Not only will visitors of its March edition get their fix from the 250 brands tapped to show their fall 2022 collections in the Tuileries gardens, they’ll be getting a two-for-one deal thanks to a showcase from fine jewelry trunk-show Precious Room by Muriel Piaser.
“We continue to be in an open approach to innovative projects and new ways of doing business, which had led us to welcome the Man/Woman selection for two editions,” said Frédéric Maus, general director Première Classe organizer WSN Développement.
Offering a fine jewelry edit addresses the market’s growing appetite for this segment. “It is developing strongly and is ultra-creative. Big houses are driving the high and fine jewelry, but there is space for more,” he said.
Launched in 2019 as a biannual one-day event followed by a networking soirée during Paris’ haute couture weeks, Precious Room by Muriel Piaser was meant to address a gap in the market, according to industry veteran Piaser.
“When I launched my previous project in 2006, The Box [later purchased by WSN], high fantasy and emerging fine jewelry came together, but as the former started to bridge the gap with accessories, the latter went for individual, more intimate showcases that matched their luxury positioning but losing out on the synergies offered by a group event,” she said, adding that market interest in fine jewelry and avant-garde high jewelry followed the increasing presence of fine jewelry in fashion and its democratization.
The Precious Room by Muriel Piaser space will feature 10 brands, including Greek jeweler Minas; French designer Hélène Zubeldia, a Lanvin and Chloé alumna, and Filipino designer Ann Ong, who previously showed at Maison & Objet.
Pairing up with Première Classe will give them more commercial exposure, with a longer time frame to showcase their wares, while keeping the intimate format of her one-day event, according to Piaser. “Like a capsule, the selection will be about the essence of each brand, meeting them one-on-one,” she added, likening the approach to the slow fashion movement.
And the return to physical formats, on the scale of Première Classe, is a huge bonus. “We all need these moments. It’s not one to the detriment the other,” added Piaser, who partnered with digital showroom Le New Black since May 2020, crediting strong community management on digital platforms as a key to building the kind of lasting connections that saw her brands through the pandemic.
Maus concurred, adding that physical remained the best platform “where confidence is built — meeting, touching, exchanging and appreciating a brand,” although the trade show’s digital tools remained an essential conduit for continuing conversations beyond the four-day event.
So while registrations figures were still down 8 percent for Première Classe compared to editions held during the pandemic, Maus felt confident, bolstered by the 5 percent increase in visitors to January’s edition of Who’s Next, also organized by WSN. “Given the context, that upward trend is great. You also have to take into account the fact that for most buyers, the pandemic isn’t over so decisions to travel or not are taken at the last minute,” he noted.
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