amy Winters’ thunderstorm Dress is part of the Wearable lab at PV

Let creativity prevail.

This story first appeared in the January 25, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

That’s the message from organizers at Première Vision Paris, with stats confirming that despite ongoing global economic and political instabilities, the creative materials market is outperforming the world market.

According to the inaugural Première Vision Barometer, implemented as part of the IFM-Première Vision Chair launched in January 2016, creative textile production rose 1.6 percent in 2015 versus the prior year, while the market as a whole slipped 1.1 percent. In emerging markets, creative materials spiked 9.6 percent versus 4.6 percent for the general market.

“When the market is difficult, companies need to invest in creation. [We are] in a good position in terms of prospects and we will keep on innovating,” said Gilles Lasbordes, general manager of Première Vision Paris, which, at its upcoming edition, will present two new international economic indexes relating to the activity of the fabric and leather sectors for creative fashion.  The event is slated for Feb. 7 to 9 at the Parc des Expositions in Paris Nord Villepinte on the outskirts of Paris.

The show in its conference lineup will focus on key emerging trends, such as the resurgence of proximity sourcing, particularly in the countries that create fashion, organizers said, citing the current economic and political context among contributing factors.

Gildas Minvielle, director of the IFM Economic Observatory, will present the results of a related study conducted for the IFM-Première Vision Chair titled “The Resurgence of Local Sourcing.”

Leather will also move into the spotlight this session, with Première Vision Leather in Hall 3 set to present a beefed-up offer of resources targeting the high-end footwear, leather goods and clothing markets.

“Première Vision in the past was associated with fabrics, but it’s not the same story anymore. Today we have to be about a global offering covering all types of materials,” said Lasbordes, adding that the heightened focus on skins reflects the growing importance of the category in the transversal strategy of brands today.

The dynamics of the luxury sector, despite challenging times, is bolstering the tanners’ business activity, he said.

According to the Première Vision Leather Index, the creative fur and leather materials market in 2015 registered a 3.9 percent rise in volume versus 2014, compared to a 0.9 percent uptick for the global production index.

Reflecting the strengthening of synergies between the event’s six shows — spanning the yarns, fabrics, leather, designs, accessories and manufacturing sectors — organizers will introduce targeted and coordinated operations between the fabrics, leather and accessories shows for the sourcing itinerary of leather-specialist buyers and designers. This will also be reflected in the event’s inspiration forums.

Two daily workshops hosted by the Luxury Materials Workshop will cover topics including “Alligator leather: a precious material, a passionate material” and “Decorative techniques that drive creativity.”

The event’s Smart Creation program of roundtable discussions will explore responsible practices for creative companies in the leather industries.

Elsewhere in textile innovation is the area of sustainability and green production. Over the past decade, PV exhibitor Marchi & Fildi developed Ecotec, a “smart” cotton, a Made in Italy yarn produced by a process that’s traceable and certified, transforming cotton pre-dyed textile clippings into a cotton yarn with record savings in water and energy consumption as attested by the LCA study conducted by ICEA, said chief executive officer Massimo Marchi.

Marchi & Fildi also created an e-commerce site where clients can buy most of its yarns online, seeing immediate availability and shipping within 24 working hours.

Among other developments, Première Vision Manufacturing will feature a new segmentation of its offer as follows: Softwear, covering fluid clothing casualwear and citywear; Suitwear; Special Skills, focused on swimwear, outerwear and accessories; “Tee’s & Co.,” presenting cut-sewn knits; Shirts Up and Upper Jeanswear.

The show will also host a second exhibition by L’Eclaireur aimed at highlighting the creative ties between the upstream side of the fashion industry and the final product. The Paris retailer has commissioned a selection of designers to produce creations around a “men by night” theme using materials selected from mills that are presenting at the show. The items will also be presented at L’Eclaireur at the end of February, before being sold in limited editions.

Tackling fast-moving developments in the field of wearables, meanwhile, a new section called Wearable Lab will explore innovations merging the spheres of fashion and technology.