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2 Feb

Outerwear, Sustainability Front and Center at Paris Trade Shows

PARIS — The recent round of trade shows here during men’s collections saw the return of buyers from Asia and a buoyant atmosphere with traffic back in force. The offer at Tranoï, Man and particularly the sprawling Who’s Next show at Porte de Versailles, which integrated jewelry event Bijorhca in addition to the Salon International de la Lingerie, was broad, with highlights including the ever-growing variety of brands focused on sustainability in addition to the outerwear offer from labels browsing the gorp core wave.

With a recent venue within the Upper Marais — the Garage Amelot — Tranoï was tapping into proximity with nearby men’s showrooms and aiming to turn into a fashion hub in the realm, sharing the space with the British Fashion Council’s London Show Rooms and staging fashion shows for Botter and for Naomi Gunther’s buzzy Gunther label.

“We’re thrilled to be within the Marais, on this recent, barely atypical venue,” said Tranoï president Boris Provost, adding that the organizer will renew the experience at the identical venue in June. “It’s a logical follow-up to the Palais de Tokyo, and it allows us to be near the showrooms. Individuals who have come for the style shows have stayed to go searching, a number of influencers notably, and that may be a recent visitor profile for us.” Around 50 labels were showing within the space.

Asian buyers were back, Provost said. Overall, nonetheless, he observed that buyers’ purchasing habits have modified, and fewer brands were writing orders in situ than they’d have up to now, which has not been the case at shows during ready-to-wear. “It’s really been about networking and discovery,” he said.

Brands showing included Japanese indigo specialist FDMTL, which previously showed at Man. “Tranoï was trying to alter its way of showing, and that was interesting for me,” said founder Gaku Tsuyoshi. “I used to be glad with Man but I assumed I should do something different.”

“It has been incredible since the Asian market has returned in person,” said Daniel Gayle, founding father of DenzelPatrick, showing for the third time at Tranoï with a set that twisted fabrics traditionally used for furnishing into outfits for dressing up. “In Europe, we appear to have a number of traction and excitement, I couldn’t be happier.”

Inside Tranoï and London Show Rooms / Courtesy of Tranoï

Several exhibitors said the shared venue with London Show Rooms had been a bonus, because it had pulled in higher-profile buyers. Among the many 17 designers throughout the London Show Rooms space were sustainable streetwear label LYPH, which exhibited at Tranoï last season, Savile Row trained tailor Yuri Choi, originally from South Korea, along with her Yuri Yuri brand, colourful genderless label House of Jaffa and luxury streetwear label Abigail Ajobi.

One buyer who was glad to walk the Paris trade shows again was Neiman Marcus’ Bruce Pask. “Overall, it’s been a very strong season. The energy on the trade shows were vibrant and full of life, and I used to be glad to see so many individuals in attendance excited to explore the varied vendors,” he said. “There was a pleasant correlation between London Show Rooms and Tranoi. It was a very good fit.”

He didn’t include a particular shopping list, he said. “I would like something that stands out, something that we now have a customer need for, something interesting. We include an open curious mind and I’m taken with seeing things that catch my eye.”

Over at Man, on the Pavillon Vendôme, around 80 brands were present. “Man/Woman was very busy,” Pask said. “Individuals are taking a look at these clothes and shopping these brands due to great, global variety. I used to be also glad to see a number of Japanese manufacturers back here, since it’s been difficult since they weren’t capable of travel.”

Exhibitors included first-timer Griffin, a high-end outerwear-maker from the U.K., which normally exhibits at Pitti. “The Japanese buyers requested that we did Man,” explained partner and designer Karina Griffin. “It’s been good.”

The doorway to Who’s Next / Photo by Kim Weber


Down at Porte de Versailles, Who’s Next, which organizer WSN pitched as “the temple of wholesale,” was busy too. The event incorporated the Salon International de la Lingerie for the primary time, in addition to jewelry event Bijorhca, sustainable section Impact, which continues to grow in scope, with increasingly visitors coming especially to find emerging sustainable brands. “The client gets really excited if something is recycled, they love a story,” said Liz Trendle, owner of The Gate boutique in Guildford, Surrey, U.K.

Staged over three days as an alternative of 4, which organizers said was a part of its drive to scale back energy usage, the combined events attracted 40,187 visitors, of which 60 percent were French — Who’s Next in January traditionally has a way more domestic following than sister event Première Classe, during ready-to-wear.

Footfall at Who’s Next, Bijorhca and Impact was up 57 percent compared with last January, and international visitors tripled, in keeping with WSN. Some 992 brands were exhibiting, including 32 percent of newcomers. “We’ve found some really good accessories, although we’re a bit upset with the ready-to-wear,” Trendle said. “We’ve had a very good season and we’re quite confident.”

Brands to observe from the Paris trade shows:

Label: Daniel Essa

Designs by Daniel Essa / Courtesy of Daniel Essa

Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Footwear

Concept: High-end sneaker designer Daniel Essa, a graduate of Esmod, arrived in Europe from war-torn Syria and created his footwear label in 2017 due to the encouragement of retail veteran Ken Downing. Each pair of his customizable leather designs is available in a box with a variety of various accessories so that they might be adapted by the wearer at will. Stockists include Chalhoub-owned Level Shoes in Dubai.

Pricing: 400 to 695 euros at retail

Label: Weisheng Paris

A glance from Weisheng Paris / Courtesy of Weisheng Paris

Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Ready-to-wear

Concept: First-time exhibitor Wei-Sheng Wang, a Parsons Paris graduate, interned at Loewe and Sacai before launching his gender-neutral collection just last 12 months. Several of his modern tailored pieces incorporated technical fabrics that light up when seen with flash from behind a screen, while a pleat-skirted trenchcoat featured signature harness details on the back in the form of a Chinese character meaning “human.”

Pricing: 65 to 1,933 euros (retail)

Label: Florian Wowretzko

A glance from Florian Wowretzko / Courtesy of Florian Wowetzko

Showing at: London Show Rooms

Category: Rtw

Concept: Former David Koma head of atelier Florian Wowretzko was presenting his twelfth collection, nevertheless it was his first time opening up for wholesale. “Before I used to be working with deadstock fabrics, now I even have suppliers,” explained the designer, a devout Catholic who takes much of his inspiration from clerical garb. His inspiration this season was pictures of distant planets, their canyons and ridges forming delicate swirling relief motifs on certain designs.

Pricing: 190 to 2,500 British kilos (wholesale)

Label: C’est Bon

A glance from C’est Bon / Courtesy of C’est Bon

Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Streetwear

Concept: Self-taught designer Mamadou Bah, who was born in Guinea and grew up in Detroit, created C’est Bon in 2018 when seeking to move forward after a basketball injury. He started off with just a few T-shirts, then expanded into ripstop pants, which have turn into a signature. With the buzzy L.A.-based label, he goals to create a dialog between industrial and artisanal references, offering hybrid designs with a sporty appeal. The brand will likely be launching at Fred Segal next season.

Pricing: $75 to $400 (retail)

Label: Walkers Appeal

A glance from Walkers Appeal / Courtesy of Walkers Appeal

Showing at: Man

Category: Rtw

Concept: Founded in 2016, Spain-based Walkers Appeal goals at “the Carhartt boy who has grown up,” in keeping with managing director Latif Arouna. Designed to permit the wearer to shift easily from office to leisurewear, it offers a wardrobe for men and girls with workwear-inspired shapes and subtle design details, made with hard-wearing organic and recycled fabrics designed to last, all manufactured in Spain. A second-time exhibitor at Man, the brand is ramping up wholesale and hoping to focus on major retailers.

Pricing: 202 euros for a trenchcoat, 150 euros for a workwear jacket (wholesale).

Label: Carrier Goods by Purple Mountain Observatory

A glance from Carrier Goods / Courtesy of Carrier Goods

Showing at: Man

Category: Outerwear

Concept: This newly launched outerwear brand based within the U.K. was founded by outdoor enthusiasts and apparel designers Georgia Smith, who previously worked in design for brands like Fred Perry and Katharine Hamnett, and Matthew Braun, who has worked for Abercrombie & Fitch and River Island, browsing on the gorp core wave and with an idea built around a web based community. Their offer combined an earthy color palette with revisited shapes (jackets had subtle batwing sleeve details, for instance) and hi-tech fabrics.

Pricing: 50 to 360 British kilos (retail)

Label: The More Project

Designs by The More Project / Courtesy of The More Project

Showing at: Who’s Next/Impact

Category: Rtw

Concept: Théodore Lambert, who worked in finance before deciding to launch his own brand, defines his label, launched last September due to Ulule, as a “gender-more” concept. Launched with a single product, an ecru shirt constituted of an organic hemp/cotton/lyocell mix featuring 21 buttons that enable the wearer to change its shape at will, he collaborates with a wide range of emerging artists to show them into one-off pieces. Sold online only, he’s hoping to open up wholesale.

Pricing: 270 euros (retail)

Label: Panafrica

A design from Panafrica / Courtesy of Panafrica

Capture la vie Noury Kevin

Showing at: Who’s Next/Impact

Category: Footwear

Concept: Seven-year-old vegan sneaker label Panafrica works with artisans in Morocco, Ghana, Cöte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso to create its colourful designs made with materials like recycled soles, apple skin and Seaqual, constituted of ocean plastic. The digital native brand is broadening its distribution, and its founders Vulfran de Richoufftz and Hugues Didier have also arrange an incubator to supply advisory services to like-minded young designers, called WeJump, aiming to assist them scale their business.

Pricing: 129 to 149 euros (retail)

Label: Gigi Paris

A design from Gigi Paris / Courtesy of Gigi Paris

Showing at: Who’s Next

Category: Costume jewelry

Concept: Using vintage buttons from luxury clothing that’s past its best, Salomé Kassabi, who comes from a family of antique dealers, and Morgane Guyennot created jewelry brand Gigi Paris, named after Salomé’s grandmother, in 2020. With around 65 points-of-sale already, mainly in France and including Galeries Lafayette Haussmann and Printemps du Louvre, their limited-edition and one-off products have garnered a robust following. In addition they offer rigorously restored vintage pieces, and are working to create pearls from recycled plastic to make use of in future collections.

Pricing: 80 to 250 euros (retail)

Label: Pieux

A glance from Pieux / Courtesy of Pieux

Showing at: Who’s Next

Category: Rtw

Concept: Indian designer Pratyush Kumar, whose fashion role model is Stella McCartney, creates his colourful architectural designs using a specially developed fabric, Cartex, constituted of discarded yarns from India’s carpet industry, combining it with materials like recycled polyester. He studied corsetry within the U.K. before returning to India and creating his label, and that informs his silhouettes, which mix corsetry techniques with athleisure references and inventive pleating and origami-like folding.

Pricing: 350 euros (average retail)

Label: Kickers

Designs from Kickers / Courtesy of Kickers


Showing at: Who’s Next

Category: Rtw

Concept: In footwear, the Kickers name needs no introduction, nevertheless it selected Who’s Next to launch its first ready-to-wear offer, a genderless offer aimed toward kids between 18 and 25. Inspired by the label’s original shoe, which launched within the ‘70s, the road features vintage-inspired basics constituted of organic cotton, recycled polyester and deadstock fabrics featuring a graphic “K” logo.

Pricing: 39 to 109 euros (average retail)

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