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Première Vision kicks off with strong Chinese interest

The first day of autumn 16 edition of textile exhibition Première Vision in Paris (September 15-17) kicked off to a strong start, with a surge of visitors from China and the Far East.

“The show is really busy and in terms of demographic, we’ve seen a lot more people coming from China which is really exciting,” reported group sales director at cloth merchant Holland & Sherry Lindsay Taylor. “I was at [Italian fabric show] Milano Unica last week and there weren’t as many Chinese visitors in attendance as there are here. We’re also seeing more Japanese buyers. Today on our booth alone we’ve seen customers from the UK, France, Italy, the US, Middle East, Russia, the Netherlands and even Greece.”    

Keith Walker, managing director of Carlisle-based weaver Linton Tweeds, reported a similar interest from Chinese boutiques, looking for fabric to create their own collections. “We have been swamped today with customers all looking for the latest yarns and weaves. A lot of Chinese boutiques have come onto the stand looking for fabric to make their own garments and we see them as really quality customers.”

UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) textile consultant Ann Thomson-Krol noted lots of interest in British designs from the Chinese, Japanese and American customers flocking to the UFKT trend stand. “They have been drawn to the winter coatings and have shown lots of interest in the bulkier weaves from the British mills. They’re particularly interested in the tactile, unfinished look.”

Chinese interest was also strong at Liberty Art Fabrics. “I think we’ve been busier than normal and we’ve seen a surge in interest from the Far East,” noted head of design Tessa Semple. “Customers mostly come to sample the collection. I think we’ve seen 10 real decision makers so far.”

In terms of UK participation, the first day of the show attracted design teams from Oliver Spencer, Laura Ashley, Universal Works, Nigel Cabourn, The White Company and designer Christopher Raeburn.

The autumn 16 edition of Première Vision boasts 154 new exhibitors, from countries such as Hungary, Colombia, Macedonia, Albania and Serbia, amongst the total 1,924 exhibitors from 57 countries. The UK contingent of 144 exhibitors is the third largest behind Italy and France.

One such British company is Alexanders of Scotland, which was experiencing strong interest from visitors for fresh designs. “We’re seeing a lot of good interest in the new collection, particularly some pastel fabrics, which although feminine in colour are being well received by tailors for men’s suitings,” said designer Caroline Smith.

New for the autumn 16 show is denim zone Upper Jeanswear, including 35 exhibitors spanning weaving and garment manufacturing, including Turkish fabric manufacturer Kipas Sportswear. “The presentation of this new area is the closest it’s come to looking like Denim by Première Vision,” noted Seclan Ictener Arslan, sales executive at Turkish fabric manufacturer Kipas Sportswear.

“Whereas we go to Denim by Première Vision to meet denim specialists working to long lead times, we come to Première Vision to meet fast fashion companies who might not have bought yet and are looking for fabric for spring 16. We meet a mixture of established clients and new designs, and while some write orders, most come to discuss the new collection.”

The show runs until September 17.

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