Who’s Next and Prêt-à-Porter Paris: what’s changing in 2012?

Parisian fashion fairs are about to go through a revolution. As expected, Xavier Clergerie and Bertrand Foache, the co-founders of trade show organiser WSN Développement, spoke last Saturday about their plans for 2012. Currently in charge of the majority of fashion fairs taking place at Porte de Versailles, the main Parisian trade fair facility, the pair presented their new trade show concept. Named Who’s Next Prêt-à-Porter Paris, its upcoming edition will now be held much earlier in the summer, from June 30 (first Saturday of sales in France) to July 3, 2012.

Prêt A Porter Paris, Who's Next
Central avenue in the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris, where most trade shows in 2012 will be taking place

The new set of dates has been carefully chosen in order to place the trade show in a more symbolic and stronger position within the international trade show industry. “Who’s Next Prêt-à-Porter Paris” will fall after Pitti Uomo in Florence and just before Bread & Butter in Berlin, which should start on July 4. But more importantly, the Parisian trade shows will now take place in between the Menswear Fashion Week and the Haute Couture catwalk shows in the French capital, which attract numerous buyers and members of the press from all over the world. In two years time, WSN Développement hopes that half of its visitors will consist of international buyers. Xavier Clergerie and Bertrand Foache pointed out Paris’ leading global position in tourism when talking about their goals for this first session of trade shows, now moved from September to July. Another Parisian trade show taking place that month will be lingerie and swimwear fair Mode City, which was also recently rescheduled to July, and will be held from July 7-9 next year.

The organisers have also decided to move the new concept from Hall 1 (where Who’s Next is currently held) to a more central area in the Porte de Versailles. Halls 2 and 3 will host fashion fairs Private and Fame, dedicated to international womenswear and creative fashion respectively. The latter will be limited to only be limited to 200 brands. Hall 7 will bring together Mess Around for footwear, Le Cube for leather goods and Première Classe. Besides taking elements from other existing trade shows in Paris, “Who’s Next Prêt-à-Porter Paris” will include a much bigger menswear segment, to be found in Hall 4. Named Mr. Brown, it will offer street/urbanwear as well as “city fashion”. The press release announced the participation of brands such as Dr Denim JeansMakers, New Balance, Sebago, Timberland, Veja, Freeman T. Porter, Henri Lloyd, among others.

The first "all in one" edition of "Who's Next Prêt-à-Porter Paris" (owned by Comexposium) will take place Jan 21 - 24, right after Berlin's Bread&Butter which ends on Jan 20.

Bruno Joly and Jean-Paul Leroy

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