WWDMAGIC has completed an agreement with the French trade show Prêt à Porter Paris to bring a group of French brands to the U.S. market at its next show in Las Vegas, in August. WWDMAGIC expects to import 20 to 30 brands and will showcase them in a special section of WWDMAGIC called Heart of Prêt, situated in the better-to-bridge area.

This story first appeared in the May 5, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Among the brands that have already signed on for the initiative are 2026 Paris, Akela Key, Carlopik, Coline Diffusion Sacoline, Didier Parakian, DP Jeans, Fred Sabatier, Lauren Vidal, Mado and Paul Brial. Most of the brands are showing in the U.S. for the first time.

“This partnership gives buyers the opportunity to see a significantly enhanced assortment of top French brands — many of which have not been seen in the U.S. — without having to travel to Paris,” said Chris DeMoulin, president of MAGIC International and executive vice president of Advanstar’s Fashion Group, which operates the MAGIC shows.

The majority of brands that will participate in the new section will be French, but others may come from additional European markets that participate in Prêt à Porter Paris, said DeMoulin. This is the first time in recent memory that a MAGIC show has partnered with a foreign show for a co-branded venture.

The brands that participate in Heart of Prêt will be showcased in a similar setup in the September edition of Prêt à Porter Paris.

“We believe a partnership with WWDMAGIC is the most logical step in reaching all of the U.S. market,” said Jean-Pierre Mocho, president of the Fédération Française du Prêt à Porter Féminin, which produces the Prêt à Porter Paris show in partnership with GL Events.

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