Armand Hadida: "New York's desire for hegemony should not be underestimated"
A satisfying second New York Tranoï trade show, an edition at Paris' next Cité de la Mode et du Design in January, and the conviction that Paris has to fight to retain its position as the premiere fashion capital, Armand Hadida shares his views on the current news in the fashion world with FashionMag.
FashionMag: You just recently held the second edition of Tranoï in New York? How did it go?
Armand Hadida: It went better than the first one, in terms of organisation, for example. We had better expertise with the work tool and higher attendance. The weather also helped compared to the February edition.
FM: A change of location has been mentioned as of February 2016? Where exactly is happening there?
AH: We will remain at The Tunnel for another two seasons, but we have found another spot that will be a surprise!
FM: You are putting a lot of energy into this presence in the United States. What is at stake?
AH: It is currently without a doubt our biggest challenge. The United States represent such potential. Plus, the same thing is happening Stateside as in Europe. Retailers are not calling themselves into question, even though they're customers today are better informed than they are. We have to offer something new, complementary, European. That is what we are doing.
FM: You often speak of the feebleness of retailers. Are things changing or not?
AH: They haven't realised that everything around them is changing. It's the great transhumance for consumers. They are travelling more, both physically and via the Internet, with the latter offering them fashion from around the world.
FM: You are speaking of changing how retailers go about things, how about trade shows? Is Tranoï going to step it up?
AH: Of course, the trade shows also have to evolve. A trade show has three missions: ensure a link between all of participants, buyers and exhibitors; serve as a place for discussions; and above all be a place of discovery. For example, exhibitors should show off the best of their offer and not just line up 400 clothes hangers. Some things have to be left to the imagination.
FM: You will be a part of the Cité de la Mode in Paris this January. What will you be doing there?
AH: Things are set to really start moving in March for womenswear. In addition to the Bourse and the Carrousel du Louvre, we are going to try a new approach to a trade show. We are working on it and I am not going to say any more, but I do hope there will be surprises.
FM: On the eve of Paris Fashion Week, Bruno Julliard, First Deputy of the Mayor of Paris, shared the city's ambitions in terms of fashion with FashionMag. Is there a threat to Paris?
AH: There is above all very strong competition. Milan is already a slight victim, having lost its golden seat. Professionals in the sector cannot cover all four capitals. New York and Paris are the leaders and far enough apart, while London is stuck between the two and buyers have understood that even though Italian brands walk the runway in Milan, they offer a showroom in Paris. For now no one is questioning Paris as the leader with the diversity of its offerings, but a co-leadership with New York may one day be in the cards. We cannot in Europe underestimate New York's desire for hegemony.
FM: What are your feelings on it?
AH: Honestly, it's not the first city where I would choose to live, but it does have an energy, a vibrancy conducive to entrepreneurship. It's a fact. There is also the economic dimension. Look at the flagships that are opening there. The city attracts South Americans but also Asians.
FM: But the Japanese come to Paris and like the city. And Tranoï as well, wouldn't you say?
AH: That's true, but Japanese trade professional know the city by heart now. And the enjoyment of a fashion week is also stepping outside of the norm, work-wise as well as on a personal level. For them, New York offers the taste of newness.
FM: One question for the retailer you are, when do you expect the opening of L’Eclaireur in Los Angeles to be?
AH: The construction work only began this September. It was to open at the beginning of 2016. One year after the initial scheduled date.
FM: Why is that?
AH: The United States often has a lot of rules. Yuu can even say that sometimes it's more complicated than in France!
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