PARIS — Looking to hook a consumer increasingly spoiled for choice, retailers were on the hunt for undiscovered treasures at the recent edition of Tranoï Femme here, held over four days across three venues: Palais de la Bourse, Montaigne and Carrousel du Louvre.
Velvet, fur and shearling were the main ingredients of collections, with outerwear the strongest category, notably capes, maxi coats and furs. Other trends included androgyny, Victoriana and luxury bohemian influences. Textural treatments, such as patching, added surface interest, with black, camel, midnight blue and bottle green ruling the season’s palette. Vendors said retailers were behaving cautiously, with some citing a quieter show than usual, but the overall feedback from buyers was positive. Budgets were mainly stable.
“My challenge is to find one-of-a-kind pieces and the beauty of buying here is that you can find unique brands,” said Hana Choi, creative director of Project Rue, based in Seoul, South Korea, whose favorite collections included Harris Wharf London. “Things are getting very competitive as people who used to shop in department stores are turning towards independent boutiques, then there’s all the competition online; they have access to everything.”
“People here look for newness,” echoed Josie Natori, a first-time exhibitor at the show. “We want to be in boutiques in Europe — it’s time.”
Also looking to break the European market was Karolyn Pho, a young designer based in New York who opted out of fashion week to show at Tranoï. She was satisfied with the contacts she made, citing a broader range of international buyers compared to local fairs. Her collection was inspired by the roots of skate culture, triggered by a recent trip to Barcelona. “It really reminded me of the Z-Boys and the era of Dogtown in Venice Beach, Calif., back in the Sixties and Seventies,” she said. Highlights included an oversize hand-quilted bomber honed from fabrics from previous collections and a dress in a Mexican poncho fabric with exposed seams. “It’s my take on the Mexican drug rugs from the hippie era,” she explained.
Highlights from the Upcoming Talents section included Rains, a Danish outerwear brand specializing in revisited classics, like sporty windbreakers and anoraks in punchy hues, and Mos Mayorum, a Milan-based label focused on contemporary takes on the women’s suit, combining sartorial techniques with whimsical touches, like a retro print of a couple having an argument.
Holzweiler’s collection featured prints from Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s iconic tome “Earth from Above,” as well as a limited-edition collaboration with artist Ernesto Artillo. The buzzy Norwegian label started out with scarves and moved into ready-to-wear 18 months ago.
Browsing the color-blocked shearling jackets at Unfleur, Marie-Pierre de la Chapelle, manager at the 16th arrondissement outpost of Victoire, which boasts 13 stores around France, including in Megève and Saint-Tropez, as well as one store in Tokyo and two stores in Saint Barth, said: “We’re looking for special things that surprise us, pieces that work from day through night.”
Cyrielle Christiaens, artistic director at Kure, a multibrand boutique in Brussels specializing in attainable luxury, lauded the diversity of Les Prairies De Paris’ collection, saying: “My style is more rock and I can find something, and my friend who is more bohemian can find something too.”
Zayed Al Falasi, chief executive officer of avant-garde Dubai-based e-tailer The Style Chamber, which is planning a pop-up store in London in September, mentioned zany Turkish label Maid in Love among favorites, which featured a sweatshirt in a planets, pills and mushrooms print with colored fur sleeves. Founder Hande Cokrak worked on the design teams of several leading Turkish brands before creating the label in 2011.
Ivan Gilkes, cofounder of In Support Of, a store based in New York’s Meatpacking District specializing in emerging designers while supporting charitable causes, cited among highlights the clean-cut fake fur coats by D.Efect, the Lithuanian label that recently caused a social media storm with its teddy bear faux fur coat. “We’ve seen a lot of shimmery finishes and ‘fuzzy but stiff’ textures,” he said, adding that the concept of commercial in Europe is very different from in the U.S. “It’s kind of over the top,” he said.