PARIS — Moving to stem the tide of destruction from the coronavirus, France’s Fédération de la haute Couture et de la Mode, the country’s governing body for the fashion industry, is setting up an action plan to support emerging brands, including helping them navigate aid from the French government.
“Emerging brands are being hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, which is endangering the entire economic fabric,” said the federation in a statement.
“They find themselves in a fragile position, having to overcome this situation, deal with insufficient working capital, anticipate the accelerating structural changes and innovate in their methods,” it continued.
The federation pledged to continue supporting young brands it has identified; offer personalized support to help labels access state aid, including bank applications to tackle cash flow-related issues, and tap into corporate debt guarantees from the government. It is also setting up a support fund in addition to a fund with French industry body DEFI already serving emerging brands, and organizing seminars on operational topics, like cash management, digital innovation and employment law.
The federation is tightening its partnership with the Institut Français de la Mode to give emerging brands that it supports access to courses at the fashion school.
The Paris Fashion Week showroom Sphere will partner with the business-to-business platform Le New Black to offer a digital showroom for the emerging brands.
The French government has offered a slew of measures to help businesses in a bid to reduce bankruptcies and maintain the links between businesses and employees, but the economic blow is proving harsher than expected. The government has recently placed a priority on helping tourism-related businesses and restaurants, which have been particularly hard-hit. The list of workers who have signed up for temporary unemployment swelled to more than 10 million this week, while gross domestic product forecasts for the country have been revised downward, with expectations for it to shrink by 8 percent this year.