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Première Vision to See 25% Increase in Exhibitors at February Edition – WWD

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PARIS — With a return of exhibitors from Japan, Korea and China, plus an uptick in pre-registrations by attendees from inside and outside Europe, the outlook for the fashion world’s largest sourcing marketplace is positive in every one of its segments, which span fibers, fabrics, leather, accessories, design and manufacturing.

The overall increase in exhibitors is 25 percent to 1,246 companies, compared to 988 that showed in February 2022, with more than 100 newcomers this year. “We have more exhibitors from outside Europe as it’s now easier to travel, so more Japanese exhibitors, more Korean and more than 40 Chinese weavers,” said Première Vision general manager Gilles Lasbordes.

New at the textile marketplace, a barometer of the global supply chain, is sourcing by geographical zone, a deadstock purchasing itinerary and a dedicated Smart Tech area. The latter aims to help designers, labels and sustainability teams decipher the explosion of digital solutions, particularly in traceability, which is an impending legal requirement.

In the context of high inflation and rising sourcing environmental challenges, ahead of the three-day show for spring-summer 2024 at the Paris Villepinte exhibition center next week, Lasbordes said the word of the season is “vigilance.”

“The year 2023 will be another difficult year economically,” he said, noting that inflation, the energy shock and the ongoing war in Ukraine are impacting companies across the fashion sector, as manufacturers grapple with rising operational costs. While luxury is resisting the slowdown, the entry-to-mid market is fragile, he said, pointing to fashion label bankruptcies, notably of French fashion chain Camaieu, which announced liquidation last fall, impacting the chain’s manufacturers in Asia.

Responding to a survey of more than 100 industry professionals as to how Première Vision can better help them navigate their supply chains this season, the show has reorganized its zone navigation by geography. “We’re creating journeys in response to what our buyers ask for. Local sourcing is one evolution in the supply chain to have a shorter supply chain,” Lasbordes said, noting sourcing teams can exert greater control, be supplied faster and also reduce shipment journeys to help address environmental impact.

Another feature this season is a dedicated deadstock itinerary featuring leftover stock from 124 manufacturers. “For young talent and these smaller or very committed brands looking to use these leftover, small quantities, end of series, fabrics that have been created for previous collections available in limited quantities, there’s no reproduction,” he said. Under French law, the destruction of deadstock is prohibited.

As a snapshot of what’s on sourcing teams’ minds, Première Vision’s 20 conferences scheduled over the three days give majority airtime to tech innovators addressing fashion’s environmental impact, and to both the economic and legislative outlook.

There will be 20 talks over the three-day fair. Photo by Alex Gallosi


Examining the global economic context, and the specific European position of the euro’s decline, Gildas Minvielle, director of the Economic Observatory at l’Institut Français de la Mode (the French Institute of Textiles and Clothing) will explore questions such as, Have private labels had to rethink their sourcing habits?

Dirk Vantyghem, director general at the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), a trade body whose members span Europe’s national trade bodies and unions plus partners like Inditex, will discuss the EU’s textiles strategy. Still in the planning stage, this strategy counts 16 pieces of legislation to drive the sector toward transparency, and promote a new circular business model. “If wrongly designed, that new framework may collapse the European textile value chain. But if done rightly, the changes ahead could bring a paradigm shift in our sector, where competitiveness is no longer based on price only, but also on sustainability and innovation,” the talk preview outlined.

Meanwhile, in January environmental labeling for textiles became a legal requirement for fashion companies making more than 50 million euros, and sold in France. Article 13 of France’s Anti-Waste and Circular Economy law, AGEC, requires textile brands to supply specific environmental and social information on manufacturing and materials such as the presence of micro-fibers, and the true recyclability for clothing and shoes at the moment of sale to the consumer either by a label or by electronic codes. This first wave of environmental labeling across all textiles and shoes impacts first larger companies with a grace adaptation period, with no fines for noncompliance until May. It will then roll out for smaller players.

Lasbordes said the time needed to put it into place for companies that have, say, 1,500 fashion products, is considerable. “We are accompanying them in that, giving tools of understanding to our manufacturers,” he said.

One such tool is the new Smart Tech area, which this season will regroup into one specific zone technology solutions for textile traceability and digital design. To help designers and brands to decipher the offer of 20 fashion tech innovators, the show will offer regular guided tours of the Smart Tech zone. Between a DNA tracer injected into the fiber and twinned with its non-fungible token digital duplicate as at Aware, the use of AI, satellite data and drones as at FBBS, or a software as a service (SaaS) platform as at FairlyMade, tours to navigate the options will be offered in English, French, Italian and German.

To further help understand the season’s new tech innovations for design, the zone will feature Experience Digital Fashion x IFTH: a partnership with the IFTH that will stage physical demonstrations of a digital supply chain. “With many brands using digital prototypes, technology is enabling us to produce less, with reduced traveling of prototypes, and improved environmental impact,” Lasbordes said. Exhibitors will showcase the entire digital journey to show how technology can facilitate prototyping and how the digitalization of materials can improve stock management, optimize costs and limit overproduction.

Marking its return for the first time since the COVID-19 crisis, the February edition will welcome back Maisons d’Exceptions. This selection of 23 handpicked ateliers — including six new ones — is chosen for their rare craftsmanship, bringing very exclusive regional techniques to a global audience. Lasbordes named standouts such as Suzusan, a Japanese atelier using a 400-year-old hand-dyeing technique called Shibori, where parts of the fabric are tied, folded or sewn in multiple intricate steps, to create multiple dye effects as well as 3D motifs and pleat effects.

Another Maisons d’Exceptions exhibitor is Authentic Materials, a French company that collects luxury brands’ byproducts, scraps of leather, say, or variations that don’t make the cut, then uses processes of grinding, heat pressing and compounding to make new materials for accessories, jewelry, art, glasses, watches and more. Their Qiln range, for example, is made of 50 percent recycled shells and 50 percent bio-polymer materials. Following an investment round, the Toulouse-based atelier added Chanel to its host of investors last summer.

Among other novelties, in the show’s Smart Creation zone, Piñayarn is a plant-based yarn made from waste pineapple leaves from Ananas Anam, the makers of Piñatex. Among innovations to address textile waste, Induo will present new, patented technology said to produce new fibers from 100 percent recycled textiles.

The show runs Feb. 7 to 9. The Première Vision online edition will be available after the physical event.


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