improve the welcome accorded to fashion VIPs traveling from abroad, for example, in partnership with Aéroports de Paris, for which Hidalgo now sits on the board, as well as giant outdoor screens so that the public can view the runway shows.
Hidalgo had already revealed that the city would invest up to 60 million euros, or $66 million at current exchange.
That sum is mainly being invested in supporting the city’s fashion schools Boulle, Estienne and Duperré, which remain public institutions.
The city has also commissioned a study into the direct economic impact of Paris Fashion Week.
Hidalgo additionally emphasized the importance of the Palais Galliera fashion museum, another public institution, in promoting Paris’ significance in the fashion world.
City Hall is working on raising funds to convert the museum’s basement, an almost 6,500-square-foot area, into a space housing permanent collections open to the public. While the Palais Galliera has extensive collections, it currently only shows temporary exhibitions.
“We hope to accomplish this before the end of my tenure,” Hidalgo said. “We believe the Palais Galliera must be Paris’ window on fashion.”