Amid a difficult retail climate in France and a drop in foreign visitors, trade-show organizers in Paris are fine-tuning their strategies to reach an attendance for the first half of 2017 on par with 2016.
This story first appeared in the November 30, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Initiatives to attract buyers include regrouping fairs in the city center, such as the Carreau du Temple venue for Tranoï Paris: Men’s; advancing dates; creating new areas; naming new management or new artistic direction, and focusing on French and European visitors.
The French Women’s Ready-to-Wear Federation forecasts sales in France will drop 2 to 2.5 percent in 2016, making 2016 the eighth consecutive year of declines.
Overall clothing sales, including men’s wear, children’s wear and lingerie, were down 2.6 percent. Sales of women’s rtw fell 4 percent in value in the first nine months of 2016 versus the same period a year earlier. Sales of men’s rtw, children’s wear and lingerie were down 1.5 percent, 1.4 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.
“It’s a difficult climate in France,” said François-Marie Grau, the federation’s managing director, citing the drop in foreign visitor numbers since the Paris terror attacks of November 2015, a gross domestic product growth that’s lower than expected and the prospect of the French presidential elections in May that typically has a negative impact on consumption. The bright note, he said, is the general employment situation that’s improving.
One change to the Paris show scene, Tranoï Paris: Men’s is moving from the Docks — Cité de la Mode et du Design building, on the bank of the Seine river to the Carreau du Temple in Paris’ Le Marais area. Tranoï Paris: Women’s Pre-Collections and Parfums are to be held concurrently from Jan. 20 to 22 at the Palais de la Bourse and Carrousel du Louvre.
“We decided to regroup geographically toward the center of Paris,” said David Hadida, Tranoï president, also noting that the move reflects “the prominent place of pre-collections” today as the Palais de la Bourse will now be dedicated to pre-collections for men and women, and fragrances.
Bijorhca Paris is to be held from Jan. 20 to 23 at Paris’ Porte de Versailles. Last January, it had 12,018 visitors. Around 400 exhibitors have signed up for January, up from 374 last year in the wake of the Paris attacks.
Stella Cadente was appointed artistic director of the show, a newly created position, said Aude Leperre, who was named Bijorhca show director earlier this fall. Among key points of her strategy, Leperre plans to develop the fashion watches sector.
Première Vision, with a three-day session running Feb. 7 to 9 in the Paris Nord Villepinte fairground, expects to maintain its position as a key upscale fabric fair. The show is bringing back its Maison d’Exceptions, an enclosed area showcasing special manufacturing techniques. Around 30 international companies are expecting to participate, including accessories and leather goods manufacturers.
Première Vision had 55,025 exhibitors and 1,722 exhibitors in February, down from 58,443 visitors and 1,793 exhibitors compared to February 2015.
“Overall, consumption of apparel isn’t good,” said Gilles Lasbordes, general manager at Première Vision, who noted, however, a “shift toward a slight uptick.”
The Made in France Première Vision trade show will run March 29 and 30 for the third edition at Carreau du Temple. Last year, it attracted 2,353 visitors and 107 exhibitors. For its part, Denim Première Vision at Paris Event Center is slated for April 26 and 27, about three weeks earlier than last year’s edition that was held in May in Barcelona.
Salon International de la Lingerie will take place at the Porte de Versailles with a three-day run that begins Jan. 21. Taya de Reyniès, lingerie division director at Eurovet, SIL’s organizer, said new brands to the fair include Lauren by Ralph Lauren, while Lou and Vanity Fair brands are coming back. De Reyniès said French brands are mushrooming. Emerging brands inkling Paloma Casile and Elise Anderegg will be showcasing at the fair.
A new space called Uncover curated by online concept store The Shape of the season will present a selection of around 30 to 40 brands including Naelie, Henriette H and Maison Marcy. SIL has named French brand Simone Pérèle as lingerie designer of the year. The brand opened its first stand-alone store in Paris’ Le Marais area earlier this year. Meanwhile, SIL’s sister event, Interfilière is to honor Italian manufacturer Boselli.
Who’s Next Paris, slated for Jan. 20 to 23, is adding the hall 7.1 of the Parc des Expositions de la Porte de Versailles exhibition centre to halls 2, 3 and 4.
For the upcoming edition, Who’s Next and Première Classe will have a “girls squad” theme built around “new feminism.” Who’s Next also plans to develop three segments — wedding, plus size and home — within the fair’s five areas — Fame, Private, Trendy, Urban and Studio.
Première Classe Tuileries and Paris Sur Mode Tuileries are to be held March 2 to 5. Paris Sur Mode Tuileries is now led by trade-show veteran Sophie Guyot, who’s also behind the creation of Fame, an area inside Paris’ Who’s Next fair.
Capsule Paris Women’s is also to be held from March 2 to 5 at the Tuileries venue, while Capsule Paris Men’s is to be held from Jan. 20 to 22 at Maison de la Mutualité.
Apparel Sourcing Paris, organized by Messe Frankfurt France, is creating an area dedicated to the denim sector. Texworld Paris alongside, as well as Messe Frankfurt France’s newer additions Avanprint, a showcase dedicated to digital printing, and the tech fabric fair Avantex will run simultaneously from Feb. 6 to 8 at Le Bourget.
“The current market for the clients of Messe Frankfurt France fairs is rather good and positive as our clients are better equipped for the European markets, that are not quite homogeneous,” said Michael Scherpe, president of Messe Frankfurt France, who hopes the upcoming edition to attract around 15,000 visitors.