COMPATRIOT CAMARADERIE: Now in its ninth session, the Americans in Paris program, created by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue, has become a fixture on the fashion calendar, attracting key buyers and press from around the world.
More than just exposure, those present appreciate the camaraderie involved in being part of a generation of young designers showing their wares in Paris.
“We like to introduce the other designers to our buyers, if we think one of our stores would be a good fit,” said Ryan Roche, among the runners-up for last year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, who was showing for the second time.
“I love that I get to hang out with all the other designers, it’s very supportive,” she said.
Roche added that she had also seen several American buyers at the showroom that she does not necessarily get the chance to see in New York, an added bonus.
Tanya Taylor, displaying her colorful designs for the second time, too, observed that retailers from different markets picked out various favorites from her collections. Buyers from Turkey, where the label is stocked at Beymen and Harvey Nichols, selected a blue printed dress with colored Swarovski crystal embroideries, while those from Beirut chose items that fit close to the body, like a Sixties-style printed sundress. Meanwhile, Asian retailers preferred more fluid designs like a floaty jacquard top.
Taylor said she had met a lot of new international stores, notably a couple from Taiwan and Plum from Beirut.
Simon Miller’s Daniel Corrigan and Jake Sargent were focusing on exposure, rather than sales, and had set up a separate showroom for retailer appointments for their second appearance in Paris.
“We’re finally seeing brand recognition in Europe,” Corrigan said.
The only newcomer, Grey Ant, had also seen a lot of attention for its funky eyewear designs, which are already sold by retailers including Colette and Galeries Lafayette, cofounder Natalie Levy said.
“People are gravitating toward our thin wire frames,” she added.
Each of the eight designers present at Americans in Paris customized a duffel bag from underwriter Tumi for the occasion.
The eight bags, on display at the 8 Valois venue, will subsequently be auctioned off, with proceeds going to the CFDA Foundation.
The roster for the event, which ran from Oct. 3-5, also included Orley’s Alex, Matthew and Samantha Orley; Edie Parker’s Brett Heyman; Eva Fehren’s Eva Zuckerman, and Gigi Burris Millinery’s Gigi Burris.