Appeared In
Special Issue
WWDStyle issue 02/01/2011

PARIS — Despite pressure on prices from raw material manufacturers and apparel makers, the organizers of premium fabric event Première Vision are confident that it will be “business as usual” for their February exhibition.

This story first appeared in the February 1, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The three-day show, which will take place from Feb. 8 to 10 at Villepinte, north of Paris, will show fabrics for the spring 2012 season.

“The pressure on production costs is creating uncertainty and tension within the industry,” said Première Vision chief executive officer Philippe Pasquet. “The evolution of labor costs, added to the growing interest of Chinese textile producers for their booming domestic market, can quickly mean the transfer of production from one country to another, or even one region of the world to another.”

Even with these issues, Pasquet remains convinced the show will be unaffected.

“Because we have an extremely diversified palette of products, we are not impacted by potential arbitration between fibers that have become less competitive than others,” he said. “This is all the more so because our positioning in the market in high added-value, technical or creative products makes the raw material less important.”

Eve Corrigan, ceo of tweed manufacturer Mahlia Kent, a regular exhibitor at Première Vision, mirrored this sentiment.

“Last year we more than doubled our sales, so I am extremely serene at the approach of the show,” Corrigan told WWD. “We prepared for the crisis by widening our offer so we could be more flexible and more creative. Moreover, we are selling a dream, a luxury product, and a price rise of a few cents is neither here nor there.”

Among the company’s new products is a vintage line that evokes the emblematic fabrics of its beginnings — Mahlia Kent is the company behind Chanel’s famous tweeds.

The number of exhibitors for the event are up 4 percent from last February, Pasquet noted, adding, “We will welcome 669 exhibitors from 29 countries.”

Among the 34 new exhibitors that will show their wares is Russian linen weaver Rulinen, which previously showed at Texworld.

“We have wanted to exhibit at Première Vision for many years,” said Rulinen’s marketing director, Maria Reshetneva. “It’s important for our image and our reputation.”

The company, which has two mills outside Saint Petersburg, will present a collection of pure linen and linen blended with cotton, silk or wool. By exhibiting at Première Vision, Reshetneva hopes to attract designers from major apparel manufacturers.

PV fashion director Pascaline Wilhelm predicts that casual fabrics will continue to be strong, in continuation of the tendency seen in the fall 2011 offerings.

“Colors will be intense without being saturated,” she said, adding that acid yellow and pink are recurrent. “Beige will take over from gray. There will be paradoxes between the tactile and visual aspects of the fabrics.”

As to technical developments, she welcomed the idea that the “reassuring 100 percent natural” theme that has been prevalent in recent seasons has been usurped by one where “we dare to mix fibers like construction materials.”

PV will be highlighting the work of art and fashion research lab Dyloan Studio, which will demonstrate different means of joining fabrics together like soldering and gluing, already present in activewear.

“It opens real avenues of opportunity for future development,” Wilhelm said.

To allow visitors to pick up on key trends, PV has created a seminar series called TrendVision that will cover the major creative themes, how to mix fabrics and harmonize colors, and recommendations by market category.

Première Vision is expecting to see as many visitors this February as at the winter edition last year, based on preregistration.

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