PARIS — The recent round of trade shows during Paris Fashion Week hailed the return of Asian buyers in force, returning to find shaken-up formats and an array of new and revamped brands. At Première Classe in the Tuileries gardens, footfall rose 57 percent on last March’s edition, to reach 10,736, with twice as many international visitors as a year ago. They accounted for 67 percent of footfall.

Numbers were at last back to pre-pandemic levels, said Frédéric Maus. show organizer WSN Développement’s general director. “The fashion community is back in Paris, and there’s a real sense of dynamism,” he said. “Wholesale is back, and online sales are slowing.”

Inside the show, the organizer had shaken things up, with more mixing of categories between accessories, ready-to-wear and jewelry to encourage traffic through the space and an enhanced scenography. Some 400 brands were exhibiting, including 30 percent of newcomers.

“This edition is more interesting. The layout of the booths is different and has changed in a good way,” said Tomomi Asako, ready-to-wear brand director at United Arrows. “There are more ready-to-wear items than before, which I particularly like.”

Outside Première Classe / Credit: Kim Weber


Over at Tranoï, at the Bourse, some 155 designers were showing, and buyers were back — and remarking significant changes to the show’s format compared with three years ago. “We’ve had very strong feedback from major retail accounts. Visitors are adhering to the new concept and congratulating us for the changes,” said Tranoï chief executive officer Boris Provost. “People are writing orders, which was less the case in September; the business aspect is much stronger. It’s still complicated for young designers to get new retail accounts but less than it was six months ago; there is a place for creativity,” he added.

Hat designer Coco Bagtazo, showing at Tranoï for the first time, said business had been brisk. “Everyone’s buying for the future again, which is nice. People had been buying in-season, which was challenging for wholesale.”

Mahdi Aridj Photography

Inside Tranoï / Credit: Mahdi Aridj Photography

Mahdi Aridj Photography

Color and storytelling were the name of the game, as buyers and stylists sought out standouts among the younger brands to complement core collections seen on the runway and in the showrooms. “I’m glad to see color is hitting in fall,” Bagtazo said. For jewelry, it was also statement pieces that caught the eye.

“We did most of our must-have buying in New York last week, we’re looking for something extra,” said Edie Caldwell, of Alice boutique in Nashville, Tennessee. Trends spotted at the Paris shows included pinstripes, corduroy and lots of color, she said.

“Emily in Paris” costume designer Marylin Fitoussi was among the visitors at Tranoï, and she praised the colorful collections, in contrast with the more subdued silhouettes she had seen on the runways. With the Netflix show’s success, she has made it her mission to promote young designers and as such the Paris trade shows offer a wealth of newcomers to discover, she said. But she was also shopping for new projects.

“I’m looking for emotion, to be surprised,” she said.

Her highlights at Tranoï included the African designer showcase with Creative Africa Nexus (Canex), as well as designers from South Korea showing under the Seoul Fashion Week initiative, where newcomers this season included Vegan Tiger and Kwak Hyun Joo.

“It’s clothes I love, not fashion. It’s rewarding to be able to give power and visibility to these young designers. I love their enthusiasm and passion,” Fitoussi said. She also picked out jewelry brands Stone Copenhagen, from Denmark, and MAM, from Spain, among favorites.

African designers are on the rise, Tranoï’s organizers highlighted during a conference just before the show to highlight the initiative, which was put in place by the African Export-Import Bank to support the continent’s creative industries.

It was the second time for the initiative but this time, with 17 designers showing in a larger, dedicated space, buyers were paying attention. “Last time, it felt like an exhibition. This time, it feels like we’re here to do business,” said Judy Anderson, founder of her eponymous label.

Emiko Kataoka, executive director at Japanese retailer Anayi, visiting Première Classe, was happy to be back after three years away and noticed the changes to both format and offer. Despite the weak yen, she was keen to shop for something new, with Japan’s mask mandates set to be lifted fully from April, expected to be a strong driver at retail. “People are going out again and events like weddings are back on, as well as back-to-school season in April, with lots of ceremonies, so they are looking for occasionwear and to dress up again,” she said.

Nevertheless, she said, the weak yen means the retailer is mindful of budgets. “It’s 1.5 times more expensive than before the pandemic so we need to be careful.” The Japanese buyer highlighted trends including colorful collections and hair accessories at Première Classe. “Accessories are big rather than small,” she said.

Over at Woman, which retained a scaled-back showroom format in the Marais, director Antoine Floch reiterated that sentiment, saying that despite being glad to be back, international buyers were feeling the pressure – not just on collection budgets but on travel, with hotel and restaurant prices having skyrocketed in Paris.

“Things are getting back to normal, but brands and retailers are being really careful. Flights are crazy, and people aren’t staying over the weekend,” he said. “But we need to connect and try to get through things together. A lot of us are independent businesses, and we’re all in the same boat.”

Highlights at the Paris trade shows

Looks from Judy Sanderson. / Credit: Courtesy of Judy Sanderson

Judy Sanderson

Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Ready-to-wear

Story: Judy Sanderson pays tribute to the elders of her homeland, South Africa, and her adopted country, Portugal, with her tailored wardrobe, using deadstock and working with older tailors and patternmakers close to her studio. Known for her structured shoulders and outerwear, each color in her collection has a meaning in Zulu culture.

Price range: 69 to 686 euros (retail)

A look from Dimension Cachée. / Credit: Courtesy of Dimension Cachée

Dimension Cachée

Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Rtw

Story: Self-taught designer Marie V. was among the newbies at Tranoï, with a collection combining statement pieces in dévoré silk velvet with workwear basics in shades of blue, écru and black. Highlights included a kimono dress and a miniskirt with press-stud fittings that revealed shimmering cycling shorts underneath.

Price range: 90 to 1,195 euros (retail)

A design from Sabina Savage. / Credit: Courtesy of Sabina Savage

Sabina Savage

Showing at: Première Classe

Category: Rtw and accessories

Story: U.K.-based Esmod alum Sabina Savage only started drawing after working as a print designer at Alexander McQueen. She has made her intricate graphics into a signature, first launching scarves based on her sketches in 2014 and more recently luxury ready-to-wear, including striking reversible padded jackets in her fall collection inspired by Tibet, for which she worked with historians and experts to ensure accuracy.

Price range: 40 to 600 British pounds (wholesale)

Jewelry by Capucine Huguet. / Credit: Patrice Maurein

(c)Patrice Maurein

Capucine Huguet

Showing at: Première Classe

Category: Jewelry

Story: After interning for some of the main Place Vendôme jewelry brands, Hyères accessories prizewinner Capucine Huguet chose to go it alone, turning her conviction for environmental preservation projects into a brand concept. Inspiration for her fine jewelry pieces made from 18-karat gold and diamonds, both recycled, includes marine plankton and the melting glaciers, for which she traveled to the North Pole on a research trip. Part of her profits go to a carbon capture project.

Average price: 1,700 euros (retail)

Designs from Luise Zücker. / Credit: Kristina Kast

Luise Zücker

Showing at: Première Classe

Category: Jewelry

Story: Berlin-based Luise Zücker specializes in “empowering jewelry,” in her own words. Starting out with futuristic laser-cut metal headpieces, worn by artists on stage, she has branched out into jewelry with a range of galvanized brass earrings and gold plated and silver rings inspired by the shape of a vulva, as spotted recently on Cara Delevingne.

Price range: 30 to 300 euros for jewelry, 300 to 1,500 euros for a headpiece (direct-to-consumer).

A design from Nilau. / Credit: courtesy of Nilau


Showing at: Première Classe

Category: Leather goods

Story: Marie Veyron grew up on an ostrich farm, her family raising the lofty birds for meat. With the idea of using their skin, a byproduct, her brand was born. The skins are treated at the only tannery in France to work with delicate ostrich leather, less than 20 kilometers from the farm in the southeast of France. Veyron launched Nilau two years ago and uses every part of the animal’s skin on her bags, as well as materials like linen. Her bestseller is based on an eminently personal motif — her grandfather’s binocular case.

Price range: 700 to 2,000 euros (retail)

A design from Linking Dotz. / Credit: courtesy of Linking Dotz


Linking Dotz

Showing at: Première Classe

Category: Footwear

Story: Rodrigo Doxandabarat, originally from Argentina, is a real multitasker. A globetrotter, former model and executive for several of fashion’s majors in Latin America, he created his Linking Dotz footwear brand in 2016. The sustainably minded, handmade, vegan shoes, mainly colorful loafer styles, are crafted with production leftovers and feature a range of tassels for personalization. Each pair comes with switchable insoles for summer and winter wear.

Price range: 225 euros (retail)

Ahdid / Credit: Courtesy of Ahdiid



Showing at: Première Classe

Category: Footwear

Story: Italian designer Mario Pini comes from a family of jewelers but his real passion is shoes. For his latest project, named Ahdiid, he has created a puffer sandal shape, offered in vibrant colorways or with snow boot type strapping for a statement look. With this, his second collection, he added closed velvet designs and fur insoles for winter. Soles are made by Italian specialist Vibram.

Price range: 100 to 170 euros (wholesale)

Hat designs from Batazo. / Credits: Photo by Richie Ramirez Jr. Wardrobe styling by Tashie Bock


Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Hats

Story: Now based in New York, Tranoï first-timer Coco Bagtazo grew up in a small beach town in California and worked in a boutique that made custom swimming trunks. From there, her love of design was born and she spent more than 20 years as a product designer before creating her own accessories label in 2014. More recently she has centered on hats, offering original shapes and colors in felt and straw, hand sewn and hand blocked, with felts sourced from the Czech Republic.

Price range: 89 to 600 euros (retail)

Designs from Stone Copenhagen. / Credit: Courtesy of Stone Copenhagen

Stone Copenhagen

Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Jewelry

Story: From a family of jewelers, high-end fashion distribution specialist Charlotte Balling had always wanted to create her own brand. Inspired by her Icelandic heritage, she created Stone Copenhagen during the pandemic and was showing in Paris for the first time. Inspired by memories, her sterling silver and gold-plated pieces set with zirconium were cited by buyers among the standouts at Tranoï.

Price range: 111 to 2,000 euros (wholesale)

Designs by MAM. / Credit: courtesy of MAM


Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Jewelry

Story: Barcelona-based Anthya Tirado, originally from the Dominican Republic, was among the buyer favorites at Tranoï. Her statement jewelry pieces in silver and gold-plated brass and stainless steel — including headpieces, ear cuffs, nail rings and anklets — have garnered a strong celebrity following, featuring in a recent video by Beyoncé, for example. The six-year-old brand was a first-time exhibitor, opening up wholesale for the first time.

Price range: 150 to 3,000 euros (retail)

Looks from Après Surf. / Credit: Courtesy of Après Surf

Après Surf

Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Rtw

Story: Retailers in the Italian coastal town of La Spezia, Nicola Rossi and Demis Scalabrin decided to create their own brand in 2017, offering hoodies and sporty silhouettes channeling the surfer lifestyle. Printed texts can be personalized, with a retailer’s name or location, for example. They have chosen not to distribute online, only working with retailers in selected locations to foster demand and promote wholesale. Their collection featured colorful serape and bandana patchwork details.

Price range: 100 to 110 euros (average wholesale)

A design from Adele Dejak. / Credit: courtesy of Adele Dejak

Adele Dejak

Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Jewelry

Story: Within the Canex space, Nairobi-based jewelry designer Adele Dejak grew up in the U.K. and studied typography at the London College of Printing. She created her brand in tribute to her grandmother, with whom jewelry was a way of communicating without a shared language. She puts a contemporary spin on tribal motifs in her 24-karat gold-plated pieces made from recycled base metals, some set with semiprecious stones like unakite for their healing properties.

Price range: $40 to $500 (retail)

A design from Yan Jiang Studio. / Credit: courtesy of Yan Jiang Studio

Yan Jiang Studio

Showing at: Woman

Category: Jewelry

Story: Yan Jiang worked as a product designer in her native China before moving to Switzerland, where she worked for watchmakers including Panerai. Looking for a creative outlet, she decided to launch her own jewelry brand just before the pandemic and was showing it in Paris for the first time. Her intriguing designs include pieces made with resin and silver or gold plate intended to evoke bubble wrap.

Price range: 200 to 400 euros (retail)

A look from Magnlens. / Credit: Courtesy of Magnlens


Showing at: Woman

Category: Rtw

Story: Three-year-old Magnlens, based out of Santa Monica, California, offers modular activewear-inspired styles designed to transition throughout the day. Owned by a fabric mill, the vertically integrated label’s womenswear is designed by Kate Lindstrom, formerly of The Row. It was the label’s first Paris trade show as it opens up to wholesale for its women’s collection.

Price range: $80 (T-shirt), $150 (pants).

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