Economic uncertainty and terror fears failed to dampen the mood on the first day of Première Vision Paris (PV), with the textile show on track to attract 58,000 visitors across its three days (February 16-18).
Exhibitor numbers were also on the rise, climbing to 1,725 companies from 52 countries – up 17 on the February 2015 edition of the show. On a country basis Italy led the way, followed by France, a growing contingent from Turkey, the UK and Spain, all making the journey to Paris to present their spring 17 collections.
Première Vision Paris director Gilles Lasbordes used the first day of the show to announce the launch of a new event targeting luxury and designer brands sourcing for their pre-collections. Running from July 6 to 8, Blossom Première Vision will feature a select group of 60 to 70 exhibitors and will take place at the Palais Brongniart in central Paris.
Although the spring edition of PV is traditionally quieter than the September session, the mood was bright on day one, reported London-based textile consultant Beryl Gibson: “We have seen lots of agents and customers coming on to the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) stand looking for British fabrics, in particular tailoring fabrics. They are responding well to the new-found confidence of the British mills.”
This opinion was echoed by William Halstead, sales director at Huddersfield-based mill Taylor & Lodge: “While the spring show is usually the quieter of the two it’s been busy and we’ve definitely seen a good response to the new styles, in particular our 100% cotton cloth, which is new for spring 17.
“While there are established customers who always come on the stand, I’d say around 50% of the people we see at the show we’ve never met before and that’s why PV is such a good opportunity for us. We might get the odd sample order, but it’s more about customers selecting the designs and patterns they like before sampling.”
London Textile Fair founder and agent John Kelley felt the self-service ticketing system and heightened security measures were, however, slowing footfall into the halls.
“It seems a bit quiet, as it takes time to get through, but I don’t think people have been put off attending by the terror situation. The second day should be busier as people tend to visit shops in Paris or go over to Texworld on the first day of PV and then come back to the show.”
Over at fellow Paris textile show Texworld (February 15-18) the second day proved quieter, with exhibitors expecting visitors to split their time between the two Parisian shows. China continued to dominate the 659 exhibitors at Texworld, with participation also strong from Hong Kong, Korea, Pakistan and India. Show organiser Messe Frankfurt was pleased with the “busy and positive” start, highlighting a 30% year-on-year increase in the number of exhibitors in the Apparel Sourcing section, taking the total in this area to 200 manufacturers.
Sales manager at Dutch textile company Knipidee, Remon Cieraad, was pleased with the first day, although he was yet to see the real decision makers in attendance.
“The first day was very busy and today has been quieter, but that’s to be expected as it’s the first day of PV,” he said. ”While we’ve seen buyers and stylists, we’ve not really seen the decision makers yet. There has been a lot of sampling, but I think in the next two to three weeks we will see the requests for production come in.
“This is a very international show and we’ve already seen companies from the UK, Scandinavia, Spain, Greece, Poland and Russia. We have met some people from the US, but not as many as usual from Japan.”
Première Vision and Texworld will run until February 18.