PARIS — The World Cup soccer championships to be held in Paris next June and July are wreaking havoc on the fashion schedule here.
The fall couture shows have been pushed back to start almost two weeks later in July than they did this year, and the SEHM men’s wear trade show session for the spring 1999 season has been moved back to Sept. 4-7, from its originally planned dates of July 3-7.
The World Cup finals will run July 3-12, with the playoffs starting June 10.
The designer men’s wear shows, however, set to take place from July 3-7 to accompany the previous SEHM dates, will stay put, according to Jacques Mouclier, president of the Chambre Syndicale, the governing body for French designer fashion.
“We don’t plan to change the dates. Fashion journalists are organized, and have already booked their rooms,” Mouclier said. “It’s one thing for the trade show to change the dates. But the designer collections are about suits, and July is the selling time for that product.”
As for the later timing of the women’s couture shows, to be held July 18-22 compared to last summer’s schedule of July 6-10, Mouclier said it was not because of a feared shortage of hotel rooms. Rather, he said, the shift was made so the couture will get the proper media attention on television and magazines. Mouclier worried that if the shows took place during the World Cup soccer action, there would be little room left for fashion.
“I have noticed that in July, when there are not a lot of news events, the haute couture gets a great deal more press coverage than it does compared to the summer haute couture shows in January,” he said.
SEHM show director Claude Miserey attributed the date change to the lack of hotel rooms in Paris, or plane reservations to Paris during the World Cup.
SEHM has traditionally been held in September, but for the first time, SEHM last summer advanced its dates to July to better accommodate the trade. The July show, however, was met with mixed reviews.
At a press conference here Monday, Miserey said, “A lot of exhibitors and visitors did like our change to a July session from our former September dates, but our exhibitors have told us that they cannot get hotel or plane reservations for the originally planned July dates.”

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