The business climate is more dynamic than ever at Première Vision Accessories. “We’re seeing a major shift. Even just a few seasons ago, we were hiding the zips, the buttonholes… Today, we show them off and what’s more, they’ve got to shine! Just look at the runways, big flaunted letterings are back. Today, more than just an accessory, we’re selling added-value,” was the pleased feedback at the stand of Lunas France of the Ateliers 2 Paris group, specialists in textile ornaments and decorations. Labels, for example, are booming. “More and more, fashion is looking for an identification. And the label is the detail that changes everything. It lets you tell a story around the clothes,” observed Sandie Robin, head of export development for Indet. Admittedly, the competition is getting tougher, especially with new entrants from Asia. But the European players are not letting up. Their advantage: innovation (as with Indet’s RFID tags) and a focus on superior quality criteria. According to Andrea Gorone, head of Italy’s Seab, which collaborates with leading luxury groups such as Kering, this is especially important as “our customers want to be sure of the origins of their supplies. They insist on international certifications.” The same goes for zipper specialist YKK, whose customers appreciate the traceability of their products, their dyes and the strong CSR policy.
Exhibitors at Première Vision Accessories are feeling confident about the positive momentum, though they are working in a more and more made-to-measure way. “Most of the industry players now work that way. It’s up to us to adapt to the manufacturer’s request, to guide them. We must provide solutions,” pointed out Frédéric Barthelemy, head of Action Maille, specialists in the manufacture of knitted ribbed trimmings and ribbons. “We’re full of ideas for our customers, but that means we have to have a very strong creative policy,” says Olivier Verrièle, head of the Société Choletaise de Fabrication, makers of shoelaces, boot-hooks, cords and more.
And to do that, it’s imperative to invest in creation, R & D and tools to further a company’s know-how, reactivity and flexibility. Another essential feature: an ability to offer minimum quantities and meet the needs of different markets. Italy’s Metalbottoni works with the jeanswear, ready-to-wear, luxury and beachwear markets and is now approaching sports brands. “The idea is to provide solutions for each sector, relying on our in-house technical support service, which tackles every problem with a working plan, tests and special developments,” says Antonella Meloni, marketing manager.
“You have to constantly innovate, because the industry moves very quickly,” added Stephanie Carokis, brand director for WSG Europe, whose own line, for example, features accessories that change colour depending on the temperature.
“Our future lies in a fusion of techno and environmental awareness,” she said, summing up the view of many show exhibitors.
PREMIERE VISION ACCESSORIES