Healthy buyer numbers left Première Vision exhibitors upbeat, with UK textiles popular.
While London Fashion Week’s autumn 14 edition drew to a close, textile show Première Vision kicked off in Paris last week, running at Parc des Exposition from February 18-20.
The show was particularly busy this season, with more than 51,000 visitors, up 17% on last year. British buyers were highly visible - 13% of attendees were from the UK, up 12% - and both visitors and exhibitors reported a positive, upbeat mood.
Many of the British exhibitors highlighted a continued desire for Made in the UK, saying there was a noticeable return by the nation’s buyers to materials produced on home soil.
“We’ve been really busy. The mood of buyers has been positive and there has been lots of interest in Made in Britain fabrics. Our super-fancy jacquard and honeycomb jacquard have had lots of attention,” said Chloë Armitage, head of womenswear at silk specialist Stephen Walters of Sudbury, Suffolk. “This PV is better for us because the [spring fashion week] shows are in September, but the timing of the autumn edition makes things much tighter because the [autumn catwalks] are then much sooner.”
01787 372266 www.stephenwalters.co.uk
Liberty Art Fabrics
“It’s been really busy. We’ve seen great returning customers but also some excellent new leads, probably about a 70/30 split,” said Cathryn Broomfield, head of sales in the UK, Ireland and Africa at prints specialist Liberty Art Fabrics. “The French market has been very strong but Italy hasn’t been as good. There’s been lots of new Spanish customers, which is good considering how the economy is there.” She believes the British angle is still strong as it has a “real integrity and is much more than just a trend”, saying the interest in British styles is hereto stay.
“The strength of the pound against the dollar and yen is causing problems,” said Firas Chamsi-Pasha, director of Bradford luxury suitings supplier Hield. “There is not a lot of volatility in raw material costs, but there’s been almost a 10% shift in the exchange rate over the past six months. Despite that, there is still a move towards luxury, but it’s more subtle, not so in your face. Smaller British mills can benefit as we are able to adapt more easily than some of the Italian and other European juggernauts.”
01274 525525 www.hieldbros.com
“This is the busiest I’ve seen Première Vision for a long time. The autumn 14 edition was bland, whereas there seems to be more innovation here,” said David Burke, sales director at silk specialist Henry Bertrand. “We’ve had great reactions to our 3D jacquards, honeycomb piqué and more colourful pieces. I think London Fashion Week slightly overlapping with the show affected the attendance of UK buyers.” Henry Bertrand will accept minimums from three metres, with prices per metre from £10to £100.
020 7424 7000 www.henrybertrand.co.uk
Joseph H Clissold
Bradford mill Joseph H Clissold saw a long line of UK buyers at Première Vision, including Marks & Spencer, Magee, tailor Timothy Everest, Jaeger, Gurteen and Paul Smith. “There seems to have been a more positive mood this season and it has definitely been busier than the spring 14 edition. There has been lots of interest in British mills and wool, and we’ve had great reactions to our checks and bright colours,” said designer Harriet Bunting. Joseph H Clissold has a minimum of 70 metres, with prices per metre from £15 to £30.
01274 721455 www.clissold.co.uk
“Première Vision is good,” said Rob Tetley, sales assistant at waxed cotton manufacturer British Millerain. “We’ve seen the usual big names, including Reiss and Hunter. Being a British manufacturer, the brand sells itself.” He added: “Lighter-weight waxed nylon/cotton blends for spring 15 in brighter colours have been well-received”. British Millerain can produce samples of 50 metres and has a minimum order of 100 to 150 metres. Sampling prices are £8 to £12 per metre.
01706 716370 www.britishmillerain.com
Mohair and fine worsteds weaver William Halstead returned to Première Vision for the first time since 2006, where it showed as part of the Luxury Fabrics stable of mills. “There is a real opportunity to see a breadth of product here. Not everyone can go to [invite-only textiles show] Ideabiella in Milan,” said designer Karen Whittaker, who said she had seen buyers from countries including China, Russia, the UK and France. She added: “New for us this season is a wool and mohair blend in brighter colours that are appropriate for spring such as red, green, purple and blue. Those shades have been well-received by buyers.” Prices per metre range from £25 to £40.
01274 682921 www.williamhalstead.co.uk
“We’ve found Première Vision quieter than normal - whereas we found the London Textiles Fair was very encouraging - and we haven’t seen that many buyers from the UK. A lot of them told us that they weren’t going to come because they would have already seen everyone in London,” said Ian Darrah, managing director of British corduroy and moleskin manufacturer Brisbane Moss. However, he added that UK buyers still made up around 10% of appointments at the show, with Marks & Spencer among those visiting its stand. “For spring 15 we’ve expanded our offer into a wider range of lightweight cottons and linens,” he said.
Brisbane Moss, which is based in Todmorden, Lancashire, will accept orders from one to 1,000 metres, with prices per metre ranging from £3 to £20.
01706 815121 www.brisbanemoss.co.uk
UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT)
“It’s been really good, especially for a spring show. We’ve had visitors to our stand from all over the world,” said
Ann Thomson-Krol, textiles consultant at the UKFT. “More Americans appeared and a good number of Russians
and others from the Baltic markets. Interest in British provenance is still a big thing. British buyers are coming back to us significantly as they know the quality is of a high standard. It’s not just heritage, there’s innovation and design leadership. We have a strong woollen and worsted industry associated with winter but the mills are innovating to create new products.”
020 7843 9460 www.ukft.org
Lochcarron of Scotland
Returning to Première Vision for a spring show for the first time in eight years, Selkirk-based Lochcarron underlined the commitment of many British mills to offer a comprehensive alternative to the usual winter ranges. Lochcarron’s tartan heritage was reworked in a series of checks, such as large-scale madras, that would be suitable for shirts or dresses, while it also had a strong showing of on-trend blazering stripes, including in new blends such as 24/26/26 wool/silk/linen. A range of delavé cloths introduced colour with a subtle look.
“It’s been a very successful return for us,” said sales and design director Dawn Robson-Bell. “We saw 51 customers on the first day alone, including a lot from the UK, Spain, Italy and Germany. Everyone seemed positive. Our prices and minimums are not an issue as people are looking for something new - as long as you can also offer a certain level of service. Buyers are learning the importance of a reliable and flexible supply chain, so are relooking at British sources.”
01750 726000 www.lochcarron.com