Paris Fashion Weeks
Cüneyt Ayral by Ahmet Sel
During the past seven years, I have been visiting fashion fairs in Paris and in other cities throughout France as a journalist and I have been evaluating them as an expert in the textile sector. However, I have once more begun to view them as one of the actors in the play.
The activities, which took place in January and are referred to as "Fashion Weeks", rather than merely fairs, were quite weak.
Paris Fashion Week occurred during the Chinese New Year (Year of the Monkey) and therefore the participation of the Chinese population, who rank among the greatest markets and manufacturers, was limited. On the other hand, the Municipality of Paris held Chinese New Year celebrations. The two colorful activities sharing the same date and place ended with a Chinese victory.
Turkish textile manufacturers showed great interest in the fairs, although mostly as visitors. However, this year the Turkish visitors were hindered by the snowstorm in Istanbul and there were no visitors from Turkey on the opening days of the fairs. Moreover, most of them cancelled their trip when they were unable to fly on the scheduled day.
The fairs were effected by all of these handicaps.
The "Who Is Next" and "Interfliere" fairs were spread over a wider space and hosted a wider range of participants.
Paris Salon de Lingerie and Interfiliere fairs gave the impression that they were more successful at lingerie textiles and accessories than the fairs in Lyon.
However, the publicity campaign efforts of famous brands left the impression that, lingerie sales are not as successful as they had been.
In order to attract attention, Vanity Fair, one of the most famous lingerie manufacturers in the world, used acrobat models, which surprised everybody, for its brands, such as Gemma, Bolero and Belcor that are famous especially in France and other European countries. Well-known observers of this sector criticized this show by stating "They had their models climbing to the ceilings to sell their goods."
In general, there was not much striking originality in the lingerie fair. The observers said that there is a significant increase in the sale of supporting lingerie products such as silicon products used in bras to make the breasts look bigger and Free Supports style products known as "paper bras".
"Who Is Next" fair has been a fair emphasizing "Street Fashion" for the past few years.
The Street Fashion was rather crazy this year and the promotional stand at
Interfilere showed us that it will influence traditional fashion.
There is great demand on low-waist lingerie used together with low-waist clothes.
Nudity is no longer an indulgence in today's fashion. It is now important to determine which part of the body should attract more attention and which part should be decorated more.
The answer to this question was given in the "Who Is Next" Fair: the waist and the area below the waist.
When the new "street fashion designers" between 18-40 in age add the technologies of experienced companies to their incredibly amusing products, a beautiful synthesis occurs.
Wolford, the leading manufacturer of stockings, has begun to get involved in outer clothing in addition to lingerie; and its changes in management were among the news during the fair. Although Wolford did not participate the fair, the company again drew interest with its stocking featuring the famous Playboy Bunny.
Turkish manufacturers have begun to pay attention to these fairs, and the New Night (Gecem) stand was among the most crowded stands at the lingerie fair.
The participants stated that interest in lace was increasing and that unique and expensive laces would again be used both in lingerie and in clothing.
Lingerie Magazine of Turkey participated in the Salon de Lingerie Fair and this year there were several stands for foreign lingerie and textile magazines. Due to the downturn in the European market, companies were quite economical about advertising.
Wholesale companies in France such as Philipe and Assencion presented themselves as brands.
Nowadays, the rising trend is to try to be a "brand" without the manufacturing support and without a factory. However, they neglect to research thoroughly the difficulties of being a "brand" and it seems that these efforts will fail.
It is not easy to attempt this without taking into consideration the advertising investments and without spending the time and money needed to form a philosophy beyond the "brand"s. However, not only in France but also in many other countries the number of manufacturers saying, "I did it my way!" is increasing. The downturn of the European market and Chinese products directly attacking the textile market annoys the sector and sends manufacturers in search of new projects.
The big purchasers in the textile sector do not ask, "How much is this?".
Instead, they state, "I will buy at this price." And this of course
makes things difficult for manufacturers. However the shopping behavior of women
has completely changed. The number of young and middle-aged people who spent
money easily has decreased in aging Europe. And there is quite a difference
in the clothing styles of people. Therefore, the future is in the new current
called "Street Fashion", where the designers are younger…
The next important fair will be held in Lyon on September. Let's wait and see what is new in lingerie.