LEAN YEAR: Première Vision is feeling the pressure in Latin America. The international textile trade show is to cancel its fall edition in São Paulo, which was slated for Nov. 4-5.

This story first appeared in the September 24, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Due to the serious economic crisis in Brazil, which affects directly the fashion-textile segment, the show is not able to [stay relevant and effective] to the Latin American market and [has decided] to postpone its 12th edition,” the organizers said in a statement on Wednesday.

It’s undecided when the show will return to its regular schedule.

“Honestly, this will depend on the economic situation in the region,” Guglielmo Olearo, Première Vision’s director of international shows, told WWD.

The executive said consumption in Brazil is at its lowest point in 10 years.

“In the first six months of the year, consumption of general goods, including textiles, dropped 4.1 percent. Analysts estimate that the drop of GDP for 2015 will be at 2.5 percent. Last year, it was close to zero, so you can imagine how violent this change has been. And the unfortunate component in all this is the inflation, which is at about 9 percent,” Olearo lamented, noting that political instability in the country is not helping either.

“Confidence is low. Nobody wants to invest in Brazil because nobody knows what is going to happen,” he said, alluding to the possible impeachment of the country’s President Dilma Rousseff.

Olearo said canceling the November edition and putting the fair “on hold” was a “tough decision,” but that in view of the current economic turmoil in the region, it was a logical step.

“The situation would really affect sales. Ninety percent of the show’s turnover is done locally, and nobody wants to buy at the moment,” he said, explaining that while local exhibitors, which make up about 65 percent of the fair, are having a hard time selling because of the crisis, the international buyers are struggling because of the devaluation of the real, which lost 60 percent this year, rendering European fabrics too expensive for Brazilian producers.

But the executive argues that the weaknesses at home are also an opportunity to shine abroad.

“Local companies have to see this as an opportunity to be more present internationally. To give you an example, out of 2,000 exhibitors at last week’s Première Vision Paris only eight were from Brazil — two in fabrics, two in accessories and four in leather. You can imagine what kind of potential that is. Brazil is a huge market, but there is opportunity elsewhere,” he encouraged.

Première Vision Brazil was created in 2009, and its first edition launched in 2010. It is one of Première Vision’s five international shows, including Paris, New York, Istanbul and Shanghai.

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