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The Parisian salons gain stature


Feb 1, 2011

The first session of the professional salons with the objective of revealing the best fashion of the Autumn-Winter 2011-2012 season ended on a satisfactory note, both in terms of attendance numbers and of the general buzz. The first assessment:

the general trend was directed towards upselling. The salons are pushing towards the top of the range through an enriched and well studied global offer.

“Prêt-à-Porter Paris”, and the two fairs in tandem – “Who’s Next” and “Première Classe”; and the “Salon International de la lingerie” and “Interfilière’, the three most eagerly awaited events each tried to move upmarket. Who’s Next presented a new group of designers aiming to reach multi-brand buyers seeking exclusivity. Named “Fame Atelier”, this brought together the couture collections of 10 or so designer labels in a 150m2 space, half of which were new, such as Yael Landman, Lou de Beauregard, Anaëlle Peridot, I Congini or The Black Line by Barbara.

During this time, elsewhere in the capital, the major ritual of women’s fashion, “Prêt-à-Porter Paris” launched its new fashion event, “Paris Fashion Showroom”. Last Saturday and Sunday, 25 upmarket and lifestyle brands took over at the L'Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild in the 8th arrondissement. This new commercial space goes “beyond the simple presentation of brands, and is above all a crosscutting exhibition space with discoveries, desires and encounters among fashion aficionados” insists Muriel Piaser, The director of all of the Prêt-à-Porter Paris (PAPP) salons.

With the support of Maria Luisa (the ambassadress for the event), of the first virtual fashion salon Lenewblack.com, the Spanish designer Amaya Arzuaga or also the presence of the Japanese designer Miki Mialy, winner of the Paris Capitale prize of Création Atmosphère’s (the show dedicated to creative collections), PAPP confirmed its luxury positioning and its desire to be the premier showcase for upmarket design.

At Pavilions 3 and 4 of the Porte de Versailles, retro fashion reigned at the Salon International de la Lingerie (the most international of the Parisian fashion salons, with 70% of exhibitors and 65% of visitors from abroad) as well as at Interfilière. Ultrafeminine materials and sculpting and high-tech underwear invaded the stands, making way for the “shell” bras of the 1940s and 50s, panty girdles, slim look bodies and corsets. In the context of the podiums, the trend towards prêt-à-porter lingerie has been confirmed. It is not by chance that Interfilière and the Salon de la Lingerie coincided with the week of haute couture fashion shows in Paris. More than ever this season, in the major houses, dyes, materials and transparent sets were borrowed for lingerie. The pin-up of modern times, the woman of 2011 dares, composes and recomposes herself endlessly.

This edition was characterised by the internationalisation of the visitors. The entry of Russia and Turkey into the top 10 was noted, as was an increase in visitors from the United States. Professionalism and availability are the keywords: “Paris is one of the rare cities in the world where bosses and design teams are present on the stands,” observes Marie-Laure Bellon Homps, Chairwoman of the Eurovet board.

For the exhibitors, the feedback is positive. “For me, this is clearly the best salon we have done in recent years. We noted more enthusiasm, more business. We are very happy with the diversity of the visitors, and have received almost every possible country, in particular Asians, Chinese, Koreans and even Japanese”, witnesses Franck Abolo of Noyon Dentelle. “This was a good session, which allows me to say that we can see light at the end of the tunnel. Visitors showed themselves to be more optimistic and clearly more open to novelty and to lively colouring. Customers are more daring, while remaining very big on the most refined products”, explains Marcel Dunner of the Swiss company Union AG.

The French lingerie market in figures (source IFM):
  • 2010 revenues: Euro 2.7 billion, i.e. an increase of 4% relative to 2009.
  • Lingerie represents 17.5% of spending on women's clothing.
  • Average budget per woman in 2010: Euro 100 (+7%).
  • Parisian women are the biggest spenders on lingerie in the whole of France.
  • France is the largest European market, ahead of Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. Frenchwomen dedicate the largest budget to purchases of underwear, ahead of English and Italian women.

From our correspondent in Paris