By and  on February 2, 2010

PARIS — Visitors to the Première Vision and Texworld textile fairs here next week will find mills seeking to capitalize on a growing sense of optimism with bolder designs and a greater focus on environmentally friendly fabrics.

Organizers of Première Vision, which begins its four-day run on Feb. 9, want to capture the feeling of renewed spirit with a refreshed venue that includes stands designed by Eric Jourdan and Francesca Avossa based on a white cityscape. The walls are made of Corian, a solid surfacing material created by DuPont, and will be in varying heights to evoke buildings.

Philippe Pasquet, Première Vision’s chief executive officer, said the design revamp serves as a metaphor for a textile industry that needs to stimulate demand through novelty.

“We’re continuing to invest in qualitative [initiatives] that move with fashion,” he said.

The number of exhibitors has dipped to 650 compared with 684 during last year’s edition. Among the biggest challenges facing mills is a system weakened by persistent retail markdowns, Pasquet said.

New exhibitors include Hong Kong-based denim weaver Prosperity Textile, South Korea-based high-density synthetic fabrics specialist Goldlon Worldwide and Italian knitwear mill Tessitura Rossi.

Almost half of PV’s mills come from Italy, followed by France and Turkey. Western Europe represents more than 80 percent of the salon’s exhibitors.

“Turkish mills are important for countries such as the U.S., as they often offer the whole package, with creativity,” Pasquet said. “It’s an industry that’s evolving a lot.”

Impermeable fine knits and sheer cotton voiles are among the intriguing textile developments to be displayed at PV.

“Visually, these are fabrics we would never think of wearing in the rain,” said PV fashion director Pascaline Wilhelm. “It’s this idea of outlining rather than constricting the body.”

Stretch continues to be big, though now applied to draping fabrics.

PV’s Parcours Experts Pluriel initiative, which flags exhibitors across the event’s entire network of halls based on particular themes, will cover the eco, color and extreme sports fields.

Eco-friendly fabrics will also be an area of focus at Texworld, which runs Feb. 8 to 11, including a first appearance of South Korean fabrics made of paper. Visitors will be guided toward exhibitors specializing in green options via a color-coded itinerary, and Organic Exchange will organize a conference on organic cotton and eco-friendly textiles.

“This will give participants an opportunity to discuss some of the recent controversies linked to organic fabrics,” said a Texworld spokesman, referring to a recent report in the German edition of the Financial Times alleging that clothing labeled as “organic cotton” and sold by major retailers contained genetically modified cotton from India.

Texworld is trying to attract more full-service providers in the face of rising demand from European firms that want to reduce the number of suppliers with which they deal. Some 40 subcontractors are expected, including India’s Alok Industries and Banswara Syntex, Pakistani firm Artistic Denim Mills and Goldentex Wool of Egypt.

Organizers expect 650 exhibitors, about the same as last year. This will include 100 new exhibitors, following changes in ownership and the closure of a number of companies last year. The number of countries represented will decrease to 28 from 40 last year, with a larger presence of South Korean mills. Fashion Center Korea, which groups seven firms from the textile hub of Daegu that specialize in prints and functional fabrics, will be among the new exhibitors.

Other newcomers include Vietnamese firm Thaï Tuan, known for its jacquards, and P.T. Mayer Indah Indonesia, producer of lace, embroidery and tulle. Austrian cellulose fiber specialist Lenzing will house exhibitors that use its fabrics — including Tencel, Modal and viscose — into a single pavilion.

Michael Scherpe, president of Messe Frankfurt France, which organizes the show, has boosted the fashion quotient by hiring Grégory Lamaud and Louis Gérin, co-designers of men’s intimates range Les Garçons, as artistic directors.

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