Amid a slightly improved retail climate in France, trade show organizers in Paris forecast attendance for the first half of 2016 to be at least on par with 2015.
Many shows are fine-tuning their strategies to attract buyers. Initiatives include new venues for Tranoï Men’s and Preview, and Capsule Paris Men’s; new components such as Messe Frankfurt’s Avanprint and Tranoï Fashion and Fragrance, dedicated respectively to digital printing and fragrances; a layout reshuffle at Who’s Next and Premiere Classe, and an enlarged showcase for special manufacturing at Première Vision.
The French Women’s Ready-to-Wear Federation forecasts sales in France will stabilize or increase slightly in 2015, after seven consecutive years of decline. This comes because of an increase in household purchasing power.
Sales of women’s rtw fell 0.7 percent in value in the first eight months of 2015 versus the same period a year earlier, with French women spending 6.7 billion euros, or $7.4 billion at average exchange, on clothing. Overall clothing sales, including men’s wear and children’s wear, were down 0.4 percent.
“We think the economic outlook is going to improve due to several positive factors, even if the economic situation in France, especially as far as the general employment situation is concerned, is touchy,” said François-Marie Grau, the federation’s managing director, citing low oil prices, subdued inflation and a lowering of the tax burden.
One change to the Paris scene comes from Messe Frankfurt France, organizer of the Texworld and Apparel Sourcing shows that will run simultaneously from Feb. 15 to 18 at Le Bourget. Messe Frankfurt will add Avanprint, a 21,727-square-foot showcase dedicated to digital printing, and bring back the tech fabric fair Avantex it introduced in September. Both will also run at Le Bourget from Feb. 15 to 18, parallel to Texworld and Apparel Sourcing.
“There’s already a transfer of high-tech to the sportswear and outdoor segments. We offer a platform for fashion,” said Michael Scherpe, president of Messe Frankfurt France.
He cited more confidence among participants as Europe’s economies show signs of improvement. Texworld and Apparel Sourcing attracted around 13,000 visitors last year, 85 percent of which were from outside France. He said new initiatives like Avantex and Avanprint would help the show generate an uptick in visitors this February.
Who’s Next Paris and Premiere Classe, slated for Jan. 22 to 25, will return to Halls 2, 3 and 4 of Parc des Expositions de la Porte de Versailles, after a season in Halls 1, 2 and 3.
“We depend on the works going on at Parc des Expositions,” said a spokesman for the show, adding that there will be a new layout for the fair’s five areas — Fame, Private, Trendy, Urban and Studio.
There are about 1,600 brands, split between apparel and accessories. Last year, the show attracted 59,970 visitors, up 3 percent compared with the previous year. Organizers hope attendance will be on par this year.
Bijorhca Paris is to be held from Jan. 22 to 25 at Paris’ Porte de Versailles. Last January, it had 14,981 visitors, up 8 percent from January 2014.
Salon International de la Lingerie will take place at the Porte de Versailles with a three-day run that begins Jan. 23. In 2015, the show attracted around 15,000 visitors and 450 exhibitors.
Taya de Reyniès, lingerie division director at Eurovet, SIL’s organizer, expects numbers on a par with last year. New brands to the fair include American lingerie label The Naked Princess, and French brands Les P’tites Cousines and Germaine des Prés, as well as German men’s underwear labels Tom Tailor, Ceceba and 2Eros from Austria.
SIL has named Swiss-based brand Hanro as lingerie designer of the year of Paris Capitale de la Création 2016. The brand celebrated the 30th anniversary of its best-selling 1601 top worn by Nicole Kidman in “Eyes Wide Shut.” Meanwhile, SIL’s sister event, Interfilière, is to give good play to jacquard this time around.
For the second season, Tranoï Preview, which features mostly brands that produce women’s collections, and Tranoï’s main men’s salon, are to be held concurrently Jan. 23 to 25 and in the same venues, at the Palais de la Bourse and the Docks — Cité de la Mode et du Design building, on the bank of the Seine river.
Visitors have access to both shows with a single pass that is free. There will be a shuttle service between the locations that includes a boat to cross the river.
“We noticed that buyers for women’s precollections are in Paris during men’s fashion week,” said David Hadida, Tranoï president.
The show is also capitalizing on growing demand for niche fragrances by introducing a scent component — Tranoï Fashion and Fragrance — at its upcoming session.
The Capsule men’s wear show will run for first time in Maison de la Mutualité, in the Latin quarter, a move designed to make it more accessible for buyers. The next edition is scheduled for Jan. 22 to 24.
Capsule Men’s show will bring back Le Nouveau — a section spotlighting emerging designers introduced last season.
The Capsule Women’s show in Paris, scheduled for March 4 to 6, will be held in Tapis Rouge, a building that housed a department store in the 19th century.
Première Vision, with a three-day session running Feb. 16 to 18 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. Next year, 30 international companies are participating, including accessories and leather goods manufacturers, up from 26 in 2015.
Première Vision had 58,443 visitors in February 2015, down 5 percent from February 2014, and 1,793 exhibitors. International visitors made up 73 percent, starting with those from the U.K., Great Britain, Italy and Spain.
“The market is flat. Even if consumption in the U.S. is strong, we remain cautious,” said Gilles Lasbordes, general manager at Première Vision.
The Made in France Première Vision trade show, founded in 2003, will run April 6 and 7 at Carreau du Temple. Last year, it attracted 2,118 visitors and 103 exhibitors.