Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Brands worry international buyers will avoid Who's Next

The autumn 15 edition of Who’s Next in Paris got off to a steady start today, but many exhibitors were worried about the impact of recent events in the city on international trading over the four-day event.

In the first few hours at Porte de Versailles, where Who’s Next has been held for 20 years, only a handful of stands were busy.

Some had anticipated a slow morning, such as Flemming Jensen, sales director of womenswear brand Ichi, which is launching its debut footwear and accessories line at the show. He told Drapers it was not unusual for the Saturday and Sunday to be busier before slowing down again on the final day, which this season falls on January 26.

“We’re not worried about the number of people at the moment. We haven’t seen many international buyers, though 99% of our UK accounts are smaller independents,” he said, giving Drapers Independents Awards 2014 finalist Caramel Clothing as an example.

But others were concerned that the level of visitors from outside of France could remain low compared to previous seasons, following the recent attacks in Paris, which started with shootings at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Rémy Arnaud of contemporary womenswear brand Rizal, which is stocked in Harrods, said: “I am anxious about recent events. I believe it will deflect international trade away.”

This was echoed by Franck Ellia, co-owner and designer of womenswear brand Majestic Features: “We’ve seen some [buyers] from Spain and Japan, but others are probably keeping away because it has only been two weeks.”

Sales manager at Danish brand Samsoe Samsoe, Andy Sorensen, said he was surprised people were avoiding Paris, but said locals had told him they had seen fewer people in Paris since the attacks.

The majority of buyers spotted in the early stages of the show came from Spain, Japan and Tokyo, as well as from France.

Among the few UK buyers in attendance was Amanda Sullivan, owner of Brighton and Aberdeen-based independent womenswear boutique Sirene. She told Drapers her buying strategy has changed following last year’s warm autumn weather. “I’m not touching mohair,” she explained. “I did last year and it all ended up in the sale. I’m looking for something new, particularly in accessories. It’s best to come in the winter as that’s when you find the most stuff you haven’t seen before.”

A number of talks are taking place alongside the show covering topics such as opening a store, merchandising concepts and launching a fashion brand.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Thierry BAYLE

    The Retail Expert Club which was offering free seminars and 1-2-1 with brands and retailers was packed. All expertise were covered which was really nice as you could take 1 appointment with each expert if necessary.
    Buying/ Merchandising- how to get the right product at the right time in the right quantity
    Styling advice and choosing the right colours, mix and match products
    Creating the right Brand identity
    Choosing the right product range
    Store concept/ layout and customer journey

    I am sure that the recent incident may have reduced the traffic. Hopefully the stats will be released soon and we will know.

    Thierry Bayle

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Thierry BAYLE

    Due to the 20 years' of the show you had some good entertaining and the first day we could see the DeLorean car( "Back to the Future" - movie you must remember ).

    The event with the motorcycles may have been great for bikers and may be less great for me. Overall still positive though.

    Thierry Bayle

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.