Translated by
Nicola Mira
Sep 24, 2019
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Parisian trade shows ready to claim their share of fashion week action

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Sep 24, 2019

Paris Fashion Week opened on Monday September 23, and the Première Classe, Woman, Tranoï and Splash trade shows - the latter a novelty this season - will follow suit at the end of the week, a further destination for buyers coming to the French capital for the runway shows.

Poster for the Première Classe show in September 2019 - © Jefferson Fouquet - Céline Saby

The Première Classe show is staged by WSN Développement (also the organiser of Who's Next) at the Tuileries gardens in Paris every March and September, in parallel with the fashion week, and this year it is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The event, chiefly dedicated to accessories, is scheduled from Friday September 27 to Monday 30, and this season it will broaden its horizons with some special features: the first is an exhibition of exclusive items created by 30 designers to mark the show’s 30th anniversary. The theme was ‘If I had to do it again, what would I do?’, and for some designers this translated into a reinterpretation of their work, while others trod entirely new paths.

Première Classe will showcase 400 accessories exhibitors, plus some 50 ready-to-wear labels and, in addition, 15 lingerie and swimwear labels selected by Exposed, the creative platform launched several seasons ago by SIL, Paris’s International Lingerie Show. For the second time, Not Showroom will bring to the show a contingent of Chinese designers, while former winners and finalists of the ANDAM and Hyères Festival’s emerging designer competitions, of which Première Classe is a partner, will also be highlighted.

Finally, to promote eco-responsible fashion, Première Classe has invited two other partners: the first, sustainable luxury show 1.618, will showcase, within a special eco-designed area, 10 sustainable labels and projects, among them Valentine Gauthier, Christina Krämer, Amédée Paris, Jem, Sceau by Sanaui and Tangy Collection. In the same spirit, Première Classe also invited Goooders, a new website for “premium ethical fashion targeting engaged travellers,” presenting six of its brands. Another instance of eco-responsible fashion, one open to the general public as well as buyers, is the multibrand pop-up store by Face to Face, a Parisian retailer specialised in ethical fashion and independent designers.

Not far from the Tuileries, at the Carrousel du Louvre, the Tranoï show will be staged on the same dates as Première Classe, from September 27 to 30. Tranoï recently expanded its format, with several showrooms simultaneously active in Paris, bringing together agents and fashion labels at the Atelier Richelieu, and the London Show Rooms designers at rue de la Roquette. Tranoï’s original event is now called more traditionally Tranoï The Tradeshow.

The event is clearly in transition, and its organiser, now headed by Boris Provost after the departure of David Hadida, is keen to demonstrate it is taking a new direction from the forthcoming edition. Tranoï wants both to reaffirm a more creative positioning, and offer more services to exhibitors. For example, during the 4-day event, once again held at the Carrousel du Louvre and Palais de la Bourse venues, visual merchandisers and social media managers will be on hand to advise exhibitors.

A visual for the Woman show in September 2019 - Man/Woman Shows

Although the number of exhibitors has decreased, with 350 labels showing this season as opposed to 450 last year, Tranoï is nevertheless continuing with the thematic approach it introduced a few editions ago, and the next womenswear session will be split into four sections. The first, called ‘Vacations Edit’, is dedicated to resortwear, featuring names like Le Petit Trou, Inouitoosh, Agua de Coco, Ibeliv, Temptation Positano, Manebi, Sadh and Ergon Mykonos. Ethical fashion will also feature, specifically “brands that are socially engaged and responsible in their production process and business model, like Rocio, Wheve, Pero, Mii Collection, Stella Pardo and Leafy Natural Couture,” stated Tranoï.

A third section will bring together accessories exhibitors (among them Bianca Makris, Aeneis, Lalique, Helena Thulin, Begg & co, En Shalla, Kaai, CA4LA and Hazina), while the fourth and last section will focus on lifestyle and will have its own specific setting, “furnished and decorated like a contemporary Parisian apartment, in partnership with [interior design brand] Petite Friture,” said Tranoï. Among the exhibitors in this section, French ready-to-wear and accessories labels like Destrée, Alice Balas, La Seine et moi, Stella Pardo and Do Paris.

Sustainable fashion will also be the central theme of the forthcoming edition of the Woman show, which will again be held in Paris at the Pavillon Vendôme (7 place Vendôme) from Friday September 27 to Sunday September 29. The show will not feature a section specifically focusing on sustainability, but the latter is now the prevalent criterion for exhibitor selection. Woman showcased a range of 70 labels in New York on September 15-17, and will present 80 womenswear labels in Paris this season.

Among the new ready-to-wear and activewear names showing at the Pavillon Vendôme, PH5, a US brand keen to reinvent knitwear, renowned Finnish label Marimekko, Moroccan designer J. Llambias and Rus, a high-end Spanish brand. Also from Spain and a first-time exhibitor at Woman, artisanal shoes brand About Arianne, alongside US sustainable activewear label Girlfriend Collective and handbag brands Mashu, from London, and Oad, from New York.

The marquee hosting resortwear and beachwear show Splash in June 2019, at the Alexandre III bridge in Paris - Splash

The fourth Parisian fashion show is now as established as Woman, but only a short while ago it was still considered a newcomer to the fashion week scene: those days are over now, since Splash has carved out its own space. It was launched in summer 2016 by The Claret Showroom, and until now this swimwear and resortwear B2B event was held in Paris during the men’s Fashion Week in June. This season, it will be staged also during the women’s Fashion Week, from Sunday September 29 to Tuesday October 1, under the usual set of marquees along the river Seine, by the Alexandre III bridge.

It will be a busy first autumn session, with about 180 exhibitors from the beachwear, resortwear and accessories sectors, with nearly 40 new entries.

Most of the exhibitors come from outside the country, and only 5% of them from France.Among them, brands like Melissa Odabash, Moeva and Tatiane de Freitas, as well as several activewear brands. Visitors will also be a very international bunch, thanks to the organisers’ connections with the English-speaking world. Last June, Splash attracted 1,000 visitors, and it is expecting 1,500 for its first autumn edition.

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