FRENCH LESSONS: For the past week, all eyes have been on New York designers and thanks to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund eight labels are about to take that attention to Paris.

Next month’s “Americans in Paris” will include Aurora James of Brother Vellies, Brad Schmidt and Raul Arevalo of Cadet, Chris Gelinas of CG, Becca McCharen of Chromat, Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport and three designers each with their own signature collections – David Hart, Jonathan Simkhai and Thaddeus O’Neil.

To hit the ground running, the France-bound designers will take part in a workshop run by Rainbowwave, the mutibrand wholesale showroom and communications company, in order to get a better handle on international sales.

Started in 2003, Americans in Paris serves as a showcase for emerging American designers during Paris Fashion Week. In addition to gaining substantial exposure with international retailers, the showroom also provides the sales, marketing and media support necessary to expand their respective businesses.

As the lead underwriter for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund’s Americans in Paris, Tumi has enlisted the help of this season’s roster of eight designers. Each participant was asked to customize a Tumi item curated by the company’s global creative director Michael Petry. To show Tumi’s range as a lifestyle brand, each designer received a different bag and was asked to reimagine it in his or her own vein while maintaining the functionality of the bags. The handiwork will be on display in the Americans in Paris showroom for the entire three days.

From October 1 -3, the Americans in Paris showroom will be located at Pavillon Etoile at 12 Rue de Presbourg. Petry will cohost a cocktail party at The Ritz Paris to help celebrate this year’s installment. “We’re looking forward to returning to Paris and being part of the eleventh season of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund’s Americans in Paris,” he said. “Tumi has had the pleasure of working alongside these incredible CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund designers in supporting their businesses and giving this talented group the international exposure that they all deserve.”

“With the support of Tumi, Americans in Paris continues to bring top emerging design talent to an important market,” said Steven Kolb, president and chief executive officer of the CFDA. “This season, there is a special focus to increase the attendance of international buyers who are in Paris during fashion week.”

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