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Comment: Warm reception for chilly Première Vision

Drapers braves a snowy Paris to report on the latest trends from the spring 19 edition of textile fair Première Vision.

premiere vision spring 19 overview

There was snow on the ground and a wintery chill in the Parisian air as Drapers joined the steady trickle of visitors winding their way up the long path to Parc des Expositions for the spring 19 edition of textile fair Première Vision, which ran on 13-15 February.

The plummeting temperature caused travel chaos in the week leading up to the show, but organisers breathed a sigh of relief after the worst of the ice thawed just in time. Inside the cavernous halls of the Parc des Expositions stands were busy and there was a buzz in the air as visitors from around the globe searched for the very best fabrics, leathers and finishings.

“It has been a great show and has allowed us to really showcase what British textiles are about,” said textiles consultant Ann Thomson-Krol, who was part of the team representing the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT).

“We’ve seen visitors from around the world, including eastern Europe and Russia. There haven’t been as many Chinese visitors as there have been in previous editions, but perhaps that is because Chinese New Year also took place this week and people are travelling.”

There were 1,725 exhibitors from more than 50 countries at the spring 19 edition, up 1.6% on last February’s show (the autumn edition, which takes place in September, is typically bigger). Attendance figures dipped slightly to 54,500 visitors, down 3% on last February’s event. More than 70% of attendees were international, coming from more than 120 countries. 

With 657 exhibitors, fabric powerhouse Italy once again had the strongest presence at the show, followed by France with 254 and Turkey with 163 from Turkey. There were 112 exhibitors from the UK. 

“The show has been busier than we thought, although footfall definitely picked up on the second day compared with the first,” said Chris Hipps, global director at colour and chemicals company Archroma Color Management. “There have been lots of buyers from the domestic French market and from the UK, but also from the US.”

When it came to trends, texture was king. Drapers spotted plenty of playful finishes and dimensional structures. Spring florals were given a bold spin with raised detailing, metallic threads, frayed edges and psychedelic colours.

Overall, exhibitors were happy with the number and quality of visitors they had seen at their stands. Some said PV had met, rather than exceeded, expectations, but most confirmed that the show is still the one to attend to meet the right buyers from around the world.

Views from the aisles

Adam Getty, sales executive, British Millerain Co

The show has been really great for us, really busy. We have seen a lot of the buyers we wanted to see and who were on our hit list. British Millerain sells globally, so we come to Première Vision mostly to see international visitors. We’ll see a lot of the UK guys at British textile fairs. There have been buyers from Paris, Spain, Italy and the US on the stand, among others. I think being a British brand and having it in our name does help us, it is synonymous with quality.

Richard Mannion, creative director, Bella Tela

The world comes to Première Vision and it is definitely the main textile trade show for us. It is always a busy show and this edition has been good for us. There have been buyers from across the world, including Australia, the US and the Middle East. We sell to 45 countries, so seeing international buyers is good. When it comes to trends, buyers have been particularly excited by fabrics with movement, anything with volume and texture. I think they like the idea of British quality, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all of what they are looking for.

Trevor Brann, agent, Abraham Moon & Sons

It hasn’t been a bad show, it has been up to expectations. We’ve been coming to Première Vision for years and it always does the job. There haven’t been as many visitors from the US on the stand, but we’ve seen buyers from Japan, China and Belgium. We come to see buyers at the mid to upper end of the market and they are definitely here. People have been particularly interested in our wool cashmere and our wool linen fabrics, because they look good and are right for the season. We’re known for making woollens, but I think we’ve cracked spring too.

Hugh Cullen, president North and South America, Ulster Weavers 

It’s been excellent for us, really busy over all of the days we’ve been here. We make linens, so we only come to the spring version of the show, which was strong last year and even better this time around. Première Vision is a great entry point to the world – obviously we see buyers from the UK and from Europe, but we’re also seeing more and more from Korea and Japan.

Jillian Rae, account manager, Alex Begg & Co

It has been a really good show for us, it’s been great for networking and we’ve seen people we definitely wouldn’t otherwise have seen, which is great and why we came. There have been buyers from across Europe. I think being a British fabric manufacturer is definitely an advantage. Lots of people on the stand have asked if we produce in Scotland and when they hear that we do, they are very interested. 

Pascaline Wilhelm, fashion director of Première Vision, reveals the spring 19 trends

What is new at Première Vision for spring 19?

This season, we have introduced PV Perspectives, where we asked experts from around the world for the season’s key directions across all the different sectors, from fabrics to leather and accessories. The fashion world isn’t easy, it is increasingly multiplicitous and complex. We have to make sure we can give the market a clear perspective. The key words for the season are delicacy, suppleness, hybrid, shine and minimal.

What are buyers looking for?

The evolution of sustainable textiles has been really interesting and it is definitely something buyers are talking about. It’s interesting – sustainable fabrics aren’t a new thing, this is something the industry has been talking about for the past 15 years. However, we can now offer these fabrics in a seductive way. Even as recently as five years ago, when we were looking for sustainable fabrics, the amount of choice was very poor and they were often boring. Now, we are able to offer beautiful sustainable textiles across every part of the show. The industry has really caught up. Sustainability isn’t a trend any more – it is part of the market.

What colour trends are you seeing for spring 19?

We’re seeing lots of complementary colours and colours within the same families, like blue-green or green-blue. There has been the evolution of millennial pink and yellow, which is still very important. I think what is interesting is that a lot of these colours, like millennial pink, sit somewhere “in between” and “in the middle”. They aren’t brights, but they aren’t pastel and they aren’t fresh colours. It is more complicated.

Comment: Warm reception for chilly Première Vision

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