The 2020 winter trade fairs at The Fairyland for Fashion has been a very unusual session. The exceptional circumstances prevented almost 50% of Chinese exhibitors from leaving their country to come to Paris. In some cases, the European agents of these Chinese companies were able to present the collections on the stands.
The six major trade fairs organised by Messe Frankfurt France that are dedicated to fabrics and materials, garment production, textile innovation, clothing and accessories hosted 7,109 visitors. This means a drop in footfall (down 49% compared with the previous year), which is explained by the obvious disruption of the market. Nonetheless, the global make-up of visitors (broken down by country and by role) continued to be relatively stable, as did the flow of visitors, which also remained steady during the four days. The results in terms of the number of discussions and amount of business reported by participants showed that the organisers got things right in staying the course and in continuing with all the events once they had consulted with the French health authorities.
“The shows were held this year under very particular circumstances. Health checks conducted by the Chinese authorities prevented a large number of exhibitors from coming to France. Despite it all, our main Chinese partners have signalled their readiness to renew their confidence in us by confirming that they will certainly be back in September. As always, the players in this dynamic market will demonstrate their resilience and professionalism. Even if buyers decide to put alternative sourcing routes in place on a temporary basis in order to guarantee supplies, they will want to resume their usual routes quickly. For this reason, one can already imagine that the September session will be very good for business” remarked Michael Scherpe, President of Messe Frankfurt France.
Upward trend in average buying behaviour
As pre-eminent events in the fashion world, the six trade fairs that go to make up The Fairyland for Fashion Apparel Sourcing Paris, Avantex Paris, Leatherworld Paris, Shawls&Scarves Paris, Texworld Paris and Texworld Denim Paris have asserted their position as a strategic hub for the fashion industries, reflecting in real time the shifts and trends taking place on the market. The uncertainty regarding Chinese production that had prevailed since the beginning of the month has therefore helped to boost buyers’ average buying behaviour, since they were keen to secure their procurement with the exhibitors who were present. Countries such as Turkey, Korea which was very impressive this year Pakistan or Bangladesh appear to have benefited from this exceptional situation.
A large number of buyers are already anticipating a clear strengthening of business in the coming months.
Small quantities much in demand
Circumstances also favoured, probably for similar reasons, orders for small quantities of textiles or finished garments. Texworld Paris was the first to offer this extra service for buyers, and designers in particular. A trend that is made easier by providing special signage at The Fairyland for Fashion trade fairs with the circuits for “Small Quantities”, “Artisan” or “Sustainable Sourcing”. At the same time, the segmentation and national pavilions have helped to give prominence to emerging countries for sourcing, such as Mongolia, which was exhibiting for the first time, and also Ethiopia, which was successful in demonstrating the extent of the country’s skills.
Texworld Paris, doorway to the world
Despite the absence of many Chinese manufacturers, the 46th Texworld Paris trade fair was able to assert its position as a trailblazer for fashion professionals and prime contractors, who were on the lookout for fabrics, accessories, trimmings and expertise in clothing production. Attracting a lot of attention with its over 500 sq.m. stand, Turkey had a well organised presence and ranges of creative products, witnessed by many inclusions in the exhibition’s Trend Book, a sign of the industrial growth in this country that is renowned for its textile skills and expertise. The same applies to Korea, which showcased its expertise and its particular advantages as a now essential port of call in plans for international sourcing.
Texworld Denim, the breakthrough of responsible fibres
Sustainable products seem to have taken up their rightful place at Texworld Denim, where they were particularly prominent this year. “This was the first time when we felt that sustainable fibres, organic or recycled raw materials are now becoming the norm,” commented one buyer. “Even if they’re not on display everywhere, they are often available in the catalogues, and they crop up in discussions, which was not the case previously”. Always in tune with market expectations as expressed by visitors, Texworld Denim Paris has successfully focussed on topics relating to sustainable development with the campaign run by the Oeko-Tex label with Foursource, a partner of Messe Frankfurt.
Representatives from Oekotex were on hand to answer any questions relating to certification and to highlight the role of the organisation and its remit, which is to guarantee the quality of textiles.
Apparel sourcing, Paris and Shawls and scarves Paris
Buyers came to the largest European trade fair for global sourcing and appointments scheduled with exhibitors were certainly kept to. This 18th show was also an occasion to discover products from the countries that were especially showcased this year, such as Mongolia for example, which presented very high quality items made of yak or young camel wool.
These raw materials should be kept in mind as a credible alternative to cashmere on account of their economic benefit, their sustainable quality and aesthetic potential. Another novelty at the show for those with a particular interest in near sourcing was the first-time attendance by three clothing production companies from the Ukraine, who shared a stand. The catwalk show by the Jenadin label also provided an occasion to showcase Ukrainian design.
The February show was also dedicated once again to Bangladeshi clothing manufacturers, who are well-known for producing casual wear and sportswear. However other unmissable exhibitors at The Fairyland for Fashion included Pakistani and Ethiopian manufacturers thanks to their broad variety of products (T-shirts, jackets, dresses, trousers etc.).
Avantex Paris, new avenues to explore
As the premier trade show for technologies dedicated to fashion and its industry, this year Avantex Paris once again presented new concepts from the sector, which, it goes without saying, featured solutions for sustainable development. Originality was also well illustrated by some innovative products in terms of fabrics, materials, product components and services, including fresh ideas for upstream procurement and renewal of resources. Taking the example of the textile designer Marie Vinter at the Fashion Tech stand with Valk, a new 100% biodegradable material made from proteins.
The designer and exhibitor Clara Davis, a specialist in sustainable design, noticed “genuine interest by visitors in the innovations exhibited at Avantex: lots of committed, high-calibre contacts, including decision-makers, which may well lead to some interesting developments”.
Leatherworld Paris, an international showcase
This year Leatherworld Paris offered an overview of the skills and expertise from India, Turkey and Pakistan in particular. Among the lines attracting buyers’ attention, we noted, for example, the range of bags, clutches and accessories in alternative materials and in cork, developed by Hong Kong Kin Hing Handbag (stand M018), or leather accessories from the Indian manufacturer Global Leathers Private Limited (stand L023). This year, once again, the lines of small leather goods and also bags were in much in evidence along the aisles featuring related materials. Opportunities to exchange ideas, share knowledge and male discoveries.
The lectures and round-table discussions organised throughout the trade fair attracted a large audience, since they provided a direct complement to the products exhibited. The chosen presenters and featured topics which are never the same from one show to another banished all ongoing concerns and offered solutions that are applicable in the short term. Over at the Avantex Agora, face-to-face discussions between experts allowed people to explore:
Following the experience with students from Hear (Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin) in collaboration with the Chinese organisation CCPIT TEX in 2019, Messe Frankfurt France is strengthening its ties with the schools by offering the opportunity of a unique collaboration to students from the LISAA (L’Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués) fashion school. Students took their inspiration from 110 items of clothing at the trade shows to come up with unique designs. At the end of this “live” sourcing session, they will have four months to complete their own creative work, which will count towards their final year course. The best items of clothing designed by these future professionals will be exhibited at the next show in September. Frédéric Bougeard is to be the new President of Messe Frankfurt France as from 1 April 2020
A who’s who of professionals from the fashion industries attended the evening event on Tuesday 11th February in honour of Michael Scherpe and to pay tribute to his unwavering commitment to Texworld Paris. On behalf of all the members of the executive board, Detlef Braun, the CEO of Messe Frankfurt, reviewed the exemplary career of Michael Scherpe by drawing a parallel with his other passion of sailing. Detlef Braun recalled how well “men of the sea” are able to face uncertainty, anticipate obstacles and steer the right course with good partners who enable them to confront all the challenges and come out as victors in the competition.
Thanking his teams for this fortunate and enjoyable venture, Michael Scherpe expressed his gratitude for all the support that has enabled him to develop this business platform dedicated to the fashion industries.
Michael Scherpe established and developed the French subsidiary, which today has 25 employees and a turnover of 28 million euros. He will continue to manage the independent sales office for Messe Frankfurt in France, which he took on in 1981.
Organisation of the Paris events for the fashion industries has been assigned to Frédéric Bougeard, who is currently managing director until he assumes his new position. The former head of Maison & Objet, the trade fair dedicated to lifestyle, decoration and design, he will now be responsible for the smooth running of the Apparel Sourcing Paris, Avantex Paris, Leatherworld Paris, Shawls&Scarves Paris, Texworld Paris, Texworld Denim and Texcare France (formerly JET Expo) trade fairs.
The next editions of these shows take place 14-17 September in Paris, France.