Designs Exhibition report -September2018

“Prints are very dynamic this season,” says Stéphane Vernet, CEO of Créations Robert Vernet, confirming the viewpoint of his colleagues exhibiting at Première Vision Designs. Still, it’s always important to present the right pattern at the right moment. This season, prints making reference to scarf designs with chain links have captured the zeitgeist, along with animal and floral motifs worked in combination.

Patterns must address changes in the market. And according to several studios, men’s ready-to-wear is growingly requesting prints. “Prints are very present on the runways of the men’s shows, and are going to be increasingly visible in store windows. We’re seeing this phenomenon in Europe as well as in Japan and the U.S.,” said Fiona White, design head at London’s Gathernomoss.

Consequently, to adapt, brands are buying patterns in small quantities, but more often. Some studios, rather than contenting themselves with the usual autumn-winter and spring-summer appointments, are doing between 8 and 10 presentations a year. “You have to have a varied offer that is constantly updated, said Fiona White. “That way you can be more reactive.”

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This is especially necessary as trends can explode overnight on Instagram or other social media before trend bureaus can even detect them. And the accelerated pace of fashion and the power of groups like Inditex, which have a vertical organization, mean the studios have to react even faster. Yet, “it takes time to create a pattern, and that time is needed to create quality,” insists John Price, co-director of Fortier Price, who believes the endless race to be faster is growing harmful to the industry. “We saw with the ‘see now, buy now’ trend that we had reached the limits of the system. Many designers have gone back and returned to a more normal collection pace,” he noted.

This time needed to create is also one of the points that the newly founded French Federation of Textile and Surface Design wants to champion. Baptised ‘La Trame’ and chaired by Agnès Denat de Cymé, the association currently counts seven independent designers. “We want to remind everyone what constitutes the price of a pattern, from its original sketch to the delivery of a complete computer file. The idea, in a way, is to educate our customers,” says Marion Puard from Mademoiselle Poire, a member of La Trame.

An educational approach is all the more important as textile design is facing strong pressure on its prices, especially among independent designers who do not have the same negotiating power as the major design studios. “It’s a constant struggle, and tough negotiations,” says Sabine Briffox of the Atelier du Dessin Textile, which groups together several independent designers. “But in the end, we always manage to get along with our customers!”

Discover the Design exhibitors list here

PREMIERE VISION DESIGNS, Hall 5