Jan 23, 2013
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Who's Next Paris: snowy conditions contributed to a decrease in visitors

Jan 23, 2013

The unfortunate weather could leave the Who’s Next Paris organisers feeling as if their best efforts did not reap the rewards they deserve for the January 2013 edition of the show. However, it is not likely that they were able to predict a drop of 11% in the number of visitors (for the first three days of the show), partially caused by snowy conditions that set in over Paris over the weekend. According to the statistics, the show saw 19% less French visitors, 23% less English, 17% less Spanish, 15% less Italian and 7% less German visitors than the year before. On the bright side, Asian visitors were more than 9% more numerous this season; 9.2% to be precise.

The Fame section of the show

The main explanation for the fall in visitors comes down to the snow that started to fall on Friday night, according to WSN Developpement co-founder Bertrand Foache. For many of the show’s exhibitors, the snow was their only critique. A decrease in the number of visitors was expected by most, with many exhibitors themselves having to cancel appointments because of the weather.

Bertrand Foache took time to point out that the “disappointment” wasn’t as apparent inside the exhibition halls, where the aisles and stands were buzzing.

Laetitia Bosc of the brand 75 Faubourg was happy with the number of new clients that she was able to mett, despite admitting there was a noticeable decrease in visitors because of the snow. “We even had some German clients that had to sleep at the airport because of the snow.”

At La Petite Française, Director of Sales Patrick Zenou said on Monday afternoon, “there were no huge crowds at the show, that is certain, but we still met some interesting people and got new contacts.”

Cédric Allouche, boss at Deby Debo, also noticed the decrease in visitors and mentioned that he was waiting to hear from big international clients to see whether they would be able to make the show. “No one can be blamed,” he said. “It is just unfortunate that the snow decided to fall this weekend. To not be busy on a Monday afternoon is not normal.”

Mr Brown at Who's Next

The new layout of the show - that saw the Mr Brown section moved to the ground floor and Private grouped across different halls – went down well with exhibitors. Some exhibitors, however, did seem a bit confused by the changes. Bertrand Foache has confirmed that the current show layout will remain for the next few seasons, after two seasons of change following the merger of Who’s Next and Prêt-à-Porter Paris.

The biggest success of the show seemed to be the relocation of Mr Brown to the ground floor. Exhibitors and visitors alike were able to appreciate the new found visibility of the section.

The menswear section of Who’s Next was the subject of many a conversation. Exhibitors were surprised at the variety of brands present, ranging from smaller, younger brands to bigger labels, already established in retail. The mix was very much appreciated, with brands like Niyazi Erdogan bringing a touch of creativity and labels such as Aloha from Deer adding an offbeat tone, both of which were welcome following a somewhat shaky period for the show.

Jean-Paul Leroy (with Bruno Joly, Anais Lerévérend, Olivier Guyot, Matthieu Guinebault, Sophie Chaudey and Sarah Ahssen)

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