A lot of news regarding French trade shows emerged at two events last week: a trend seminar featuring Eurovet’s fall 2013 Interfilière textiles fair and a summer 2012 forecast for the Mode City intimates and swimwear show, and a presentation titled “Global Fashion Trends: The Insider View From Paris.”

This story first appeared in the May 23, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Each event was staged May 16, at one venue — the business lounge at 7 West 34th Street, where Eurovet’s marketing visitor director Sandrine Dervin outlined key trends, and a soiree at the French Consulate in Manhattan, where speakers included Xavier Clergerie, general manager of WSN, a unit of Comexposium which acquired Sodes this month. The acquisition combines the Who’s Next and Premiere Classe fairs with five venues formerly run by Sodes: Prêt à Porter Paris, Atmosphere’s, The Box, LivingRoom and The Train.

The big story at the Eurovet presentation was the entry of the trade show giant into the U.K. market with its first trade fair called London Fast Fashion Tour, scheduled Nov. 7 to 8 at the Olympia 2 center in London. The show will focus on fashion apparel and textiles, said Dervin. The lineup of 150 exhibitors will include three categories: Branded and private label collections; manufacturers; sub-contractors and co-contractors, and weavers, knitters and accessories suppliers.

“The British fashion market is one of the most concentrated and cutting-edge venues in the world,” said Dervin. Retailers expected to attend include major department stores Marks & Spencer, Harrods, Selfridges, John Lewis, Debenhams, as well as specialty chains such as Top Shop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, James Lakeland, and Jane Norman. Hypermarkets including Tesco and e-commerce businesses like asos.com will also be targeted, she said.

Hervé Huchet, director of fashion distribution at Eurovet, said a turnout of 2,500 buyers is anticipated.

“These buyers represent 80 percent of the fashion market in the U.K., which has had a significant decline in its textile manufacturing industry since the Nineties. They need to find new manufacturers,” said Huchet. “We did a market study on the most promising countries and the U.K. was the first on the list. But our aim is to develop a road show all over Europe, including Spain, Italy, and Germany. The U.K. is just the first step.”

Meanwhile, Dervin said “a lot of excitement is building” for the first July edition of Mode City and the Interfilière textiles fair at the Porte de Versailles which will be staged July 9 to 11. More than 25,000 international retailers are expected to review 500 lingerie and beachwear brands as well as 300 textile and lace suppliers.

“The entire show — intimates, beachwear and textiles — will be housed in Hall 1 and it will be the first time the same trends will represent both intimate apparel and swimwear. It will also be the first time that fashion trends for both categories will be featured in the catwalk fashion shows. There will be three catwalk shows a day and we will bring back the Ultra Fashion Show on July 9, which will be held in the Pavillon Cambon at the Place Vendôme for 700 VIP guests,” said Dervin. She added that the theme for the Ultra show will be “Travel Diaries” with one-of-a-kind prototypes of intimate apparel and beachwear, all co-designed by exhibiting brands and fabric specialists.

“We will also be featuring another first — a social media promotion on Facebook and LinkedIn, and we will be launching an interactive online show map so buyers can navigate the show with ease,” said Dervin.

From a retailer’s perspective, Kecia Manuel, manager of research and development for Pink intimates and swimwear at Victoria’s Secret, said, “I’m very excited to go to the Paris show in July. It’s a great opportunity for one-stop shopping for fabrics and trims…over the last two-to-three years we’ve seen a need for more speed to market.”

Later that evening, WSN’s Xavier Clergerie told WWD, a final blueprint that will merge the newly acquired trade shows for ready-to-wear and accessories will be unveiled in October. However, he did disclose that the first change will take place with The Train, a platform for international ready-to-wear brands staged in New York.

“After the September edition, we will not run The Train directly. We are looking for a partner,” said Clergerie.

Addressing future plans, Clergerie said the portfolio of seven trade fairs will be segmented by product categories but operate as a “very large entity.”

“Before, there was a lot of competition among the shows…what we are in the process of doing is putting together a very big organization that will print out our objectives and goals, a global entity, and if people want to see everything that represents the world of fashion they will have to come to Paris,” said Clergerie, who is expected to head the trade show consortium. A purchase price was not available, but Clergerie said the twice-annual Prêt A Porter Paris venue, which he described as a “world-class brand name,” generates annual sales of “20 million euros” for the company.

Jean-Pierre Mocho, president of the Federation Francaise du Prêt A Porter, described the merger as a “big story for the new greater Paris.”

“Business and emotion is the target we want to develop.…This is an important story for exhibitors as well as visitors,” said Mocho.

As for advertising and marketing plans, Boris Provost, WSN’s manager of communications and international development, said, “The marketing campaigns will be merged under one umbrella and a substantial budget.

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