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Jennifer Braun
Mar 11, 2018
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Paris tradeshows witness dull edition to close the season

Translated by
Jennifer Braun
Mar 11, 2018

Fashion Week, March 2018, is not one that will go down in history. Paris did not give off its usual spark this season and the tradeshows, held parallel to the runway shows, were also affected by the same calm.

The new Jean-Louis space - Première Classe - Quentin Chevrier

Following several seasons of development in womenswear, the Tranoï tradeshow saw a steady attendance for this edition. The first day, Friday, March 2, was the best, according to the organisers, while the weekend was a little quieter. Exhibitor feedback estimated that globally the international visitor quota for the show, which accounted for 82 percent of total attendance, had generated a good business flow. Italians, represented 16 percent of visitors, just ahead of the Japanese, representing 15 percent of visitors.
At the Tuileries, WSN Development reported a global attendance drop of 9 percent at Paris Mode and Première Classe, but noted that the latter, devoted to accessories, was more dynamic thanks to its status as a specialist and its variety of exhibitors, numbering 500. The figures prompt the question of whether it's beneficial for ready-to-wear to stick with this calendar schedule. With the sales period on the way, buyers are now interested in purchasing from January, demonstrated by the success of the latest January Men's Fashion Week, which tends to be mixed.

With a strong sales period in January, March is no longer the highlight of the women's fashion season. WSN Development is now wondering what buyers expect from this second session in March, hence the launch of a consultation to visitors to possibly guide future plans. In a statement, organisers noted that the "need for a selective offer of ready-to-wear was confirmed" in the second session, but that it will "work to reinvent ready-to-wear plans" for next October.
"The report is clear this season, the brands that have the best market are those that have accessories," said Antoine Floch, co-founder of the salon Woman, which was held nearby Place Vendome. "At this time of the season, 80 percent of buyers' budgets are already spent, they simply supplement their offer," he added. Also facing a drop in visitors, the tradeshow will also review its model and will present a new mixed format in June, early in the season, while maintaining its October show, but probably in a slightly smaller format.
The organiser behind Man/Woman are also looking for new voices to provide branding services and will take some of its brands to Japan for a communication event for both buyers and the general public. "But the idea is to provide some relief to Paris, to treat Japanese visitors who are essential to Paris Fashion Week," they said.
A new model, including the promotion of brands to the general public, was already tested this season by WSN Development. Under the name 'Jean-Louis', named after the offbeat comic book hero, the new space accessible to the general public was worth experimenting with. While the marketplace open to visitors did not seem very accessible at first glance, the new format, which presented brands in a more airy format, pleased exhibitors.
Organisers also confirmed this new trial format "rich in lessons”, according to Frédéric Maus, co-director general.

"We will not stop there. We will take new initiatives that address the BtoC and allow our partners to radiate beyond the professional sphere on all media and social networks of influence," he said.

In the meantime, more announcements will be made on the season entry format that WSN Development will also launch next June, 'Code Name June'.

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