This season, buyers visiting Première Vision Designs had very specific ideas in mind for their requests. From Denmark’s Fusion CPH, to England’s Amanda Kelly and Jack Jones Design to the US’s Liz Casella, tie-dye patterns led the research from designers and brand’s in-house design offices. « It’s the big trend on the runways and everyone wants to get in on it, » said many exhibitors.
At Gather No Moss, there was also an interest in tropical drawings with a Hawaiian spirit. The same was reported at Bobble. « In general, there’s a high expectation for ethics and the exotic. It can be expressed in tie-dyes, but it also translates into a lot of animal motifs, » said Dominique Robin, Executive Director of France’s Robert Vernet.
In light of all these motifs evoking a change of scenery, flowers continue to remain very present, including the small « very clean, very drawn and very feminine » flowers in the designs found at Amanda Kelly, where, however, it’s mostly the colours that have changed for spring-summer 2020: « We’re not being asked for traditional shades, but instead strange colours that clash with each other, with a strong presence of very luminous yellows. » Several exhibitors also note that figuratives are overtaking geometric designs.
Designers who were the busiest at the show work for the North American market, where players with major budgets such as Tommy Hilfiger and Gap are located. « With Europe, it’s more difficult, especially the United Kingdom, where trade is surrounded by uncertainty because of Brexit, » says Helen Jenkins, sales manager at Bobble.
The same is true at Jack Jones Design, where the most significant clients were American but also Spanish, « thanks to the volumes generated by Inditex ». However, here too, there were questions about the British market and the eventual repercussions of Brexit. « We haven’t put anything in place because we don’t know what’s going to happen yet. But if free trade disappears, we will have to find a solution, » noted Lily Rose Dambelli, European sales manager for Jack Jones Design.
In any case, a decline in clothing consumption is not on people’s minds. « We’re the most upstream part of the sector. We propose decorations for fabric, so we are not directly impacted by the slowdown in clothing sales in the shops, » noted Dominique Robin (Robert Vernet).
However, the profession is seeking to unify, especially in France. For the first time, the newly formed La Trame federation, aimed at supporting independent textile designers in France, had a stand at Première Vision Designs. The group already has some twenty members, just six months after its founding.