Gilles Lasbordes, managing director of Première Vision, talks to Drapers about the autumn 18 edition, which took place on 19-21 September.
How has the show gone?
This Première Vision opened in a better context than the previous September. Over the past two years we’ve suffered from the security issues in Europe, and especially in Paris. Some people from Korea, Japan and the US were scared to visit, but now they are back.
What’s new for this edition?
There are many new initiatives. Among them, we’ve added Sourcing Connection, which welcomes a small group of 60 exhibitors from Asia. They are selected through a double process: through our committee, as with any other exhibitor, but they are also verified by Bureau Veritas. They are visited and audited to ensure they are socially responsible, and given a mark. Manufacturers in Asia are so far away, they can tell you things but you don’t know if they’re true – Bureau Veritas can check.
We have also introduced “Focus on…” in the Manufacturing hall for the first time. We used to organise the booths in this hall by country, but six months ago we changed the format and grouped the companies by type of product they manufacture. But companies and trade bodies still want something that promotes a certain destination. It will take place once a year at the September show.
What changes have you observed in the industry?
Globally, the fashion system is shifting. On the luxury side, business seems to be much better than last year. This may be partly a result of China – it was suffering from the anti-corruption policy, but it’s back on track. The biggest challenge is still the move to digital, and retailers don’t have the time and budgets they used to have.
Next year you plan to launch an online marketplace, to connect buyers with exhibitors. Why?
So much is changing in retail – more is online, we’re going from two collections a year to four, to 10. Some short-term production, some longer. Meanwhile technology has improved a lot. The marketplace is an additional tool to help exhibitors to connect with their community. Fabric and leather you need to touch, so it won’t take the place of shows and one-to-one meetings, but it’s a way for people to connect outside of those moments, find new opportunities and update their collections immediately. Because of the number of exhibitors we have, we can build a big catalogue, and because we have a big database we can promote it to a lot of professionals.
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'This Première Vision opened in a better context'