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Who’s Next Q&A: On the stand with...

Boris Provost, communications director of Who’s Next Paris

We are now into day three of the tradeshow, how is this season going so far?

So far we are really happy with the exhibitors and the turn out from buyers. With the economic downturn it’s undoubtedly a difficult time for fashion but there seems to be a positivity and an energy at Who’s’ Next this season. The Mexican theme has injected a bit of life into the show and people seem to be making the most of it.

What kind of feedback have you received from brands and buyers?

I’ve had a great response from brands. One shoe designer told me last night that he had made €300,000 worth of orders in two days, that’s brilliant in anyone’s books!

Did the show see a strong international buying contingent this season?

One of our key objectives was to make sure there was a good mix of buyers from all over the world. We are not just a European show. There was a big increase in the number of Japanese buyers signing up early for registration; we also have a strong Middle Eastern following. This season has seen a rise in international buyers and a decrease in French visitors, no doubt due to the weaker market conditions here.

What are your projections for footfall this season compared to last year?

Last season we had 50,000 visitors. I expect this season to be the same.

What changes have you implemented in this season’s show?

Well the daily fashion parade is one thing! It’s much more than a catwalk show, its art itself. It has really brought up the energy levels and it captures the Mexican theme of the event perfectly.

We have also worked on the layout of the show making it much easier to navigate around. When we first started we wanted to push buyers to discover new things so we would have a mix of products placed together but as we have grown and developed over the years we realised that we needed to have a clearer structure.

Buyers are much busier now and they have less time and budget than ever before so they need to be efficient when they visit trade shows. We wanted to make it as simple and as easy as possible for them.

Is there anything you would like to change for next season’s show?

Yes, I would like to attract more UK buyers! At the moment we have about 2000 visitors from the UK but we need to work on promoting Who’s Next over there to show buyers that it does offer something extra special.

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