NEW NICHE: Now in its fourth season, the Designers Apartment initiative supporting young French designers and backed by the Chambre Syndicale is carving its place on the Paris fashion schedule. The event, which ran from Feb. 28 to March 6, grouped together five new brands alongside five that have shown creations in the showroom before.


The bright, airy space, at the Atelier Richelieu near the bourse, “has allowed me to create a strong setting in which to show the brand,” said Alix Thomsen, of the preppy Thomsen label, who was there for the first time. She had built a set within the space with beach huts to show off her designs, which included knitwear and exclusive prints. Thomsen said she had seen strong interest from buyers including Le Bon Marché and New York’s Opening Ceremony at the event.


Franco-Chilean designer Octavio Pizarro participated for the third time. “People are coming back to see us, especially those who liked the collection last time but did not have any budget left,” said a spokesman for the designer, whose fourth ready-to-wear collection was picked up by retailers including H. Lorenzo in Los Angeles. The label focused on knits this season, including dresses, and its simple knit maxi dress was proving a bestseller.


Another newcomer was Avoc, which was presenting its first collection and had already been picked up by Centre Commercial in Paris. “The visibility has been good,” said co-designer Bastien Laurent. “We have met buyers we could never have met in a showroom.”


The other labels showing at Designers Apartment this session were Aurélie Demel, Etienne Deroeux, Iris Cantabri, Monographie, Risto, Thierry Colson and Y/Project.