In light of the health and economic crisis the world has been experiencing over the past several weeks, Première Vision has taken a firm position to making a strong strategic commitment to a severely impacted fashion industry. In an expression of solidarity with its exhibitors and brands, the group has launched a series of measures to actively support and assist the sector in preparation for the resumption of business operations.
Managing Director Gilles Lasbordes outlines the specific measures we have taken to assist the industry as well as the calendar of our upcoming shows.
How do you see the consequences of the current global crisis, and the challenges the fashion industry will have to face?
The situation is of course difficult and complex. The industry is at a standstill, apart from the production of masks, which are national efforts undertaken by the textile industry in each country, which I of course applaud.
In terms of fashion, we have summer collections still in stores and only partially sold. Fall-winter collections that are due to be delivered in July / August. Pre-collections being developed that should normally be wholesaled in June, and winter 21/22 which should start in July. This entire process is disrupted, and it’s bound to raise questions in the medium term regarding our existing collection and sales processes. So there will be profound upheavals. First, we clearly have to get retail sales going again, and we have to closely monitor consumer behaviour.
What measures have you taken to support the industry?
To begin with, we’ve kept in very close contact with the manufacturers. They’ve been hit hard by these truly extraordinary circumstances, and want to get back to work as soon as possible. They need to meet with their customers to re-launch their collections and production. And from this perspective, the September show is a highly anticipated moment… even though there are still a number of uncertainties.
In order to support the sector, we relaxed the conditions required to participate in the show and pushed back the registration deadlines as late as possible. We’ve also announced that Première Vision will assume the financial risks should the authorities deem it impossible to hold the show – in other words, we will reimburse exhibitors for their participation fees if we have to cancel it.
At the same time, to help the fashion brands, buyers can attend the show for free if they register online before 31 August.
In the meantime, manufacturers can use the Marketplace to present their collections to buyers. We lifted the fees for using the online platform starting in mid-March, with no limit to the number of products, no time limits and no commissions. This is a real opportunity, for those who are able to, to continue their sampling and sales activity, or just stay in touch with the market.
You recently announced the launch of this September’s edition of Première Vision Paris. How do you envision this particular session?
It’s certainly going to be special! First of all because it will be the first major post-confinement event – so it will be something of a reunion! We’re all looking forward to it, because coming together for the show is part of returning to a more normal life than the one we are all living right now.
And of course we’re reviewing all the regulatory health measures to be put in place, and their impact on the show’s pathways, to make it is as safe as possible for our customers.
We will be staging a denim village featuring a selection of Denim Première Vision exhibitors, and we’ll also welcome the creative collections of the fashion professionals who normally take part in Blossom Première Vision.
That being said, and apart from the standard features that will be simplified, this show is going to have a strong digital dimension. We’ll be providing buyers online content and services to round out the show, and we’ll make that accessible to those who are unable to attend. For example, our fashion seminars and conferences will take place both on-site and via live webcast. We are putting in place an entire system in order to hold both a physical show and a parallel digital event.
Do you see digitalisation confirming its steady expansion given the current context?
Digital is taking over as a means of connecting, because right now we can’t meet in person. In our sector, e-commerce is already fully functional in terms of BtoC, and BtoB wholesale platforms will be playing a central role.
In terms of BtoB for our industry, it’s time for manufacturers to get going! They have no choice during this period, because it’s the only way to re-establish a sales relationship with customers whom they can neither visit in person nor through their agents. The Première Vision Marketplace is a platform they can use, and it’s free! It’s not particularly complicated, you just have to take photos of your products and fill in the product categories. I think buyers are going to be calling for their suppliers to put their collections online.
What is the calendar for your upcoming events?
We revised our calendar to bring it in line with government authorisations. Made in France Première Vision will be held on 1 and 2 September at the Carreau du Temple, after which Première Vision Paris will take place on 15-16-17 September. Internationally, Première Vision New York will take place on 30 September and 1 October, then Denim Première Vision is scheduled to take place in Berlin on 24 and 25 November.
More info about the Première Vision Marketplace